Holiday gift ideas for seniors
By John Baldwin, FLTN Columnist- Mom and Dad are knocking out their bucket list — wine country trip, tandem skydiving, harbor dinner cruise — you can’t keep up with them. Grandma loves to cook, but standing in the kitchen causes knee pain. Grandpa must watch his TV programs, but he cranks the volume too high. Uncle Galen enjoys golf and gardening, but his hands lose their grip. Aunt Marianne relishes sitting down to chat over gourmet coffee and chocolates. For active and less active adults like these, how can you find them just-right gifts for the holidays?
The types and price ranges of holiday gifts for seniors expand every year and you can feel overwhelmed with choices. In our work with the elderly and their families, I recommend that gifts mean something significant to the senior loved one and involve time spent together. Older adults don’t just want a handsomely wrapped gift. They want to enjoy memorable experiences with you.
Right At Home, Perrysburg In Home Senior Care suggests the following variety of holiday gifts for seniors, depending on budget and the loved one’s activity level and personal interests:
- Personal Gifts – Bionic StableGrip™ gloves for golf, gardening, fitness, driving and everyday tasks were developed by an orthopedic surgeon for a smooth, ergonomic grip and less hand pain (under $50).
- For Him – Magnetic money clip, passport wallet, novelty neckties, National Football League (NFL) cuff links, Major League Baseball (MLB) team tie bar, carrier fleece blanket, personalized grilling apron, vintage golf club covers (under $50).
- For Her – Massaging slippers, spa gift set, makeup travel toolkit, gardening tote with tools, skin beauty moisturizing set, full-service picnic basket, smart pedometer, acupressure mat (under $50).
- Kitchen and Food – Pasta pot for two, “Wine of the Month” clubs, portable wine and cheese cooler, beer-tasting set, no-melt ice cubes, seasonings and finishing salts, gourmet olive oils, specialty foods gift basket, coffee bean and tea leaf sets, premium steaks ($20 – $100). GelPro® floor mats offer soft shock-absorbing gel core therapeutic comfort for anyone suffering from foot, back, hip or knee pain, or osteoporosis, arthritis or plantar fasciitis. Ideal for standing at the kitchen sink or garage workbench ($50 – $120).
- Technology – The Crosley Cruiser portable turntable celebrates the sounds of vinyl records in a briefcase-styled record player that’s light enough to carry anywhere. About the size of a cellphone, the Bellman & Symfon® personal amplifier filters out background noise to give the gift of better hearing ($80 – $150).
- Travel – Food and wine tours, brewery tours, American history tours, art and history museums, national parks, urban exploring on a guided Segway (free – full travel expenses).
- Experiential Action and Adventure Gifts – Hot air ballooning, white-water rafting, surf lessons, stock car passenger or driver, boat dinner cruise, scenic helicopter tour, tandem skydiving, flying lessons, mountain biking, rock climbing, hang gliding, big game hunting, fly-fishing, snorkeling ($100 – $1,000).
- Time – One of the most meaningful gifts any time of year is to carve out regular visits and outings with your seniors. Plan weekend handyman projects or go out for dinner and a movie. Check in regularly with phone calls and social media, but best of all, sit down together to talk, laugh and reminisce (priceless).
Gifts.com is one of most comprehensive online stores that searches all over the Web for the best gift ideas for senior men and women and even matches products to personality types (e.g., super grandma, health and fitness nut, intellectual). If you are unable to travel for the holidays to be with your older loved ones, elder care providers like Right at Home offer companion care and transportation for holiday shopping and excursions. Home caregivers also can help your seniors buy the ingredients and make great-grandma’s traditional fruitcake. Or, skip the fruitcake and go for the chocolate-drizzled pretzel sticks.