It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but sometimes the holidays bring more stress than we bargain for. This includes trying to come up with unique gift ideas for friends and family. It can be especially tricky finding a gift for the senior in your life who has everything.
But not to worry, we have you covered! In this article, we’ll share more than a dozen ideas for gifts that will be a hit with your loved one and have the added benefit of being good for their health.
1. Technology to help with communication and socialization
In previous articles, we’ve talked about how important it is for seniors to have socialization and connection. While you may not get to see your loved one as frequently as you’d like, technology offers a great alternative. The newest devices incorporate the voice technology of the speaker but add in a screen component. The Amazon Show includes all the features you get with Dot (like using “Alexa”), but seniors can also easily make video calls and watch videos and shows using their voice. You can also control your other smart home devices like plugs, lighting, and a doorbell camera.
Another option that’s specifically designed for seniors is ElliQ, an interactive device that includes a screen/tablet and a speaker-like base. Features include:
- Health reminders
- Music streaming
- Curated videos
- Morning motivation
- News, sports, and weather
- Cognitive Games
- Calendar Appointments
- Interesting facts
2. Comfort and calm for better sleep
Getting enough quality sleep can make a big impact on health, especially for seniors. If the senior in your life is struggling with getting enough sleep, consider a gift that can help them with it:
- Weighted blanket– A weighted blanket is a simple, non-drug option that promotes deep sleep, reduces anxiety, calms nerves, and provides comfort. Research shows it may be especially helpful to those with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Sound Machine – Sleep sounds help promote natural relaxation, which can be really helpful for seniors who have anxiety and even those that struggle with dementia or sundowning.
- Aromatherapy – A simple, but effective, non-drug stress management technique called aromatherapy uses the powerful positive effect of scent on the body to help seniors improve health and wellbeing.
3. Classes & materials to pursue their hobbies
Hobbies can be both fun and good for your health. Overall, pursuing anything you enjoy is good for your brain health because hobbies include mental activity. According to Psychology Today, “Compelling research indicates that mental activity is all good for the brain. Some studies have looked at specific activities—such as playing a musical instrument, doing crossword puzzles, or playing games—and have found that people who engage in these hobbies tend to have better memory and executive functioning skills and a reduced risk of dementia.”
Here are a few ways you can “gift” hobbies:
- Help them learn to play a musical instrument (or pick it up again)–this portable piano has the advantage of not taking up much space, and your loved one doesn’t have to move to get to it.
- Purchase classes at the local senior center (or online!)–this can be anything from knitting to painting.
- Gift them an online game membership–Certain platforms like chess.com offer memberships with perks like lessons and unlimited playing time.
4. Family moments & memories
You can’t put a price on nostalgia and memories… but you can gift it! Helping your loved one remember good times and that they are loved is a great stress reducer. And since stress is linked to a variety of health issues, being able to draw on these positive memories is beneficial to their health. Here are a few simple ways this can translate to a gift:
- A night or weekend out–So simple, but so powerful! Spending time with your loved one is often what they want the most. Buy tickets to a show or movie and make a dinner reservation at their favorite restaurant. Or, if you have the time and resources, make it a weekend.
- A digital photo frame–Upload hundreds of family photos for your loved one to enjoy 24/7.
- Customized photo products—Websites like Shutterfly offer ways to put a personal photo on a variety of fun products like pillows, blankets, or even socks.
5. Subscription boxes for healthy habits
Sometimes your loved one actually wants to have healthy habits, but they cannot maintain them because of accessibility. That’s when a subscription box can come in handy.
- Eating healthy–There are many companies offering either ready-to-eat meals or all the ingredients and instructions needed to prepare them. If your loved one has special dietary needs, look for services with heart-healthy or diabetic-friendly options. Try Silver Cuisine Senior Home Meal Delivery.
- Stress relief & relaxation- Self-care boxes are getting more and more popular. Stress can have a negative effect on health, so getting a regular reminder to practice self-care and the means to do it can be a lifesaver. Try the Therabox Self Care Subscription Box.
- Reading- Reading is a great way to keep the mind sharp. Getting books in the mail every month will be the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Try the Peace & Pages Monthly Subscription Box.
- Arts & crafts–As we mentioned earlier in this article, having a hobby is beneficial to your health. And if your loved one likes arts and crafts, there’s a subscription box for that! Try Poppy’s Hobbies Seasonal Craft Kits.
No matter what gift you give the senior in your life, enjoy this special time!