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Gift Ideas for Senior Citizens & the Elderly

May 19, 2015, 01:49 AM

It may be the season to celebrate grads, but any day is a great one to celebrate the other seniors in your life – senior citizens. Whether it’s for a birthday, a special visit from grandkids who live far away, or just a random reminder that you have your elderly parent in your thoughts, a present is an excellent way to show that you care. But what kinds of gifts are appropriate for the elderly? We’ve rounded up a list of the most useful, necessary, and desired gifts that will go a long way towards making your loved one’s life more enjoyable.

Fun & Recreation

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by funfilledgeorgie via flickr

Keeping your elderly loved one’s mind sharp and mood happy is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Whether your loved one is bedridden, wheelchair-bound, or still active and mobile, there are plenty of presents you can provide to help him/her enjoy life to the fullest.

  • Fitness & meditation videos with elderly-friendly exercises
  • Knitting needles and yarn
  • Crossword, Sudoku, or puzzle/activity books
  • Large-print books
  • Oversized playing cards
  • Board games
  • Touch-screen tablet with documented ability to significantly enlarge text

Household Items

A great way to show you care is by getting your elderly loved one an item that will make household chores and movement easier. For seniors who live alone and are in generally good health, but still experience difficulty with mobility, reach, vision, and hearing, consider:

  • Electronic can opener
  • Oversized remote control
  • Grabber tool (for hard to reach items)
  • Moveable bar (aka “HandyBar“) for assistance getting in and out of vehicles
  • Magnifier
  • Large digital or voice-activated clock

Safety Items

While you should definitely outfit your senior parents’ living space with modifications to make living at home safe, gift them with additional precautions to make them feel even more secure:

  • Subscription to medical alert service
  • Medical identification jewelry
  • Upgraded walker or elegant cane
  • Eyeglass chain or holder
  • Easy to use pill box with an attractive design
  • Traction socks to avoid slips

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Gifts

The difficulties of dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases are particularly taxing on the individual experiencing it. For seniors at high risk for or in the earlier stages of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, exercising the mind can help delay the onset of the most severe symptoms. For a loved one with the beginnings of dementia, you may want to consider:

  • Large, easy-to-assemble puzzles
  • Activity blankets or aprons
  • Memory or language card games
  • Music or art developed for therapy
  • Picture phone
  • Sensory stimulators
  • Family photo albums
  • Wearable tracking device for seniors prone to wandering

The Greatest Gift for Seniors & the Elderly

All of the material comforts in the world don’t hold a candle to the companionship only you can provide your elderly loved one. Seniors are more prone to depression than any other age group, and the love and support of family and friends can make all the difference in preventing its development. Spend time with your elderly loved one by going for walks outdoors, attending concerts, enjoying a dinner at a restaurant, going for a therapeutic massage, or just shopping for groceries. Visit or be in contact often so that your loved one knows that s/he is cared for and thought of. Sending flowers, gift baskets, or just a hand-written card with a recent photo can be the difference between a depressed, lonely senior and a happy, healthy one.

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