It can be hard to buy gifts for anyone. But it’s even harder to buy gifts for seniors. It seems they may already have everything, may not want anything, or not really know what they want. Then they end up getting a box of chocolates or a tin of butter cookies. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult. With a bit of thought and research, you can buy a gift that your senior will really love and use. You may even be able to find one that will help them or improve their life in some way. To help you with your goal, we’ve created this guide to the best gifts for seniors.
Gifts that Make Chores Easier
As we age, everyday chores and tasks can get more difficult. This may be due to problems with memory, arthritis in various parts of the body, or general ill health and weakness. Seniors will usually try to battle on through these kinds of issues. They’ll do their best to take care of themselves and their house without help as long as they can.
That’s why a gift that makes this easier for them, especially one they would never buy for themselves, can be a really good idea. Plus, most seniors have enough bath products and smelly creams that they never really use. Get them something they can use every day to really improve their life. Some suggestions are as follows:
- A grab tool. Not something that people usually buy automatically, but these can be really helpful for seniors who have trouble reaching high places and don’t want to risk falling. A grab tool can save them time and trouble and isn’t something they could find for themselves down at the corner store.
- A robotic cleaner. There are a number of these available now and they can be great for seniors who find it difficult to handle a vacuum cleaner. Just make sure they are stored in an out of the way place.
- Helpful kitchen tools. Seniors with arthritis in their hands often experience pain with simple kitchen tasks. Opening a jar, for example, is easier with a jar opener. There are also can openers, and even special pots and pans, that work better with arthritic hands.
Gifts that Make Them Safer
As they age, seniors can become frailer and this can lead to falls or life-threatening injuries. By buying them a gift that will help keep them safe, whether that’s non-slip socks or a standing aid, you will help them feel more secure. You’ll also be left with a warm feeling knowing that you’ve made them feel safer and cared for. Gifts like this can seem overly practical, and they are, but they also show a concern and care for your senior’s feelings and concerns. This is a great gift to get from anyone.
Gifts that Remind Them of their Childhood
This is a gift idea that will bring a smile to your seniors face. If you can, try to find them a snack or treat that they enjoyed as a child. This could be anything from a specific brand of cookies or candy, to old style toffees, to a cake that their mother used to make. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be big. Many gifts in this category can even be homemade at little to no cost. Just showing that you listen to their stories and remember will make them happy. And having a reminder of a happy time in their lives will be a bonus.
Keep Them Warm
Seniors often don’t like to spend money. They’re often perfectly happy wrapping an old blanket around them when it gets cold. But if you do live in a place that gets cold, you can help them with that with some sort of clothing in a material that’s soft, warm and pretty. This can include thick socks, a shawl or bed jacket or even flannel sheets. This is an indulgent gift that they probably want, but would never buy for themselves. It also gives you a chance to look after them even more while still making them happy.
Gifts That Entertain
The last category of gifts on this list is games. Seniors often find themselves bored and isolated as their lives change and their physical capacities diminish. Giving them a game they can play with family, neighbors or friends can encourage socialization and competition. Not to mention that games are amazingly good for the brain, helping to improve memory and cognitive skills. Games can also have a number of positive effects on the body as well, lowering stress and encouraging the release of feel-good hormones. Giving your senior a game may seem childish, but in reality, it’s giving them the excuse to socialize and interact with the world. And that’s always a good thing.
Buying gifts can be a difficult and even stressful event. You may fear getting it wrong, may have no idea what to get at all, and end up getting something generic and forgettable. That’s why this guide offers several suggestions, as well as some more generic ideas to guide you in your gift buying. Using it, you’ll be sure to get something that your senior will love. And have some ideas for the next gift-giving occasion.
What gifts do you recommend for seniors? Have you given a loved one a special gift that they loved? Or, maybe you gave a gift and it wasn’t received as well as you would have hoped. Share your experiences in the comments below. If you found this information helpful, please share with your friends!
Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®
About This Site
Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS Founder / Editor
My name is Scott Grant and I work daily with seniors as a custom wheelchair specialist at a home medical equipment company. I see these people struggle as they lose their independence. I watch their families try to help them but most don't even know where to start. Few are even aware of their options. I'm here to help!
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