It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but it can be the most stressful time of the year, too. Though you’d like to give meaningful holiday gifts, shopping for a loved one in senior living may present a challenge. Where can you find memorable gifts that show you really care?
Take a look at our roundup of senior living resident-appropriate gift ideas, and get inspired.
When I was 12 years old, my grandmother gave me a keepsake album in which she had written her favorite memories, family traditions, and many other personal stories. There are quite a few black-and-white photographs tucked into the pages, too. Buying your loved one a memory journal gives her a place to pass down her stories so they will never be forgotten. Another way to accomplish this is to record your loved one’s stories as she speaks. However the memories are shared, they will be preserved and treasured for generations. $13.32, Amazon.com
Designer Bag for Mobility Devices
While there’s no shortage of carryall bags for mobility devices, most are plain and simple—functional, but not necessarily fashionable. Enter HDS Medallion, a company dedicated to making designer bags for the stylish senior in your life. The company offers a wide selection of American-made bags for both women and men, which can be used on walkers, wheelchairs, power chairs, scooters, or even carried by hand. Who says seniors can’t maintain their sense of style? $49.95-$89.95, HDSMedallion.com
Digital Photo Frame
If your loved one lacks the space to display a multitude of picture frames in senior living, a digital frame loaded with thousands of pictures provides the perfect solution. Plus, when you get a frame with Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control the frame remotely so your loved one doesn’t have to do a thing. Just email pictures directly to the frame, and she can enjoy the latest family photos. $157.84, Amazon.com
Monthly Care Packages
College students aren’t the only ones who enjoy care packages. GrandBox, a subscription gift box designed especially for seniors 65 and older, is filled with unique gifts and goodies to delight your loved one in every season. Each GrandBox arrives mid-month, filled with at least five items reflecting a theme such as Christmas, Mother’s Day, movie night, etc. You can also personalize each box with a note and up to five family photos. $33/month, $94.50/three months, $180/six months, $360/year, MyGrandBox.com
There’s nothing like the power of a song to transport you back to another time and place. This holiday season, make your loved one smile with a gift of music from the year she was born, the year she got married, or any other special year between 1929 and 1970. Each CD includes 20 of the top songs from that particular year, providing a fun way to reminisce about days gone by. $19.95, SeniorStore.com
A Tablet for the Whole Family
Technology can be trying for those who didn’t grow up in the digital age, but grandPad keeps it simple, providing only essential apps and services at the touch of a button. And with the free companion app and Web portal, you can connect to a private network to upload photos and remotely adjust the settings for your loved one. Family connection is just a click away. $66/month (monthly plan), $49/month (annual plan), GrandPad.net
For the practical senior in your life, you can’t go wrong with a gift of non-slip socks. Not only do these socks keep feet warm and cozy, but their skid- and slip-resistant treads also help prevent falls. They’re safe for lounging, walking, wheelchair transfer, and sleeping—perfect in any senior living environment. $22.30/pack of six, Silverts.com
Talking Photo Album
Looking through photo albums together is a wonderful way to spend time with a loved one in senior living. To add an extra-special touch this holiday season, consider giving her an album that features photos as well as the voices of her children and grandchildren. This unique gift can be particularly meaningful when your loved one is living with memory loss. $33.98, Amazon.com
Has your loved one ever told you she has a hard time hearing the TV, or that she gets volume complaints from her spouse or neighbors in senior living? TV headphones are an ideal solution, allowing your loved one to hear the TV at a comfortable volume and not disturb anyone around her. Plus, the headphones are wireless, lightweight, and hearing aid compatible. $45.99, ActiveForever.com
Instead of purchasing one present this holiday season, why not buy your loved one a gift that keeps giving all year long? A subscription to her favorite magazine can make her feel loved, remembered, and right at home. If you don’t already have a magazine in mind, try a subscription to Good Old Days or Reminisce. Each of these magazines features reader-contributed stories and photos from 1930 through 1960, offering a wonderful walk down memory lane. $16/one-year subscription (six issues), GoodOldDaysMagazine.com; $7/one-year subscription (six issues), Reminisce.com
CHIME IN: What are your best gift ideas for senior living residents?