gifts for aging parents

When you want to show you care at the holidays, a kind word and some time spent together may be the best gift, especially for older loved ones. However, you might still wish to get a nice gift for your aging parent or other elder loved one. Perhaps Grandma is living in assisted living or a nursing home now, but you’d like to get her something nice and useful. Or, every year you find the gifts you give your elder father in his yard sale pile by January and you really want to come up with something he will enjoy and use.

You might want to start with a visit to our Aging Wisely senior gift ideas page for a list of ideas and links. We have also listed some of the categories to consider when thinking about what an elderly, homebound senior or elder living in assisted living could use as well as ways you can help seniors at the holidays.

For several years our EasyLiving and Aging Wisely staff has participated in a project called Elves for Elders in Pinellas County. This project connects gift givers (elves) with less fortunate seniors who might otherwise be forgotten during the holidays (elders). The Better Living for Seniors consortium and the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco Pinellas, Inc. work with local businesses and individuals to make this project happen each holiday season. Last year our EasyLiving/Aging Wisely teams facilitated gifts for over 50 seniors. This year, we are serving as a north Pinellas County drop off location.  If you live or work in Pinellas County and would like to participate in Elves for Elders now or in the future, you can contact our Senior Care Coordinator, Sue Talbott, for contact information and details.

Here are some new ideas for older loved ones and friends, for those last-minute holiday gifts (that will also come in handy anytime!)…

1. Something techy but practical: A Tablet

Tablets such as the ipad and Kindle Fire have great potential for seniors, with touch screen/simplified user interfaces and options for enlarging print. When you think about the types of things your loved one enjoys (reading, games, hobbies), you can quickly identify ways these technologies could enhance the person’s life. Make sure to plan time to help your loved one get comfortable with the technology. For some elders, it may be the first time using such a device and you may need to start with the basics. For others who already love technology, this could be a great upgrade for them.

2. New age memories: A Digital Photo Ornament

In the past we have mentioned the digital picture frame, which is a great way to share family photos. Now, you can go with a holiday-themed picture option and set up a digital photo ornament. There are various options available on Amazon, such as the Digital Snowflake Ornament or google “digital photo ornament” for several options.

3. Something cozy: Luxurious Towel Warmer

What could be better than a warm towel after a bath? For the homebound senior, this could be a great luxury and add a special touch if Mom or Dad now needs help with a bath or has come to dread bath time because of the effort it takes. For elders in a nursing home, a cuddly throw, “snuggy”, foot massager/heater are other ideas that may work better in that setting. In addition to the Brookstone towel warmer listed above, you can find heated towel racks of all types which can be installed in the bathroom. Maybe it’s time for a mini bathroom remodel: add luxuries like a towel warmer while also adding grab bars to make bath-time safer, and perhaps upgrade the towels, get a new shower curtain or repaint…to make bath-time a more pleasant experience.

4. Communing with nature from the inside: Window Bird Feeder

If your loved one enjoys watching birds (or maybe this can be a new hobby), check out this small bird feeder that attaches to a window/clear glass surface for observing (you can find lots of different sizes and options online). Depending on the room location in a senior care facility, this may be a good option for the senior who lives in assisted living or a nursing facility as well.

5. Old classics reimagined: Classic Movies on BluRay/DVD

Here is a list of some classic movies that made their debut on BluRay in 2013 and you can find a wide array of classic movies and TV on Amazon (or via services like Netflix and Apple TV, depending on the technology your loved one uses–or that you introduce them to).

We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a healthy, happy 2014!

EasyLiving is here to help throughout the holidays, with 24/7 eldercare services and caregiver respite. Our Senior Concierge Services offer great holiday options for your elder loved ones…we can plan a special outing or escort your loved one to a family holiday event. We also offer home caregiver services gift certificates, so you can buy your loved one useful services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and senior transportation. Contact us at 727-448-0900 for gift certificates or questions about services.

Give the gift of EasyLiving, the gift that is useful and appreciated!