If you have an older adult on your gift list, you may be wondering what to get them. But shopping for a parent or grandparent can be as easy and fun as shopping for kids if you give it a little thought. The following gift ideas may help you find the perfect present for all the grownups in your life.
- Smart phones are great for staying in touch with family and friends and providing a direct link to help when needed. There are also many styles of phones that feature larger buttons and special features that make them easy for older folks to use.
- Tablets and iPads are also ideal gifts for grownups. Touch screens and large print options make use and navigation easy. Include a tutoring session if your parent or grandparent is unfamiliar with using the technology, and be sure to help them select apps they might find useful or entertaining. Practical applications could include medication monitoring or dietary programs. And puzzles and games to exercise the brain can help keep individuals healthy.
- eReaders are great for the bookworms in your life. The large print and screen help those with limited vision and are often easier to hold and manage than a book.
- Digital Medication Management devices help them maintain the correct dosages and schedules for all their meds.
- Kitchen gadgets and tools can sometimes be difficult to use if you have arthritis or lack hand strength, so a gift of ergonomically designed kitchen products, like those made by Oxo, make life simpler and easier for the cook. Gel mats make standing in the kitchen easier for those with back or joint problems. Also look for a large timer, electric can opener, or a single serve coffee maker.
- Everybody loves a soft, plush towel. Consider a set of new bath towels, and maybe add their favorite bath oil or shower soap. New kitchen towels are always welcome too. Or keep them warm with a nice throw or blanket. There are many options available today including fleece, faux fur, afghans, and even custom printed designs. Create your own masterpiece if you can quilt, crochet or knit.
- Clothes may be practical but they are always a welcome gift. Many older adults live on a fixed income and new clothes may not be in their budget. Choose whatever style or type of clothing is appropriate for the recipient, like a cozy sweater, some new slippers and pajamas, new gloves and scarf, or even workout wear. Tuck in a membership to the gym or a gift certificate for their favorite exercise class. And don’t forget the essentials, like socks and underwear. New ones are always appreciated.
Food and Beverages
- Many older adults are nutritionally challenged. Limited income or the inability to get to a food store leaves many seniors without enough to eat. Gift cards for grocery stores and restaurants are great for individuals who are still able to drive. If they can’t, include a homemade gift card for transportation and companionship on shopping trips and dining out.
- Fresh fruit delivered monthly, or a gift baskets filled with fresh fruit are good food gifts. You can also put together your own gift basket filled with favorites, or one that holds special foods appropriate for restricted diets. Homemade goodies are among the most welcome of gifts. Consider baking cookies made from grandma’s or mom’s recipe and then delivering them in a gift basket. Preparing special treats just for the recipient is a lovely way to show how much they are thought of and loved. Always consider any special dietary needs when selecting edible gifts.
- If alcohol is allowed, a nice bottle of red wine is another idea. Studies have shown that an occasional glass of red wine can be good for the heart. Dark chocolate has been linked to brain health, and good chocolate, or even their favorite candy bar, make a fun and thoughtful treat.
- Tickets to movies, shows, or concerts are fantastic presents and another way to spend some time together. Puzzles and games can help keep brain function sharp, and large sized playing cards help those with visual impairments enjoy the game. Audio books and rental services also help those with poor vision to enjoy the latest written words.
- Create a personalized photo book or scrapbook that details family history or memories from childhood, or put together a custom DVD from family movies and photographs. For music lovers, preprogram a new MP3 player, or create a CD with their favorite music.
The absolute best gift you can give to the senior in your life is you. Many older adults feel isolated or alone because they are no longer mobile or live in a long term care facility. Take the time out to visit and just chat awhile. Bring along some homemade food, a special treat, or a magazine or book. Or take them shopping, out to a restaurant or a concert, whatever they enjoy. Just breaking up the routine can be a tremendous help. And seeing the people they love and care about most is one of their greatest joys. Spending time together is a gift that gives back to both of you.