It can be a daunting task to get a holiday gift that properly expresses the love and appreciation for those who have done so much for you. Whether it’s a parent, grandparent, or close friend, finding the perfect gift isn’t easy, especially if the loved one lives in a senior living community or nursing home. From the practical, to a special treat, or new activity, we have spoken to the experts and compiled a list of gifts that we know will bring joy to their holiday season.
Homemade and Personalized
Homemade gifts from grandchildren, nieces, or nephews, are always among the most cherished gifts during the holiday season. A handmade card with a special message is sure to be displayed and shown to friends for months to come. Ornaments, paintings, and pictures will also make wonderful displays in your loved one’s home.
Personalized gifts are another great way to show someone you care. Custom photo books make enjoyable keepsakes of cherished memories. “Our residents love when they get new photos of family and grandchildren. Not only can photo gifts bring joy to your loved ones, but it also makes for lively conversation with other residents as they share their family photos with one another,” said Hunter Sacko, activities director at Elderwood Village at Greece, a senior living community in the greater Rochester, NY area. There are many personalized photo items such as blankets, notebooks, and even puzzles that make for thoughtful gifts.
Practical Gift Ideas
If you are looking for a practical gift for your loved, first consider the things they enjoy doing regularly. “Many of our residents enjoy sending handwritten letters and greeting cards to relatives and friends,” added Sacko. Special or unique stationary and writing accessories can be useful gifts for avid writers.
Blankets are always a well-used, practical gift. A heated blanket is sure to keep your loved ones comfortable this winter. Weighted blankets are especially useful for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s as they help reduce anxiety, promote calm sleep, and reduce stress. If you’re thinking of a heated blanket or other electrical appliances, be sure to check with your loved one’s senior care facility to see if they have specific safety requirements for these types of gifts.
Food and Treats
“Special food and candy are always well received by our residents!” said Sacko. If your loved one has a favorite specialty treat, consider sending them some for the holidays. You can even get them a monthly subscription box for the gift that keeps on giving. There are several to pick from including tea of the month, cookie of the month, and many more!
Gift to Stay Active and Connected
With winter just around the corner, indoor activities keep residents busy and their minds sharp. Adult coloring books, puzzle books, and handheld games are all lovely gifts for the cold weather. For those with family out of town, an iPad can help stay in touch with family over FaceTime, email, and social apps. iPads can also be used to download books, audiobooks, and games for the long winter months.
A virtual assistant such as Alexa Echo, plays music, the latest news, makes video calls, and plays photo slideshows, all just by speaking. You can even upload pictures directly to their device through the app to keep their slideshows up to date. This easy-to-use technology is more approachable to those less comfortable with devices. Again, some senior care facilities have policies regarding the use of certain wireless devices, so be sure to check ahead.
“Above all else, our residents love seeing and spending time with family,” added Sacko. No matter what you decide to get your loved one, setting aside time to deliver the gift and spend quality time with them will be the best gift of all. Happy Holidays!