Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living
Finding the most useful gifts for your elderly loved ones to enjoy can be challenging. So, A Place for Mom has put together a list of suggestions to help in your search.
Read our list of ideas to help you and your family give the perfect gifts this holiday season.
Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living
Senior loved ones have received a lifetime of gifts, but over the years, his or her needs may have changed. Older adults in assisted living might be dealing with physical health issues, memory loss and have needs for everyday items that wouldn’t normally come to mind. If you’re looking for useful holiday gift ideas for seniors or for elderly loved ones in assisted living, consider these suggestions from A Place for Mom readers and partners:
Reader Suggested Gift Ideas
A Place for Mom readers have highly suggested that time is the most inexpensive gift for your elderly loved ones, whether they are your parents or grandparents. Enjoying a meal with or even having a simple conversation can be the perfect gift on its own. Beyond that, consider the following simple ideas for items you can either purchase or make for an older loved one:
Activity Books for Visiting Grandchildren
Coloring books, crayons, markers, crossword puzzles, paper, and other items for little ones can help make the visit with grandma or grandpa more comfortable and fun. It’s also a good way to help little ones stay in one place so that you can enjoy the visit too. You can also try finding activity books with puzzles in them. That way, the activity can be enjoyed by both the children and their elderly grandparents.
An iPod Loaded With Some Favorite Music
An iPod is a great gift for the tech-savvy senior or just an elderly adult who loves music. You might consider a speaker dock to go with the iPod so that it’s more convenient for listening. That way, friends within the assisted living community can enjoy the music with the senior.
A Photo Album or Scrapbook
Order a custom photo book from a photo website, or have prints made of family and friends and put together your own scrapbook. You could highlight a memorable family gathering or pick your favorite pictures from the year. If your elderly loved one likes to scrapbook, bring the supplies to the assisted living community, and spend the afternoon making the book together. Photo albums are the perfect present for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s since photographs allow seniors to reminisce and find comfort in recognizing familiar people they love and care about.1 Grandparents can then share those albums with the grandchildren when they visit.
A Trip to a Favorite Place
You may want to try some of these ideas for seniors who are more mobile. If the senior has a favorite place to visit, such as a concert, movie, coffee shop, library or museum, take them out to enjoy that fun spot. Make a plan to take your loved one to his or her favorite place a couple of times throughout the year. That promise can be part of the gift, as well.
Electronic Photo Frames
Put your family’s photos in a digital frame that you load and set up for the senior. This is another way to display photos for the older person with dementia. You can offer to add or change the pictures with major events of the year, or plan to purchase another frame next year with a new set of pictures. For a subscription fee, you can view the models Consumer Reports recommends, or look at customer ratings on sites like PCMag.com or Amazon.com. Shop around for the best discounts available this time of year.
Gift Certificates for the Salon
Assisted living facilities often have hair salons on the premises for older adults. Buy a gift certificate for your elderly loved one or purchase beauty products such as nail polish, brushes, combs and similar items. You can even have some fun styling his or her hair in a way that your loved one likes. Additionally, going out to your favorite salon for some special time will allow you both to enjoy the services together.
Help Paying the Bills
Consider putting money in the senior’s account to cover the cable or phone bill for a month or two. Also, you can add extra money for extracurricular activities or some shopping. Another easy option is to pair a gift card to the senior’s favorite store. Attaching a greeting card with the gift card is a great way of communicating your care for them.
Partner Suggested Gift Ideas
Desk and wall calendars come in a wide variety of designs, prices, and sizes. Generally, calendars start at around $10. Purchase one at a store, or customize one on a photo website so that those pictures of children, grandchildren, friends or a past vacation are convenient for your elderly loved one to look at year-round. There are even calendars designed specifically for helping older people with dementia remember important events and daily activities.2
Cozy Bathrobes and Slippers
Older loved ones can get very cold in the winter, so a robe and slippers are always well-received. The starting cost for slippers is between $20 and $25. Keep in mind the safety of the resident, and look for non-skid soles on the slippers. Depending on where you shop, a plush robe can cost between $25 and $60. Sites like Amazon offer a variety of prices and styles. If you have a particular style in mind, you may spend more than that.
E-Readers are the perfect gift for elderly loved ones that love to read. The readers come in a variety of styles and weights while making it easy for an older adult to access his or her favorite books wherever they go. The owner can enlarge the font size and/or change the font styles to your loved ones liking. Load some of the senior’s favorite books before wrapping the reader. Expect to spend at least $80 for an Amazon Kindle, although prices increase from there, some stores offer refurbished or older models for a discounted rate.
Light weights, stretch bands, and similar items can help seniors stay healthy and care for their overall well-being while having fun. The Arthritis Foundation has a list of easy-to-use exercise, hobby and home items for older adults with arthritis or limited joint mobility.
Make a homemade gift basket of the senior’s favorite cookies, coffee, tea, candies, jams, crackers, cheeses, meats or other snacks. A home-cooked meal is also a thoughtful gift. Make enough so that you can sit and enjoy the meal with your loved one. You might also prepare a larger gift basket or home-cooked dishes for the senior to share with friends in the community.
Enhance TV viewing or everyday music listening with wireless headphones. You can even find special models for an older adult who is hearing impaired. The headphones come in a variety of colors, shapes, and styles. Pick the design that best suits your elderly loved one. Prices start around $50.
Other Gift Ideas for Seniors in Assisted Living
- All-occasion greeting cards and stamps
- Adaptive clothing and non-slip socks
- A reading lamp
- A sign-in journal for visitors
- Books, CDs, DVDs or magazines
- Craft items, such as patterns to use to crochet or knit, or yarn
- Pens, tape, writing tablets and other office supplies
- Personal toiletry items, such as lip balm or lotion
- Puzzles or puzzle games
- Picture coffee mugs, tote bags, or paperweights
Are there any other useful gifts for loved ones in assisted living that you would add to this list? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below.
1Huntsman, M. (2014, October 6). 6 Best Ways to Stimulate Memories through Photos. Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.alzheimers.net/10-6-14-memories-photos/.
2A calendar designed to help keep track of dates as dementia progresses. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2019, from https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-and-factsheets/dementia-together-magazine/calendar-help-keep-track-dates-dementia-progresses.
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