We’re all wondering about gift-giving during this most unusual holiday season. More than ever, we want to give gifts that are thoughtful, meaningful, and truly useful. Often, the seniors in our lives have everything they need, but we want to show them that we care. Choosing a gift for elderly loved ones can be challenging. But it can really brighten their day, especially for seniors in long term care. Here are some heartwarming and practical suggestions:
- Keep it cozy. Warm and attractive socks and slippers are an excellent bet. Comfortable loungewear and cute fleece blankets are always a hit, offering warmth and a little taste of home.
- Make self-care simple. Body care items are another popular gift for seniors in long term care. It helps to have a special lotion and lip balm on hand when skin gets dry. It’s soothing–and bonus points if it smells terrific–a sweet, familiar fragrance can make a difference in our state of mind.
- Think consumable. For the senior who has everything, edible treats (sweet or savory) are often the perfect thing. They don’t add to household clutter, and they’re something to enjoy after the holidays are over. Be sure to keep in mind health conditions like diabetes, dental status and other dietary restrictions. If your loved one is in long term care, check with the facility to make sure food items are acceptable and appropriate.
- Get creative. Adult coloring books have been a hot gift for grown-ups of all ages for the last few years. They provide opportunities for stress relief and creativity. Be sure to throw in some lovely markers and colored pencils. Other simple art projects or craft kits can also be fun and entertaining.
- Made with love. There’s just nothing better than homemade items from the grandkids, friends or neighbors. A gift made with love from a grandchild or a young friend is priceless. From a drawing to pottery to a simple sewing project, these meaningful gifts are proudly displayed and always treasured.
- Go digital. With COVID restrictions in place in long term care facilities, tablets and smartphones are one of the year’s most popular gifts. They allow accessible video communication with family and friends through FaceTime, Zoom, and other platforms. We even see grandparents getting on social media to connect with friends and family near and far. You can even order a smartphone with large buttons to help mom or dad navigate their new device. At long term care facilities, staff members are ready and willing to help residents get set up and get connected.
- Familiar faces. Custom photo albums or calendars are family favorites. You can pull photos from across the decades to create personalized albums and calendars. These mementos connect seniors with family when they can’t be present in person. Photo books are an especially meaningful gift for seniors in memory care. They’re available from Shutterfly, Apple, SnapFish, and other platforms and are so easy to create. Just upload your photos and make your own design for a personalized book or calendar.
- Workouts for the brain. Puzzles and brain games are fun gifts with a purpose. Sudoku and crossword books are always popular and can help seniors stay sharp. Think about mentally stimulating activities your loved one enjoys and go from there.
- Give back. A donation to a favorite non-profit is always a meaningful gift for the senior who has everything. It’s a way to make a difference during the holidays without creating clutter.
What Are Creative Gifts for Seniors Living at Home?
If mom and dad live independently, they’re usually in decluttering mode and may not want to accumulate more stuff. Services and subscriptions are ideal for independent seniors, making life a little easier and more fun. Here are some favorites:
- Housekeeping or lawn care service.
- Grocery delivery service.
- Meal kit service for seniors who enjoy cooking and can prepare food independently.
- Electronic medicine management devices.
- Video doorbell (along with help installing and operating the technology).
- An online fitness class designed for seniors.
- Exercise bike or other equipment that can be used safely for indoor fitness.
Gift Giving and Long Term Care
When your loved one is in long term care, you want your gifts to show them you’re thinking of them, even when you can’t be there in person. We want to make it easier to connect and reminisce during challenging times. At Evergreen Health & Rehab, we work hard to keep residents connected with friends and family, even under this year’s extraordinary circumstances. We’re planning safe holiday activities and festive decorations. And we encourage thoughtful gift-giving from family members and friends to foster that sense of connection. If you need help planning a gift for an elderly family member in our care, contact our office. We can provide suggestions based on your loved one’s likes, needs, and preferences. We can all use a little extra comfort and joy this year.