Top Ten Christmas Presents to get your Elderly Parent
With the Holidays coming, I’m sure you are thinking about what to get for your parents that “don’t need anything”. When you ask your elderly parent what they would like for Christmas, and other than seeing you, they don’t need anything.
Here are some ideas for what to get your elderly parent;
Firstly, you need to remember their current living situation? Is your elderly parent living alone? Or living in an assisted living environment? Are they with someone else?
Puzzles & Games:
- If you have children, buying colouring books or puzzles can be great activities for your parent to do with them when they visit. It can make a visit to grandma and grandpas much more enjoyable if your kids have something to do. Getting them something that they enjoy doing too so they are able to do the activity with your children.
- If they are wheelchair dependent and have assisted dressing, for example if they are in long term care; introducing them to open back attire could be a nice and helpful gift. Open back pants are an item that will be a nice addition to the wardrobe that will help the ease struggle of dressing. Being comfortable in your everyday life is something some take for granted. When things like putting pants on become a chore, it’s important to find means to make that easier on them. Open back tops are also extremely helpful if you notice lowered arm mobility. These tops have snaps which open the back of the shirt, letting them put the shirt on without having to lift their arms or put anything over their head.
- If you notice their wardrobe has been getting thin, changing out old clothing for new clothing is something you might have in mind. It’s important to take note of their dexterity and mobility before you buy some new outfits for their wardrobe. If you find they are having difficulty reaching over their head when putting clothing on, or having trouble with the buttons on their pants, adaptive wear might be something that you will want to look into. Elasticized pants or open side pants are two great bottoms that can ease the daily struggle of dressing. Without the difficulty of buttons, dressing in the morning can go more smoothly for them. If you have a father that always wears his dress pants and button down shirt, but is having difficulty buttoning them up, this magnetic top might be exactly what they need.
- If they love reading, a new pair of reading glasses and an e-reader could be something very useful as well as nice for them. Getting an e-reader will allow them to increase the font size of their favourite book so they can keep reading without difficulty. They also don’t have to worry about where to put all of their books. Generally downsizing is something that happens later on in life. If they have downsized, only having to take care of one e-reader might be easier than many books.
Digital Photo Frame:
- You may have some old photo albums lying around of your family that you have made as well as the family that your parents made for you. Put all of those pictures on to a digital photo frame, they can re-visit all of their favourite memories just by looking instead of having to flip through pages.
- As feet get older they hurt. After a long day there isn’t quite anything like being off your feet. Make that end of the day that much better with a nice bath for their feet. This allows them to rest their sore feet without having to take a full shower or bath. Easy enough that they can even have one while sitting in front of the tv.
- On a budget? A foot scrub works as well, getting them a foot scrubber and a nice lotion is also a thoughtful gift.
- Does your parent require a walker or wheelchair these days? Get them something to personalize their wheelchair. A wheelchair/walker pouch is nice replace a purse that might be getting in the way. It’s a wonderful way to be able to hang it on your walker or wheelchair without having to worry about it getting caught in any wheels. You could get them other items to hang off of their walker to add some fun to their walker or wheelchair. Another option is a nice warm Wheelchair blanket. These are blankets that attach to the wheelchair so that it wont slide off. A great gift to keep warm this winter!
- Do you still have the first sweater your parents ever knit you? Get them some new knitting materials or new warn. If you have kids, get them a new knitting book that has to do with kids clothing. This will be a great way for them to pass time as well as feeling good that they get to make things for their family. If they used to knit and aren’t able to anymore because of hand dexterity, take a note from their book and try knitting them something.
Slippers & Socks:
- A new pair of slippers could be the perfect way to keep your parent warm this winter. If their feet swell by the end of the day, a pair of wide slippers will be comfortable to slip into at the end of the day. Having proper footwear at all times is important for stability as well as comfort. If they are having any discomfort in their feet, it could be because they aren’t wearing slippers indoors, leaving no cushioning when they are walking around the house.
- Pair the slippers up with a pair of extra wide socks. Having non-elastic socks are helpful to prevent any pressure lines around calves or feet. Give them a pair of Christmas themed socks for the holidays. A pair of socks is also a wonderful stocking stuffer. If you want to make them a warm and cozy package, add a pair of mittens and hats to create your own cozy warm kit. Give them the gift of stability; get them a pair of slip resistant socks. Grip socks are required in hospitals and long term care facilities, but for good reason. They are there to prevent slips and falls on the slippery linoleum flooring. Linoleum flooring isn’t the only slippery floor though, even hardwood flooring can be slippery. Especially if your parent is living alone, it’s important that they have something on their feet that will prevent them from slipping and having a fall.
- Sometimes simple is perfect, if you are looking for a gift topper, flowers could be the perfect gift. Find some more exotic flower arrangements, or figure out their favourite flower. If you want to get something that will last longer, get them a plant that they can take care of. It will give them something to take care of again, and a nice way to give them some extra oxygen.
- Have a mother daughter day at the salon! Or bring your dad to the barber shop for an old fashion shave and trim. It’s spending time together that is so important to them, but giving that time together a little more and something to take away from it makes it that much better. You can plan to make a few trips, giving them some dates to put on their calendar so they have something to look forward to in the future.
Everything that was mentioned above can be tailored to your parent’s personality. Base your clothing choices on their favourite colour, or get a calendar with their favourite animal on it. Thinking of presents should be an enjoyable experience, sometimes all you need is a few ideas to get the right idea.