Sometimes shopping for an elderly loved one can be challenging. If you are stumped for a gift idea for the elder in your life, here are some ideas—some old, some new—to help you find the gift recipe that brings a smile to your favorite senior’s face this holiday season.
Sometimes it’s hard to choose the right gift for you aging parent, grandparent or loved one. After all, they’ve had a lifetime of gifts and often have a different perspective on life than you may have. So what is the secret to success when shopping for the senior in your life? Do you go with practical or fun? Homemade or store-bought? Will your aging loved one even know what to do with the latest tech gift, like an iPad? Well you are the best person to judge your loved ones’ needs and desires, but here are some great holiday gift ideas to help get you started…
10 Practical, Yet Fun, Holiday Gifts For the Senior In Your Life
- Blankets or throws — While this may sound obvious, you can’t go wrong with a cozy blanket or throw—and there are so many custom options available these days! Whether you’re a talented quilter who can create a homemade masterpiece, or you prefer to customize with a heartfelt photo throw from Costco or Shutterfly—this is a gift option that will warm the soul along with the aging body.
- Custom gift basket — Gift baskets add the personal touch to practical products. So whether you create a care basket that includes slippers with your loved ones’ favorite lotions, bath soaps, cologne or perfume, or would rather create a custom food basket of your loved ones favorite meats, cheeses chocolates or sauces; a gift basket balances practicality with custom personality and love.
- Tablets and iPads — These all-in-one devices are in many ways tailored for seniors with their touch-screen technology and large print options. The social connection is important for elders, and you might be surprised how savvy your senior can be with a quick tutorial on both Kindle Fire and customizable iPads. Good for entertainment, medication management and brain-exercising fun, this impressive technology is an excellent option for aging loved one.
- Kitchen and bath towels — Everyone can use new kitchen and bath towels as these daily items are such a necessity of the every day. Adding monogrammed initials or patterns that compliment the home or apartment will only enhance this gift.
- Gift certificates to grocery stores and favorite dining venues — If your loved one is still independent, gift certificates to grocery stores and dining venues allows the senior to not only cut expenses grocery shopping, but also allows them an entertaining lunch or evening out for a special dining experience. This is also a great gift to help prevent senior malnutrition; an epidemic that many are unaware of in the aging population.
- Smartphone — Phones are not only important for keeping the social connection—a necessary ingredient for quality of life—but also are crucial for senior safety. Many smartphones of today offer large buttons, photo speed dial, visual rings and more.
- Clothes — While this may sound like a dull option, just think about it—when was the last time your senior loved one bought new clothes for him or herself? Chances are it has been years, especially with today’s recession and many seniors’ need to save money on a fixed income. Buying sweat pants, sweaters, underwear, socks or nice shirts and pants (whatever the senior in your life needs!) will assure a gift that won’t go unused.
- Kitchens Essentials Set — For seniors who struggle with arthritis or limited hand strength, custom kitchen sets that cater to these conditions can make a perfect gift. OXO GOOD GRIPS Kitchen set and Arthritis Supplies both offer excellent, ergonomic options.
- Photobooks, Scrapbooks and Custom Videos — Compiling memory books, scrapbooks or custom videos is a nostalgic gift option that’s sure to please. By gathering cherished photos, newspaper clippings, travel souvenirs and other mementos and compiling them into a chronological art form; the senior in your life will have a tangible piece of his or her own heritage to hold onto and savor. Videos are great because you can customize music with your seniors’ favorite tunes (learn about the power of music therapy for the elderly).
- Health Management and Fitness Options — It’s important to stay fit in all seasons of life, but especially crucial for seniors to help prevent stroke, heart conditions and other common ailments that come with age. Meeting with a nutritionist, dietitian or naturopathic physician who specializes in senior health is an excellent idea to customize your loved ones’ health, nutrition and fitness plan. Often times these experts have excellent ideas to make food more enjoyable for seniors, helping to keep them both healthy and happy (learn more about senior nutrition).
You can also read about 6 Ways to Preserve Your Family’s Living Legacy — also something to think about this holiday season!