Gift Ideas for the Holidays for Seniors

By Debra Sorensen, Laurel Felsenfeld, Mark Felsenfeld,  and Kay Paggi,

Choosing a gift can be difficult, especially for persons with dementia or other disabilities. Below is a list of ideas:

Gifts to Improve Memory and Cognitive Function

  • Crossword Puzzle Books (word search, Sudoku)•
  • Hand-held video games such as Solitaire, Bingo (also helps with dexterity)
  • Board games – take time to play , i.e. Tri-ominoes, Tangos, jigsaw puzzles with large pieces, or board games such as Life Stories or Reminisce.
  • Books on Tape or MP3 players (books can be downloaded from the local library for little to no financial outlay) old radio show cassettes that can be played on an inexpensive tape player (Find these at Cracker Barrel)
  • Reminiscence Magazine:

Gifts for Safety

  • Medication compartment boxes, boxes with reminder alarms, alarm watches.
  • Driver’s Safety Classes
  • Installing door alarms for wanderers.
  • Emergency Response Systems
  • Motion activated lights for path to bathroom
  • An electric tea kettle with automatic shut-off
  • Jitterbug cell phone

Gifts from the Heart Gifts of Time (that cost little or no money)

  • Scrapbook
  • Creating a family memory video
  • Writing a memoir/personal history
  • Weeding their garden
  • Planting their flowers
  • Membership to local science center, zoo, museum (and you taking them!)
  • Trips to the local library
  • Enrolling the person in the Library of Congress’ Recorded Books Program for those with impaired vision or fine-motor coordination/strength
  • Personalized Calendars with family photos and birthdates, other special anniversaries
  • Jar with decorated lid (or box) filled with pieces of paper, each with a memory involving the elder and you.
  • An IOU for a year’s worth of lawn care or 52 car washes from a teenager might be appreciated.
  • Personalized gifts, such as a deck of cards or jigsaw puzzles using their photo or a favorite grandchild or pet
  • Large poster of them with a grandchild for their walls•
  • Bird feeder (plus the IOU to keep it filled) would add some interest to their window, and include a book on bird watching or a book or pictures of birds
  • Storage boxes in bright colors, personalized everything!, clothes, door decorations

Gifts for the active Senior who has everything

  • Frozen steaks, salmon, gourmet dinners
  • Gourmet tea and coffee
  • Gift certificate for restaurants
  • Fruit of the month
  • Nuts
  • Fresh kitchen spices (these are expensive on a budget)
  • Tin of popcorn, microwave popcorn packets, a microwave popcorn popper that actually works
  • Tickets to the movies, theater, zoo, or museum
  • Trips to Stores or shopping malls•
  • Favorite hair salon
  • Massage, manicure, facial, salon/spa “day of indulgence”
  • Housecleaning
  • Subscription to magazines related to their interests
  • Plants or cut flowers

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Filed under adult children of aging parents, Alzheimer's Disease, assessments, care giving, care planning, clinical trial studies, dementia, elder care raleigh nc, Geriatric Care Management, long term care planning, NC, Nursing Homes, nursing homes and assisted living, Raleigh, senior care, Seniors and driving, sibling relationships, support groups, travel with seniors, Uncategorized

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