Please enjoy this updated list that I hope can help you give thoughtfully and generously.
For the senior who enjoys walking:
Fitbits, Jawbone and other devices to help seniors live a quantified life, share it, and remain motivated. Says a GeriPal: “Family members can set things up on the computer so friends and family can stay connected and challenge each other to walk do many steps.” (Rebecca Sudore)
For the senior who loves to read, but maybe can’t as much these days because of low vision or other impairments:
- A subscription to audible books.
- A connection to programs at the library, where many have programs for people with vision impairment and audible books.
- Download old radio programs they may enjoy and put them on CD for them to play.
- Boxed sets of TV comedy shows or other genres from earlier decades, such as I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners. Search shows by genre and decade at www.tv.com and then buy disc sets on Amazon.
For the senior who loves photos:
Says a Geripal: “These days it's super easy to upload pictures on a sight like Shutterfly (which often has coupons for 20% off), and you can create a hard or soft cover book of photos, and even mail it directly to people if they live far away. You can add captions and fancy designs, or there are templates which will "autofill" the pictures for you.” (Meera Sheffrin)
For the senior who loves selfies:
This stick is really for anyone at any age, but it and similar competitors turn selfies into much better photos. I’m thinking of those seniors who are posting to Facebook, or travelling to the Great Wall of China or Greece next year and need great photos with this selfie stick!
For the senior who would appreciate more visitors or activity:
There is no time like the holidays to arrange more social interaction for the post-holiday season. Connecting people to people and getting them to be more active is practically a magic pill for health and wellbeing, so it’s a great gift for the holidays.
Way to connect people socially (you’ll have to check on specifics in your area):
- Help set them up with a phone call service, like the Friendship Line.
- Help them connect to a little brother service, of which many do holiday home visits.
- Investigate the local senior services in the area, find one near your giftee, and go with him or her to the senior center over the holidays to check it out and connect them.
Ways to get them to be more active:
- Make a gift certificate for activities to do together that they can cash in with you. (Louise Aronson)
- Find classes tailored to seniors: dance classes, music lessions, art classes. (Louise Aronson)
- A visiting dog.
For safety at home:
This call button device is actually a push-button activated device without the enrollment fee to a service, and per a GeriPal “a great option for non-English speakers since you can program it to call anyone - even a relative first”. (Dandan Liu)
For those seniors who don’t like to shop or don’t like to cook:
All over amazing meal delivery services are popping up. Find one that delivers to his or her home and get a fantastic gift certificate. These are SF based:
For those who like to cook but hate to shop, there are those services that send you all the right ingredients and instructions and you just do the prep and eating. These deliver anywhere in the US.
For seniors with good style, less than perfect veins:
Compression hosiery, which helps with leg swelling, made an appearance on the Paris runways this year. It is a good gift for people who get uncomfortable swelling and fits in with the stocking theme of the holidays.
For those seniors who you don’t know, but could really use your help:
Sadly, an organization in LA, ProjectCARES, lost their donated gifts for seniors to a fire. Their work reminds me that in all our communities there are organizations who work with seniors in need and could use your donation. Look for a local organization that takes gift donations.
For the senior who has everything:
Give a donation in their behalf! Find a great organization that supports seniors in your area or abroad. A few suggestions:
- a legal support agency for seniors
- Stephen Lewis’ Grandmothers’ Campaign
- local food program that does senior meal programs year round
Hope these are helpful-- please give us feedback!
by: Anna Chodos (@annachodos)