Shopping for elderly loved ones can be hard, especially when it comes to Christmas or their birthdays. They’ve had a lifetime to acquire items, and rarely lack anything major. So, what gifts can you get for the elderly? To help inspire your shopping, we’ve put together this ultimate list of 22 gift ideas for seniors. You’re bound to find something that your elderly loved one will enjoy, from senior clothing to heated blankets.
Wearing skid-resistant shoes all the time — even inside the house — is one of the most effective ways to prevent falls. Wearing regular shoes inside the house isn’t the most comfy, so give your loved one the gift of dedicated indoor slippers. If your elderly loved one suffers from edema, then look specifically for shoes for swollen feet that can be adjusted depending on what size their feet are that day.
Regular clothes simply aren’t made for older adults, and conditions such as arthritis can make it impossible to work buttons, zippers and snaps in order to get dressed. Help adults stay independent by giving them adaptive clothing designed especially for those with limited mobility. Garments such as duster house dresses and pull on pants for the elderly make it possible for older adults to continue to dress themselves once regular clothing no longer works for them.
There’s nothing more meaningful than a family photo, but that can be a little repetitive to give at every special occasion. If you want a great gift for the elderly, get creative with printing images on goods such as mugs, blankets, coasters and more. Websites such as Shutterfly make it easy to personalize the perfect gift for your loved one. If photos aren’t their thing, you can also look into custom engravings on jewelry, cutting boards and more.
Digital Photo Frame
If your loved one always intends to print out and frame their photos, but never gets around to it, you can make it easy on them by giving them a digital photo frame. As long as they are technologically savvy enough to upload photos to the frame, they will have a constant rotation of all the family’s latest good times. If they need a little assistance with the frame, then give them a tech support session as part of the gift.
Sunrise Alarm Clock
Some older adults can have trouble waking up in the morning, especially if they have trouble falling or staying asleep (a common problem for seniors). Make it a little easier on them by giving them a sunrise alarm clock. The clock emits a gentle yellow light that grows steadily brighter, mimicking a natural sunrise and waking them up more easily than a loud alarm. Make sure that the model you select has a large digital display so they can easily read the time.
Armchair or Walker Organizer
Many seniors spend lots of time in their armchair or walker — or both. Help them keep everything within arm’s length by getting them an armchair or walker organizer. These have plenty of pockets to hold all the essentials, including water bottles, eyeglasses, books, phones and more. Make sure that whatever organizer you get will fit their model of walker or armchair.
Motion Activated Lights
Proper lighting is another key factor in avoiding falls so seniors can see where they are stepping. However, you don’t necessarily want them to leave all the lights on overnight, as all that light can keep them up at night — not to mention raise your electricity bill through the roof. Instead, set them up with some motion activated lights or bulbs that will turn on whenever they move around and then automatically turn off once they leave a room. If your loved ones aren’t very handy, then offer to install the lights for them as part of the gift.
Key and Wallet Finder
Everyone misplaces important items from time to time, and this happens more often as we age. Help your loved one keep track of their keys, wallet and more with finder tags or tiles. These tags attach to the desired item and can be tracked using an accompanying smartphone app. The tech savvy grandparent is sure to appreciate this thoughtful and practical gift — just make sure that the tags are attached securely so they can’t fall off.
Large Print Books
Many older adults love to read, but standard print sizes can be tough on failing eyesight. Help them keep up with their favorite hobby by giving them large print books, which are easier to read. If they prefer ebooks, then help get their ereader set up with a larger print setting and play with the lighting setting to find a contrast that is easier on their eyes. If even large print doesn’t work for them, then try getting them hooked on audiobooks, which are perfect for those with visual impairments of all kinds.
Jigsaw puzzles are one of the best pastimes for older adults. They can be done while sitting down, and they work hand-eye coordination, pattern matching skills and more. Jigsaw puzzles come in many different sizes and levels of difficulty, so you can pick one that your loved one will enjoy. Make sure to choose an artwork or design that your loved one will like so that they will appreciate the finished project as well.
Brain Puzzle Books
Jigsaws aren’t the only kinds of puzzles that older adults enjoy. Many like to complete crosswords, sudoku puzzles and other types of brain games. Not only does this help pass the time, it also helps keep their brains sharp. Encourage this hobby by giving them puzzle books filled with their favorite activities. Look for large print books that will be easier for them to fill out, and try to pick one that has a theme they will enjoy, such as birdwatching or trains.
Eyeglasses are essential for seniors, but they are unfortunately extremely easy to misplace (and very hard to find once they go missing!). Make things easier on your elderly loved one by giving them an eyeglasses holder for their nightstand, side table or desk. You can choose from many different designs to suit their tastes, from the fun to the elegant to the utilitarian. If you’re feeling generous, consider getting them several, one for each room of the house.
Many elderly loved ones enjoy a hot cup of tea, but operating a stove can be difficult as you age. Make things easier on them by gifting them an electric kettle with an automatic on/off switch. That way, you never have to worry about them accidentally leaving the stove on or burning themselves, and they can have a hot beverage whenever they want at the push of a button.
Automatic Can Opener
Opening cans requires grip strength, precision and agility, all of which people with arthritis struggle with. This makes food prep, even simple tasks like opening a can of soup, really difficult. While an automatic can opener might not be the sexiest gift, it is sure to be appreciated by your loved one. You can also get them an automatic jar opener, too, if you really want to go the extra mile.
Eating utensils, with their small, slippery handles, present another problem for older adults with arthritis. Large rubber grips can be fixed to the end to make utensils easier to handle, making it possible for them to feed themselves again. These utensil grips also work for other tools such as makeup brushes, so it’s a good idea to keep some spares around the house.
Ergonomic Door Handles
The traditional round door knob is hard to operate even when you don’t have arthritis, and it’s almost impossible when you do. Switching out the door handles to a lever style can make it possible for older adults to age in place. If this isn’t possible – for instance, they rent the unit and can’t switch out the hardware — then look for ergonomic door handle covers that can be slipped over the existing door knobs. Small changes like this can really make a big difference in their daily life.
Another practical gift for the elderly is a shower seat. Due to the slick wet floor, many seniors have trouble standing securely in the shower. A shower seat can help keep them safe and promote good hygiene by giving them somewhere to sit while they bathe. Look for a mildew-resistant model that will be easy to clean and won’t hold water in crevices. Make sure to also pair it with a slip resistant bathtub mat to help prevent falls.
Heated Blanket or Mattress Pad
Lots of elderly people struggle to keep their body temperature up as they age, which can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, especially in the winter months. An electric heater blanket or mattress pad will help keep their bed warm enough so that they can fall asleep. When shopping for these, look for models that will automatically shut themselves off after a period of time so that you don’t have to worry about them accidentally staying on all night.
Memory Foam Seat Cushion
Everyone can use a little extra cush for their tush in the form of a memory foam seat cushion. These cushions mold to the shape of your body, providing excellent support and comfort, even if you sit for many hours a day. They can also make it easier for seniors to get out of chairs, as the cushion keeps you from sinking so low into the seat.
Meal Delivery Service
Many seniors struggle with the meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking process, especially if their mental or physical abilities aren’t what they used to be. Make feeding themselves less of a burden by gifting them a meal delivery service that brings fresh-cooked meals straight to them. If you live nearby, you can also coordinate a DIY meal train of friends and family.
Home Cleaning Certificate
Housekeeping tasks are another thing that seniors often find it hard to keep up with, so consider giving them a certificate for a housecleaning service. This can be a one-off gift, or a recurring one that you make ongoing. Even if your loved one is still able to keep up with some housekeeping tasks, taking it off their plate — even on occasion — will go a long way towards easing their stress.
For seniors who love to travel, giving them a guided trip is a great way to support their adventures and take care of the hassle of planning. This can be kind of an expensive gift, so you might want to ask other family members to chip in as well to spread the cost around. If your elderly loved one has a bucket list location they’ve always wanted to visit, then you can help make that happen by covering some or all of the expenses.
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the elderly, be sure to browse Silverts’ wide selection of adaptive clothing and footwear. All U.S. orders over $20 ship free, making it easy to buy the things that you or your loved one needs. Start browsing today to find the ideal senior gift!
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