Looking for the perfect gift?
With Christmas right around the corner, one of your biggest questions might be what to give a loved one living in an assisted living community, retirement community, or care home.
Choosing the right gift for these loved ones can be challenging. Gifts such as flowers, bath and body products or even food could very possibly impact the medical conditions of your loved ones or their neighbours. Also, with limited living space, big bulky gifts take up too much space and can even block them from escaping in case of an emergency or fire.
So, what should one do? Ask a retirement home! We have come up with 7 great gift ideas for seniors who live in an assisted living community.
Digital Picture Frame
With a digital picture frame, you can load tons of photos of memories made old and new! We recommend that you pre-load the images prior to gifting, this way all your loved one has to do is turn it on and enjoy. You can add new images anytime throughout the year, what a great reason to go for a visit.
Getting out and about to do their shopping is not always easy or convenient for residents. Whether it’s mobility issues, scheduling conflicts, or bad weather that prevents them from getting out and about, gift certificates can save the day! With gift certificates your loved ones can shop online in the comfort of their own home and have their items delivered right to their front door. However, if getting out and about is the goal, give a gift certificate to local movie theater or a favourite salon so your loved one can be pampered for the day. If your loved one is still independent, gift certificates to grocery stores and restaurants allows the senior to not only cut expenses grocery shopping, but also allows them an entertaining lunch or evening out for a special dining experience.
Ipod Loaded with Favourite Music
This is a great gift idea for the tech-savvy senior or just one who loves music. Research studies suggests that listening to music can provide emotional and behavioral benefits for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Music can evoke emotions that bring on memories, equally music can bring emotional and physical closeness. Studies have also suggested that musical aptitude and appreciation are two of the last remaining abilities in dementia patients. You might want to consider pairing the Ipod with a pair of headphones or a speaker dock, that way friends can enjoy the music as well.
Cozy Soft Blanket or Throw
Who doesn’t love receiving a soft warm blanket as a gift? You will also be doing your loved one a favour. As they age, seniors grow increasingly susceptible to the cold because of a natural decrease in metabolic rate. This means that senior bodies may be unable to generate enough heat to maintain “normal” body temperatures. Factor in a combination of poor circulation and thinner skin, you might want to gift two blankets! We recommend staying away from blankets that may be too big and bulky to avoid trips and falls.
There are so many advantages to using an e-reader such as being able to store hundreds of books all in one place, the basic task of holding and turning pages becomes easier and more convenient, adjustable brightness and font size are just to name a few. Some models have Text to Speech for those who enjoy being read to or have special needs like poor vision, Arthritis, muscle problems or other medical conditions that limit their abilities to enjoy a good book. In addition they can get monthly or yearly subscriptions for their favourite magazines and newspapers.
Crosswords and Jigsaw Puzzles
For seniors living with the challenges of dementia or memory loss, it can be difficult to find activities that help them feel productive, capable and relaxed. One solution is to immerse themselves in fun activities with just the right amount of puzzling stimulation. Word puzzles are an enjoyable challenge that can get the brain buzzing and give the mind a workout. While crossword puzzles and riddles are more appropriate for those in the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, colourful jigsaw puzzles are versatile and can offer great benefits even into the later stages of the disease.
And the #1 most requested gift from seniors in assisted living facilities is…
If your loved one has a favourite place to visit, such as out to a concert or a movie, library or museum, take them out to enjoy that. Make a plan to take them to their favourite place or out for lunch a couple times throughout the year. That promise can be part of the gift as well. The best gift just might very well be YOURSELF. Giving the gift of your time and pleasant conversation can be the best gift choice of all!