Our goal at Amada Senior Care is to enrich seniors’ lives and ensure our clients are safe, healthy and happy at home. Just in time for the 12 Days of Christmas, we have a dozen gift ideas aimed at achieving that goal. Keep these suggestions in mind for gifting your senior loved one on other holidays, a birthday or anniversary… or just because.
The Gift of Your Time
Really, this is what every senior loved one wants – just your presence rather than a present. How about treating her or him to a special family time occasion, a “day of beauty” with a haircut or hairstyling, manicure or pedicure, mustache trim or hot shave, lunch outing, church visit or a movie?
Quality time tops the gift list every time!
Jitterbug Smart 2
Version 2.0 of the popular, no-contract Jitterbug smartphone designed for seniors offers the same large screen and big buttons. Now it’s easier to use and boasts an improved menu. Options to make a call, text, take photos, access pictures and email are organized in a simple list. Plus, the phone can be used as a personal health and safety tool with services like a daily check-in call, fall detection and apps including brain games, medication reminders, health tips and fitness tracker.
MaxiAids Talking Watches and Pendants
If your senior loved one is blind or visually impaired, consider a talking watch or pendant that announces the time and date on the hour or at the press of a button. Many models by MaxiAids and similar mobility companies can be set to give an alert or vibration for medication reminders and wake-up or bedtime calls. Big faces and bold numbers make for easy viewing.
Slippers, Sleepwear and Linens
These never go out of style and offer the gift of comfort to a senior loved one. Consider a weighted blanket or lap pad made by Calming Comfort, SensaCalm or a similar company that is designed to ease age-related insomnia, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and depression.
There’s evidence showing that a weighted blanket or lap pad offers a non-drug option for managing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia such as disturbed sleep, agitation and anxiety. Do-it-yourself types can find lots of online tutorials for how to make a weighted blanket or lap pad.
Stylish Compression Socks or Stockings
Turn old school into new cool by having your senior loved one ditch the plain black and beige stockings for today’s fashionably stylish compression socks fit for a cat walk. Compression socks by Vim & Vigr, SB Sox, Zensah Tech and other brands are the hardest-working garments in a senior’s wardrobe. They help keep legs from feeling tired and achy. They ease the swelling that can trigger deep vein thrombosis. They help treat spider and varicose veins. They give veins a helpful boost by pushing blood back to the heart. These benefits combined with today’s bright colors (hot pink, neon green, vivid aqua, etc.) and graphic designs (skulls, hearts, butterflies, etc.) make compression socks the healthy style choice for all ages. Note: Check with your senior loved one’s doctor to make sure that he or she can use compression socks safely.
Low-Impact Exercise Equipment
The Healthy Seniors Chair Exercise Program kit comes with low and medium-resistance exercise bands that the senior can use at her or his own pace while sitting in a chair to build strength and improve flexibility and stability. The Portable Pedal Exerciser by Vive is a compact folding pedal exerciser to strengthen the legs and arms. It might also increase circulation while improving stamina, focus and concentration.
Mobility Assistance Tools
Lots of great devices are coming to market that literally give seniors a hand. Pull Me Up by Rising Improvements is a simple oval ring that lets you give your senior loved one an assist from a sitting to standing position. It’s like an instant grab bar that prevents injuries from arm pulling. The Able Life Auto Cane creates a grab bar handle for a senior (or someone recovering from an injury) to get in and out of a vehicle. The Brenium Multifunctional Bottle Can Opener lets seniors with weak hand strength or rheumatoid arthritis twist off caps, pull tabs and remove seals easy-peasy.
Monthly Giftbox Subscription
Ensure your beloved senior will smile often over three, six, nine or 12 months upon receiving a monthly subscription box for flowers, wine, coffee, food, spiritual inspiration, books, magazines or favorite treats. GrandBox specializes in kits (curated according to the senior’s profile) that arrive before important dates like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Filled with treats, puzzles and health-and-wellness products, CheerCrates are ideal for a loved one living in a retirement or assisted living community. Seniors with particular dietary restrictions can enjoy Love with Food, which sends an assortment of all-natural and organic food.
Food Delivery Service
More and more meal delivery companies are specializing in convenient and affordable programs that meet the tastes and needs of older adults. Companies like Magic Kitchen, Healthy Chef Creations and Personal Chef to Go deliver meals that are naturally low in sodium, fats and sugar and made with fresh, organic ingredients. Meals on Wheels, the largest provider of senior meals with 5,000 nutrition programs around the country, offers catered menus and dietary food options in some states.
What we love most about gifting a fitness tracker to a senior is that it encourages fitness goals such as steps per day and stairs climbed, and promotes healthy choices to avoid the sedentary lifestyle associated with things like obesity, diabetes and hypertension. One of the fitness trackers we like best for seniors is the watch-style, user-friendly Fitbit Blaze for its large and bright display, touchscreen, built-in heart rate monitor and sleep tracker, reminders to move, exercise tracker, digital workout coach and five-day battery life.
Everything is going digital, why not medication reminders? One of the highest-reviewed apps is the Pill Reminder and Medication Tracker by Medisafe. It helps seniors stay safe and in control of their medications by getting reminders about taking the correct dose at the correct time and lets them track their progress. A family member or caregiver can use the app to help manage the senior’s medication to ensure she or he is taking medications as prescribed. Notifications can be set up to alert a family member or caregiver. Among the many useful features is a drug-to-drug interaction checker, a progress report email-able to a doctor’s office ahead of an appointment, prescription renewal alert and a health tracker for blood pressure, weight and glucose.
This is a hearing-aid device pitched by senior celebrity spokesperson Pat Boone with the slightly corny selling point, “TV Ears saved our marriage.” But you know, sometimes corny works! The wireless headset gets rave reviews online with posters reporting that it does help seniors who suffer from hearing loss and have difficulty watching television programs with low-volume sound. The device is easy to set up, as it links directly to the TV set and lets the headset-wearing senior listen to a program at regular volume remotely. TV Ears features voice-clarifying circuitry and background-noise-reducing foam ear tips.
“12 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Beloved Senior in Your Life,” written by Michelle Flores, Amada contributor.