​Senior living: Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

Do you sometimes struggle to get the perfect gift for ​your elderly parent or grandparent?  Inevitably, we get caught up in our day-to-day activities and before we know it, we find ourselves scrambling for a last minute gift for mom or grandpa. Perhaps they are also getting tired of the standard sweater or pair of winter gloves or slippers to add to their existing pile.

Here is a list of some holiday gift ideas for seniors that may be a little more appreciated than most:

Healthy Meals - There's nothing better than a home cooked meal by a relative that can be heated up when a senior is either not in the mood to cook or having difficulty to cook.  You can also offer one of the many home delivery meal services that are available throughout town.

Cleaning Service - Having someone to clean the house is always a welcome gift particularly for seniors with mobility issues.

Home Caregiving Service - Many home caregiving services offer blocks of hours that can be purchased for a senior.  They can help with daily living such as cooking and preparing meals, light housekeeping, laundry, linens and making the bed.  For those that require greater care, services can include assistance with grooming, bathing, dressing, medicine management assistance, bed transfers and much more.

Brain Games - It's always healthy to increase cognitive stimulation.  Puzzles, crosswords, board games and card games are all gifts that will keep the mind sharp.

Audio books – Ideal and convenient particularly for seniors with vision challenges.

Memoirs - Seniors have a treasure cove of memories and they are very often proud to share their past.  Children admire their stories and inevitably learn something new that they will cherish forever.  There are several ways to make this happen including memoir journals, video tributes and photo albums.  One of the fastest growing methods of creating memoirs is through voice recognition software that allows you to talk into a microphone which then converts to text on a computer.  

Tablets, iPads - Seniors are becoming more and more comfortable with technology especially if it means that they will be able to stay in contact more often with family.  Tablets are a convenient and practical gift.

Granchild tech lessons - What better way to get your child closer to your parents.  Grandparents always love to have their grandkids around.  It's made even more special when the kids are able to teach their grandparents about the basics in technology.  Win - win all around.  

Mobile home pedicure - Foot care is important for seniors.  Take advantage of the growing number of mobile services that will do the job in the comfort of your own home.

Gift of Time - This is perhaps the most valuable and appreciated gift. Whether it's to do the groceries, help out around the house or simply to talk, this will make the world of difference for a senior.  Nothing like companionship and social interaction to brighten up their day. 

Matt Del Vecchio is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA).  He is the founder and president of Lianas - a company specializing in retirement residence search and senior transition support.

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