The opinions will vary as there are many useful senior gift suggestions online and in the media especially this time of the year.
This Christmas, we are reminded to spend less money on gift giving due to inflation, we thought of simple, personalized and smart gift ideas that don't cost much but would mean a lot to your loved seniors(s) in your life.
Many of us will think of warm slippers & coats, heated blankets, socks, gloves etc. Such are great gifts but ensure you are aware of any health issues such as Diabetes, Arthritis and or allergies. For example, for someone with a wool allergy, a wool coat or socks is not a suitable gift. There are many Diabetes or Arthritis gift ideas such as Diabetes socks and Arthritis gloves.
Focus on custom gift ideas which are useful, help seniors with memory and keep the to stay connected with loved ones. The simplest gift and most valuable gift for a senior is quality time spent together and helping with small but important daily tasks. Any gift that will improve a person's quality of life is a smart gift.
Many of us have become disconnected and grown apart due to different circumstances. Think of a way to get in touch with this person, keeping in mind that Christmas is a great time for bonding and forgiveness.
Gift ideas if you know the person well:
Besides the person's personality, consider their current health situation, abilities, their status of eyesight, hearing and cognitive functioning and other skills, likes and dislikes. Remember, some seniors are healthy & active and others are not. Are they young at heart? What is their perception of life and longevity? Are they active and if yes, what do they enjoy doing?
Is the person an avid reader, likes specific music and or a hobby?
Do they struggle with memory and might benefit from cognitive support? Many seniors with Dementia/Alzheimers will need a very specific gift approach like a Dementia-friendly phone. There are many fantastic Dementia friendly games, puzzles etc. that help to improve cognitive functioning and memory. Think simple things like conversing, reminiscing and engaging in puzzles, board and or card games are interactive and enhance social skills.
Many seniors with chronic health conditions struggle with mobility which will impair many of their daily functions and access to things.
Visit the person to observe what they have and what could be useful for them to help with activities of daily living. Do they have or need a walker? Is the walker adjusted to the right height and is it safe? Would the person be safer with a shower/bath chair or do they need a raised toilet? Refer to home health care professionals who will access seniors' care & safety needs.
Have a conversation about daily tasks and what they might be missing. Seniors who suffer from early stages of Dementia/Alzheimers and whose cognitive decline is just in the beginning stages might not realize what tasks they have a hard time completing.
Custom gifts - thoughtful giving
A photo album for example is a smart and beneficial gift idea that helps reminisce about the past, especially moments and events.
A digital photo frame or other custom gifts such as custom-fit orthopaedic shoes, a visit with an integrative health clinic for seniors who will access the whole person and its abilities to function and improve mobility & strength.
Seniors with Dementia/Alzheimers would benefit from you adding text to describe the memory/moment/event to help to remember.
For seniors who wish to age in place consider the gift of home care. Arrange a free in-home consultation with qualified private home health. Seniors who are lonely will greatly benefit from Companionship care once or twice a week and basic help with daily tasks. Personal care is priceless as it assists with activities of daily living such as showering/bathing, dressing, meal prep/cooking, homemaking etc. It's crucial to support seniors who are suffering from chronic health issue, a condition or a disease. Some seniors are not able to afford it so any financial help is also a custom gift of love that enriches the quality of life.
A qualified home care company will assess physical & cognitive care needs as well as home accessibility & safety. Look for a holistic home health care company that focuses on the person's overall well-being beyond specific care needs, treating the whole person. Any qualified home care company t will assess physical & cognitive care needs as well as the homes accessibility & safety. Look for a holistic home health care company that focuses on the person's overall well-being beyond specific care needs, treating the whole person.
Invite the senior(s) to come along to visit a close seniors centre to check out social activities, classes & event opportunities. Participation is very low cost and helps the senior to stay connected, physically & socially active. Some senior centres also offer healthy & affordable cafeteria options with take-out meals, hearing & foot clinics etc. Don't forget about your local community and public library which are great places to visit regularly.
Take the person out for a special meal at their favourite restaurant.
Arrange for custom made & delivered meals but ensure first that they are healthy & tasty!
For seniors who are active and enjoy travelling, consider giving a special getaway together. Again, the gift of quality time is one of the most treasured ones.
For seniors who live in Independent and or Assisted Living, ask the wellness and or health manager/nurse who spends time with the person on a regular basis if you should not know them well.
Gifts ideas for seniors whom you don't know well:
Try to find out from someone who might know the person what they could benefit from. Ensure that you are aware of any health conditions, mobility and allergies. Avoid food items and personal gifts. A more general gift idea such as a grocery gift card is more suitable considering which store the person prefers. Practical gifts are always appreciated but you need to consider what the person likes & dislikes.