The holiday season is one of the most joyful and festive times of the year, with family and friends gathering to celebrate, exchanging gifts, and enjoying meals together. However, many people struggle with figuring out what type of holiday gift to get, and shopping for seniors can be especially challenging, depending on their circumstances.
Whether they reside in an assisted living community or have simply accumulated a lifetime of possessions and keepsakes and are less interested in material gifts, finding the perfect gift for seniors can take some effort. When trying to find a gift for an older relative, friend or neighbor, consider investing in experiences and activities that they will be likely to enjoy.
Prefer to get something that you can wrap? Customized gifts with personal significance are also a thoughtful way to give seniors a meaningful gift they can enjoy throughout the year. On the other side of the coin, practical gifts that can help make their everyday life easier and more convenient are also a great idea for seniors who may not need another scarf or sweater!
The health benefits of dancing are numerous, especially for seniors. From helping curb loneliness, anxiety and depression to healthy physical activity and exercise, dance lessons are a great way to add a little fun and variety to their routine. Ballroom dancing is among the most popular, but get creative and sign your favorite seniors up for an activity that is appropriate for their health and physical ability that’s also be enjoyable, whether it is Argentine Tango or Zumba!
Many people think technology and seniors are mutually exclusive, but, in fact, the opposite is true. From the available apps that can help them engage with their favorite hobbies or monitor their health to communication tools such as Skype and email, an iPad or tablet is a thoughtful and practical gift that can help older adults stay connected with others and explore long-standing or new interests and hobbies.
Have they always wanted to learn French or the fine art of cake decorating? Setting the device up with a language learning app or a subscription to learning platforms such as Craftsy or Creative Live can open up a whole new world for people of all ages and activity levels.
Plan a Family Reunion
Whether they live in a different city or in an assisted living community, many seniors are separated from other family members, which can be especially difficult during the holiday season. If they are able to travel, planning a reunion with family and old friends can really make the holiday season special. If traveling is not an option, consider organizing something where they live.
Meal Delivery Service
There are a number of online delivery services providing pre-made or ready-to-cook meals with recipes and all the necessary ingredients, eliminating the need for grocery shopping and multiple trips to the supermarket, especially for homebound seniors. If they enjoy cooking or are interested in learning, this is a gift they can enjoy throughout the year.
Digitize Old Family Pictures and Letters
The world may have gone completely digital in the last decade, but, for many older adults, most of their most cherished and beloved memories still exist in analog. Compiling a digital album of their youth and family memories can bring joy to any senior, especially in cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
A Year of Books or Magazines
Although many seniors may have enough free time to read their favorite books and novels, getting books and magazines on a consistent basis can be challenging, especially for homebound seniors. Think fruit of the month club, but with books and magazines. Send them one of their old favorites once a month, or mix it up with new genres they might enjoy.
Personalized Gift Basket
Gift baskets are a classic holiday and special occasion gift because they provide the perfect opportunity to combine practical and ornamental gifts. A basket can be made up of anything from food to personal care products or materials for a specific hobby.
Custom Bucket List Coupons
Having something to look forward to is a great way to help seniors feel engaged and active in their families and communities. Designing personalized coupons that they can “cash in” throughout the year for anything from a movie date to a spa appointment or night of salsa dancing can help create new memories for the entire family.
Adult Coloring Books and Art Supplies
Adult coloring books are all the rage. Not only are they a fun and creative throwback to childhood, they’ve also been shown to have a number of positive health effects on everything from memory problems to emotional issues and PTSD.
They may seem impersonal, but gift cards are a practical and thoughtful gift that encourages recipients to treat themselves to something they may not have otherwise purchased. Did your senior do all her holiday shopping at Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s when she was younger? A gift card from her favorite department store can bring back fond memories of her youth. Does he collect coins? A gift card from the U.S. Mint can help him find coins he doesn’t have yet.
For more information about assisted living, rehab and skilled nursing, memory care and other resources for seniors and their families, contact SALMON Health and Retirement to learn more.