Choosing holiday gifts for seniors can be difficult. If the senior is in assisted living, space may be limited, so gifts should be small in size; if the senior lives at home, they might be trying to downsize, so try not to add to any clutter. Of course, the senior may simply have everything. Sometimes as you age, “things” accumulate and you come to a point where there are fewer things you want and/or need.
So how do you choose a gift for an elderly loved one? If you’re having trouble, we’re here to help! We’ve scoured the Internet for ideas that are big, small, inexpensive, pricey, utilitarian, or just plain fun. So read on: you’re sure to get some good ideas!
Electronic pill organizer
More than 36 percent of adults over 62 use at least five prescription medications. This handy device will not only help keep medications organized, but it will help boost adherence to a pill-taking schedule as well. There are a number of brands out there: one of the best reviewed under $100 on Amazon is the MedCenter Organizer with Reminder System.
Lightweight, portable, and user-friendly, the Apple iPad Air 2 is great for seniors. Connect the device to Wi-Fi, and seniors can Skype with family, send email, view pictures, and play video games. While the price tag is a bit high ($399 to $499), the device will no doubt see plenty of use.
Keurig coffee maker
These coffee makers that use single-serve portions are great for elderly people – especially if they live alone. No need to make a big pot of coffee, and have to wash the pot out afterwards; the Keurig requires almost no clean up and brews the coffee one cup at a time. You can get a good one for $75-$100.
There are a couple of options here. First is the KeyRinger (about $30 a pair). The find button allows you to find an item attached to any other KeyRinger, so they come in a pair; attach one to your keys and when you lose your keys, hit the find button on the second one to find them. There’s no set-up. It’s loud, durable, and operates up to 300 feet away.
The second option, for more digitally savvy seniors, is a Bluetooth-equipped gadget you can attach to things you don’t want to lose – like your keys. One example is the Tile (about $25 each). Attach the small device to a keychain and connect via an app to your smart phone. Lost your keys? The phone app will track them.
Some examples of food gifts:
- Edible Arrangements
- Gourmet food baskets
- A donation to Meals on Wheels so your loved one doesn’t have to pay the sliding fee (if applicable). Plus, Meals and Wheels delivery ensures a visit and a safety visit.
- Restaurant gift cards – and transportation, if necessary.
- Grocery gift card and/or grocery delivery service.
Games and entertainment
- Board games
- Movie tickets
- Books on tape
- Crossword puzzle books
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Adult coloring books
- Newspaper subscription
These gifts provide more than entertainment; they keep your loved one’s mind active. Board games help with continued socialization and are a great way to spend time together.
- Warm jacket
- Non-slip slipper socks
Gifts for seniors in assisted living
Small and useful are the keywords here: Your loved one likely doesn’t have a lot of space, so keep it small. And he or she may not need more than everyday living essentials, so think useful. Many of the items above will make good gifts, but here are a few more ideas specifically for assisted living residents:
- Soap, lotions, and toiletries
- Lap blanket or afghan
- Soft bath and hand towels
- Phone card
- Stuffed animals
- Day clocks (tells the time and the day with a large readout)
- Decorative tissue holders
- Photos, frames and photo albums
- Pads of paper and pens to write notes
- Large dial watch or alarm clock
Sometimes the best things in life ARE free. Here are a few no-cost gift ideas:
Arts and crafts from grandchildren
Whether they make them in school or at home, a gift of an art project from a grandchild is priceless. Bring along some type of adhesive to hang up the masterpieces in a prominent place.
When one gets older, sometimes it becomes more difficult to get around. Giving the gift of transportation – perhaps in the form of a voucher book – will be much appreciated. A few of the destinations: The mall, church, the doctor’s office, grocery shopping, bill paying, and more.
We’ve said it before and we can’t stress it enough: Sometimes the very best gift you can give an elderly loved one is time. Spend time with them at home or assisted living; talk over coffee or cooking; watch a TV show or go to a movie together; there are many ways to spend quality time with your loved one and it doesn’t cost a thing. The bottom line is the best present is your presence.
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At Courville Communities, we have built our success on being the place for families to turn to when it’s time to consider alternative options for a healthier, safer, and less-isolated living arrangement. For more information, click here.