Gift ideas for Downsized Seniors (Courtesy of Harpeth’s “The Meadows” Website)
A warm fuzzy throw. You can’t have too many throws that keep you warm when you are watching television or reading a book. And they make a nice lighter blanket for a single bed. Throws can even be customized with photos or favorite sports teams.
Food. What about a special fruit basket or fruit-of-the-month club? Or maybe a special batch of their favorite cookie, fudge or cake that they no longer make. They might like a special candy. Hard candies are nice for those taking medicine that creates a dry mouth. Local produce delivered to their home might be welcome as well. It’s a thoughtful treat they might not think about for themselves.
Clothes. Sometimes shopping trips become less frequent and a senior might need a new sweater or jacket. Front opening blouses or shirts are easier for many to put on. Jogging suits are also popular with both men and women. They might appreciate sleepwear, robes, slippers or underwear.
Batteries. It is always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand. Many need batteries for hearing aids, watches and maybe a favorite electronic device.
Movies. Classic movies like Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and A Wonderful Life would be fun to watch as a family and provide future entertainment for your family member. Other popular movies include “The Bucket List”, “Lincoln” or movies they can watch with their grandchildren like “Up”, “The Princess Bride” or “The Polar Express”.
Kindle or Tablet. Think about loading a Kindle or iPad with books, movies, family photos and magazines they would like. Then spend an afternoon showing them how to use it, send emails to their grandkids and even surf the internet.
Easy to use Mobile Phones. Many smartphones of today offer large buttons, photo speed dial, visual rings and more. There are also landline phones that can be adjusted for volume.
Lift Chairs. For those who have trouble with their knees or experience weakness, a recliner built with an easy-to-use lift might be just what the doctor ordered.
A Magnifier and Family Photo Album. A family album already filled with pictures that bring back special memories of friends and families is always valued. Why not add a lighted magnifier to assist in viewing those great photos?
Lap Desk. A bean bag lap desk, some note cards and stamps would make a great gift. A portable lap desk can be used for crafts, eating and reading.
Grocery store and restaurant gift certificates. Being able to manage grocery expenses or splurge on a lunch or dinner with friends helps ensure good nutrition.
Coupons for Rides. If your family member has stopped driving, provide a book of coupons for excursions they can share with family members.
Donations to a favorite cause or charity of your relative or friend. A friend of mine asked her family to provide a piano for their church. She can attend weekly and enjoy her “present”.
Walking shoes. Athletic or comfort shoes that encourage walking or exercise can provide healthy benefits. A handsome walking cane might be appreciated as well. The folding canes are especially handy.
Manicure, massage or spa treatment. A day of pampering might fit the bill. Whether it is massage, a manicure/pedicure or a welcome haircut, these personal treats boost well-being.
Movie, concert or play tickets. Retirees on a budget might not spend on these type of outings so tickets would be welcome. And also, maybe your accompaniment.
Classes or lessons. Maybe your family member always wanted to learn how to use a computer, play a card game or tackle a new craft. A class at a senior center or community center might encourage social interaction and new skills.
Wreath for their front door. While holiday decorating might not be as important, a fresh new wreath for their door is a welcoming touch for their home.
A Handyman Day. Putting in new light bulbs, fixing a squeaky door or repairing an appliance might be more meaningful than any other gift. Put a bow on your head.
Easy to use tools and pens. For those with arthritis or grip problems, there are many padded grip tools like the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and soft pens.