The holiday season creeps closer with each passing day and that means another opportunity to wrack your brain for gift ideas for your loved ones. While finding the right gift is almost always a daunting task, many people find that shopping for seniors can be particularly difficult. After all, what do you get for a person who’s had a lifetime to collect the things that they want?
If you find yourself agonizing over choosing what to buy grandma for Christmas, take a look at this list of holiday gift do’s and don’ts. You might just find the perfect gift ideas for the senior citizens in your life, and you may be saved from making some of the more common senior gift mistakes.
Do Give Personal Coupons
One time-honored gift that seniors are sure to love are handmade coupons from their grandkids that can be exchanged for chores or family time. Even a coupon that reads “Game Night” can be an unparalleled treasure to a senior, allowing them an opportunity to interact with their grandkids, helping everyone in the family spend time together. Horseshoes, badminton, bowling, and many modern video games are an excellent way to help you spend quality time with your loved ones. When it comes to personal coupons, your imagination is the limit.
Do Give Smartphones
When you’re thinking about what to buy grandpa for Christmas, you might not think technology, but you should. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook because they’re trying to keep in touch with their loved ones. With the right app, smartphones can even be tailored to help seniors specifically. For example, a timer app might help remind a forgetful senior of important times, dates, and tasks. A brainteaser app can help keep them sharp mentally. With the right technology, there’s really a world of opportunities available for seniors.
If your loved ones haven’t made it to their golden years with 20/20 vision, you’ll want to remember to pick a device that has both highly readable typeface, and fully adjustable text sizes. Some prominent examples of such devices include the iPhone 6 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S5, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
Do Give Audiobooks
Many seniors love audiobooks because they can be enjoyed regardless of vision problems of mobility issues. The Internet is littered with digital libraries composed of hundreds of thousands of audiobooks to choose from, many costing only a fraction of what they would in book form. And modern audiobooks are much more sophisticated than their earlier counterparts. No longer do you have to worry about rewinding tapes or losing your place, making them all-around senior friendly.
Do Give Photos
Finding a photo from your loved one’s past and having it framed is almost always a great gift. Photos can be personal, creative, and there’s a variety of ways you can take the idea. Depending on the memories you want to recapture, you could have photos printed onto mugs, shirts, or even placed into a classic photo album full of family memories. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, digital photo frames can display entire albums of memories. Those albums can also act as a memory aid for seniors who have problems recalling the old days.
Do Give Tickets to Sporting Events
Tickets to sporting events are often a great gift for seniors because it’s something you can do together. Sharing the experience of your outing can help bring you and your whole family closer. If sporting events aren’t quite what you’re loved one is interested in, you can take the same idea in a different direction. Concerts, public events, Cirque du Soleil, the opera – there’s something for everyone. Just keep in mind that if your loved one has a difficult time getting around, you may want to call ahead and inquire about seating for disabled adults.
Don’t Give Gift Baskets
Many people give gift baskets because they’re easy and relatively personalizable. Unfortunately, they’re not always the best choice for seniors because they may contain items that conflict with doctor prescribed medications. Some of the most common food and drug conflictions occur with grapefruit, black licorice, salt substitutes, leafy vegetables, and alcohol. Unless you know better, you should steer clear of gift baskets and other food items.
Don’t Give Pets
Another well-intentioned mistake is the gift of a new pet. While a puppy or a kitty might offer companionship, pets also come with considerable baggage that can last nearly two decades. Between toys, food, shots, litter boxes, vet care and so on, having a pet can be a real expense. They also take time, effort, and attention to responsibly look after.
If you really want to give a pet as a gift, be sure to have a conversation about it beforehand. You should also consider getting an older animal from a rescue group because they may be less energetic and easier for your loved one to manage.
When it comes to gift ideas for senior citizens, it truly is the thought that counts. Any way you can find to express your love will be the best gift you can give, no matter the time of year. If you remember that and follow this list of do’s and don’ts, you’re certain to find the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones.