7 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Seniors you Care For

7 Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Seniors In Your Life

What do you buy for someone who seems to need and want nothing?

While often a subject reserved for the holidays, gift buying for birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones for seniors who have all they need, and have a simple life with little wants, can be challenging.

If you are stuck with time winding down, we hope you find inspiration from these gift ideas from our in-home caregivers and our care management team (and… a suggestion or two from the latest in senior shopping trends)!

#1. Memory Journals

You may have known your parent or grandparent for decades… but how much of their early life, and inner heart, do you really know?

These journals contain memory jogging questions for your loved one to journal in, which then can become conversation starters to help adult children and grandchildren better understand the experiences, values, and perspectives of those they love. These serve as great bridges between generations and help today’s youth connect and capture the lives of those who shaped the world we live in today.

#2. Treats for Better Sleep

Whether your loved one sleeps more or less as they age, savoring the sleep you do get is delightful. Sleep machines that provide calming background noise can help prevent sleep disruptions from outside sounds in a noisy neighborhood.

Many of these machines (like the Echotones Sleep Therapy Machine) also “listen” to the environment and adjust their noise accordingly. For example, if the neighbor’s dog begins to bark each morning their owner goes to work at 7:00 am, or the garbage truck beeps at the crack of dawn, the machine increases the volume of its white noise, to ensure a sounder sleep. Find it online!

#3. Healthy and Hearty Meals

As cooking gets simpler for many seniors, the opportunity to have a dinner favorite in the freezer to enjoy for days to come is a simple and homey way to reach the heart, through the stomach!  A large casserole, for example, can be frozen and stored until your parents want to enjoy it at a later time (after the holiday food leftovers are finished, of course).

For adults who still enjoy creating in the kitchen, pre-arranged recipe services such as Blue Apron, Mom’s Meals, Real Eats, Plated, Home Chef, PeachDish (and the list goes on) can help provide healthy and innovative ideas. Plus, you get the added benefit of reducing your loved ones’ viral exposure at the grocery store during the winter season.

#4. Video Telecommunication Tools

For several years, families have had their choice of video calling options for seniors. While the swipe-interface of phones and iPads has been easy enough for many seniors to use, simplified versions such as the Grandpad are available. Even the Amazon Echo Show, while not specifically marketed to seniors, operates with a simple interface that allows families and loved ones to connect visually instead of verbally. So long as the connection is strong, the visual component can also help those hard at hearing read lips to ensure less communication is lost.

Lastly, there are many great new phones that help turn phone conversations into visual messages. Caption Call and  California Phones both offer great landline, and Caption Call even offers a mobile app, to help those with hearing loss gain more out of conversations.

#5. Medication Organizers

Many of us are familiar with the simple Sunday-Saturday pillbox. Today, technology has provided many new versions that offer:

  • Verbal reminders for medication administration times
  • Some keep medication “locked up” and dispense it only when a button is tapped… and some only dispense upon facial recognition! Hero Health and Prima are great names to look out for as leaders in this space.

#6. Tools for Safety and Independence

While it may not appear glamorous, one great Christmas gift for seniors could be one of many tools for adding safety to their mobility.

While many think of bathtub and shower grab bars as permanently installed fixtures, these days there are many other removable options. Try searching for “removable safety rail” to see options that clamp onto shower-tubs. Or, the Stander Security Pole is an option that can support significant weight for transfers to a shower chair, or in and out of bed.

#7. Ask your Caregiver

Did you ever think you could ask a caregiver? Our in-home caregivers in Whittier and Orange County know people like your parents or grandparents like the back of their hand. Sometimes, we get so focused on what not to get, that our tunnel vision keeps us from seeing ideas that others may notice.

If you have a caregiver, can they recall any feedback our loved one made about a particular commercial on TV? Or perhaps they can review their memory for the “if I only had ______” comments your grandfather has been sharing. We often find the best ideas together- go ahead and ask- you may be surprised by what you learn!

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