By the time most people reach their golden years, they've started paring down on the extra little knickknacks that clutter up a room. Whether the senior is downsizing, moving into a retirement community or living in an assisted living facility, space is a big consideration. Novelty knickknacks and useless tabletop decorations tend to become mere dust collectors. While the thought behind your gift may be appreciated, the trinkets may be less than welcome. Finding just the right holiday present for your still young and active grandmother can be a challenge.
Gifts that can make everyday living a little bit easier are often appreciated during the senior years. Practical gifts for the elderly homemaker can be an appliance that will help with safer cooking, easier housekeeping or aid with comfortable relaxation. Induction cooktops can prevent burns while cooking, an electric can opener can make opening up a can of soup more manageable, a massage pad that fits a favorite chair helps to relax and a sleep sound machine can lead to a more restful night of sleep. Other practical gifts for an elderly homeowner can include a weekly housecleaning service, a lawn service or a prepared meal delivery service. Give a gift card to the local supermarket, and then pick the person up and drive there.
Depending on your gift recipient's physical abilities, you can buy e-readers with print that can be enlarged, grabber tools to extend the reach, personal emergency call buttons and talking watches or large-faced alarm clocks, which will all help with the needed feeling of independence. Because seniors often have a difficult time adjusting to cooler temperatures shawls, robes, fleece-lined slippers (with non-slip soles), plush blankets and throws can make wonderful personal presents. More great gifts include adult coloring books and colored pencils, a gift basket of favorite bathing supplies, large playing cards for a weekly game of canasta, personal reading lamp, large-print books by a favorite author or supplies for a favorite crafting hobby.
Low-impact exercise equipment and medical management systems are not only thoughtful gifts but will also help to keep your loved one healthy and active. Visiting and installing various safety items such as tub grab bars and bathroom rails are both thoughtful and extremely practical.
If your favorite older person lives in an assisted living facility, check out what services it may offer and buy gift certificates for hairstyling, barber shop cuts, manicures or massages. Stationery supplies and postage, electronic digital photo frames, custom photo albums or scrapbooks, guest sign-in books and wall or desk calendars are also terrific gifts for the resident at an assisted living facility. A gift basket filled with coloring books and crayons, puzzles and CDs or tapes to entertain young visitors would also be lovely.
Technology might seem to be beyond a senior's experience or ability, but the gift of a simple large button cellphone and service so that Grandma or Grandpa can chat with loved ones will certainly bring a smile to her or his face. There are also several laptop computers with accessibility options such as large icons and even text-to-speech features to enable email and video chats with long distance family members. Don't discount the advantage of social media sites to help diminish the loneliness of a shut-in. The hearing-impaired senior will enjoy using telephones with real-time voice captioning built in. Wireless headphones with volume control that sync to the television set can enhance viewing pleasure.
While many elderly people have collected items through the years, the one thing they will never have too much of is time with loved ones. Buy a gift card for use at the local mall, a favorite restaurant or even movie tickets -- and then show up to take them there yourself and spend a fun afternoon together. Even without the cost of a material gift or gift card, showing up and spending time is possibly one of the most valuable gifts you could ever give. Bring your loved one home for a family gathering if possible and you will simply make his or her day.