It doesn’t seem possible but, ready or not, Christmas will be here faster than we know it. In an effort to make life just a little easier I’ve created a list of gift items for older adults. I often hear this crowd say, “I have everything I need. Don’t get me anything.” But that’s just plain not fun.
• Flashlight or lantern and batteries for unexpected power outages and to keep next to the bed.
• Crossword, seek-and-find or other challenging games to keep minds sharp.
• Stamps and stationary/cards to send for birthdays, holidays and other occasions.
• Bird feeder and feed to be placed outside the window for endless viewing pleasure.
• Talking watch for those with failing eyesight. They can be purchased inexpensively on Amazon.com.
• Pedometer so that they can track their exercise efforts and hopefully improve stamina.
• Large, dry-erase wall calendar so that they can keep track of appointments, holidays, day of the week and daily activities.
• Set of new sheets. Who doesn’t love that?
• If they use a walker, how about walker accessories such as a basket or organizer, maybe even a horn to announce their presence?
• Specialized pen for arthritic hands (available at Amazon.com).
• Gift certificate to the beauty/barber shop of their choice so they can keep looking fantastic.
• Chair massager. These are available in many different types from heated massage chairs to a pad that goes over the back of a recliner to a chair that helps them sit up in bed and massages at the same time.
• Wii system for interactive gaming with friends, family, grandkids. This can be a fun way of getting some exercise and participate in some of the activities that they probably enjoyed in their younger years such as bowling, basketball and baseball.
• DVDs of older television programs: “Lawrence Welk,” “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” and Groucho Marx are good ones.
• Decorate a wall in their room or apartment with recent pictures and perhaps a vinyl wall appliqué.
• Other techie toys like a Nook or Kindle, iPod, or laptop computer. You might also include some simple lessons on how to use the device.
This is just a start, but hopefully it helps with your holiday chores. All in all, personal visits, phone calls and quality time with a loved one are irreplaceable and invaluable to both you and your loved one. The holidays can be a long and trying time for many elderly, so don’t forget that your presence is one of the best presents they can get.
Information provided by Kristen Sheston, assistant manager, The Continental at St. Joseph’s, 19999 Old Highway 5, Centerville, 641-437-1999.