Ever struggled to find the right birthday or holiday gift for your loved ones? Why not consider toys for seniors, elderly adults, and older people?
The current senior toy marketplace contains products that range in utility from providing companionship, to increasing cognitive skills, to facilitating communication. Here are some categories of senior citizen toys that could improve your loved one’s quality of life.
Electronic Pets for Adults
Hasbro has recently come out with a line of electronic toys called Joy for All Companion Pets, which offer the benefits of actual companion pets without the physical or financial demands. These toys sound and feel just like the real thing. There is an initial cost, but after that, the hassles that some seniors can experience caring for real pets — long walks, cleaning up waste and veterinary care — are all eliminated.
PARO is another example of an increasingly popular robotic toy that resembles a pet. While more common in the U.S. in hospital settings as a therapeutic tool, this baby seal robot toy has artificial intelligence that allows it to learn some behaviors such as how to respond to its name and how to behave in order to “earn” stroking from its owner. These lifelike pets can contribute of the overall well-being of their owners.
Sensory Toys for Adults with Dementia
Another wonderful option are sensory toys. Meant to facilitate active engagement by its users, these are especially great toys for adults with dementia. If there is a particular struggle that a senior adult is facing, companies like the Sensory Toy Warehouse have a solution.
For instance, an adult having difficulty with memory loss may benefit from a talking photo album, where they can hear your pre-recorded description of the picture they are viewing. If a calming environment is needed, light-up toys like fiberoptic lights or a kaleidoscope lamp may be beneficial toys that create a distraction during a stressful situation. Another option to consider are tambourines or a percussion drum set, as music provides a soothing sensation to most people with Azheimer’s disease or dementia.
Board Games and other Party Games for Elderly Adults
Last but not least in the toys for the elderly category are those that encourage communication and interaction with others. These don’t necessarily have to be games created entirely for older adults, but there are senior versions of games we all know and love like Monopoly, Scrabble, or the UnGame. By simply adding larger print to these games, they suddenly become playable again for those with vision difficulties. This can be a wonderful thing for members of the Sandwich Generation who would love to see more quality time spent between their children and parents.
While hoverboards may be the trendy toy you’re picking up for the kids, it’s probably not the sort of toy most seniors will be able to use and enjoy. That’s not to say there aren’t some really cool age appropriate toys for older people. As you’re gift-giving, don’t forget that toys are wonderful for kids aged five to one hundred and older!