The holidays are a time to show our loved ones how much they mean to us with special gifts. But, if your loved ones are elderly or living in an assisted living facility or nursing home, they may not need another scarf or necktie or knickknack for home.
Here are some favorite holiday gifts:
- Favorite personal products: Creams, soaps and other products in their favorite brands can be a delight.
- Pastimes: Magazines and books in large print are good choices for avid readers, and large print adult coloring books with a set of art markers is a great gift and a relaxing activity. Seniors may also appreciate a magnifying glass for reading, perhaps one that is lighted and comes in a decorative pouch. Thinking games such as Scrabble and Boggle, as well as books of crosswords, word-searches and Sudoku can help keep the mind sharp. Games also help in making social connections, which helps seniors thrive.
- Technology: Tablets and iPads are not just for the young. A CD player or iPod allows you to choose the music your parent or grandparent has always loved, rather than relying on someone else’s taste in music.
- Comfort items: For elders affected by dementias, Teddy bears or other stuffed animals can be a great comfort. Soft, fluffy, fire-retardant clothes work well, too. Consider weighted blankets, which can help those with anxiety, stress or insomnia.
- Devices with large buttons: Large-button phones and remotes are popular for people with weaker vision and less mobility with their hands.
- Easy-to-use gadgets: Grabbers for reaching things off the floor or down from a shelf are helpful, as are accessories for walkers such as pouches, cup holders and universal trays.
- Mobility aids: A reclining chair with a power lift makes it easy for a senior to get in or out. Also helpful: a “bed cane,” which is a kind of railing used to rise from the mattress. As we get older, just making the transition from lying down to sitting up can be daunting.
- Photo displays: Snapshots of treasured family moments, milestones, or vacations are wonderful remembrances. Select a few photos and present them with a corkboard and set of pushpins as a simple way to display and rearrange favorite photos. Personalized photo gifts such as mugs, photo books, and photo jigsaw puzzles are fun, too.
- Time. No other gift can bring the smiles that come with a personal visit.
The bottom line is this: as with all gifts, put some thought about whom you’re buying for, and how a gift might help.
Your gift just may make life a little easier for your loved one.