Helpful Gifts for the Elderly

Written by sarai jeremiah
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Helpful Gifts for the Elderly
Give your elderly relative a gift that is practical. (George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Choosing a gift for an elderly person requires forethought. Although you may be tempted to buy a complicated smart phone for your grandfather or another knick-knack or coffee mug for your grandmother, these gifts are likely to be of no use to them. Whether for a birthday or holiday, give the elderly people in your life a helpful gift they can really use and appreciate.

Gifts for Staying Safe

Advancements in many products now allow elderly people to safely do things for themselves. Buy your grandmother a pair of long-handle toenail scissors and lighted magnifying fingernail clippers so she can safely keep her nails cut and groomed. Buy your grandfather a portable bathtub shower bench he can use to rest on while taking showers. Or, buy your caffeine-loving grandparent a coffee pot or an electric tea kettle that heats water quickly then shuts off when it is done.

Gifts for Staying Active

Giving your elderly relative a gift that gets him up and moving helps him get exercise and keeps him from being sedentary. Give your grandmother a shopping trolley she can use to pick up groceries at a nearby store. Give your grandfather a pair of comfortable walking shoes that motivates him to walk more. If your grandparent is interested in art or animals, give her a membership to a local museum, art gallery or zoo so she can spend time outside the house.

Gifts for Staying Connected

Many elderly people want nothing more than to feel connected to family and friends, useful and needed. Buy your grandfather a folding cane he can use for getting around. Buy your grandmother a cordless amplified telephone with large buttons to make using the phone less difficult. If your grandparent has no interest in sending e-mail, buy him address labels, a box of note cards and envelopes and a book of stamps so he can keep in touch with loved ones.

Gifts for Staying Entertained

Entertainment gifts may not seem helpful, but they help keep a senior's brain sharp, alert and interested. Buy your grandmother large-print crossword puzzles or books to keep her interested in reading. A lighted magnifier, floor lamp and lap desk are helpful gift options if she already owns a lot of books. Buy your grandfather an MP3 player to listen to books and music or a TV remote with large buttons to watch his favourite TV shows.

Gifts for Staying Healthy

Staying healthy plays an important role in seniors living longer. Sign your grandparent up for a food of the month club that delivers healthy fruits and vegetables every month. Alternatively, bring your grandparent a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables every week or so. Buy your grandparent a home blood pressure monitor to keep track of her blood pressure since hypertension has no symptoms. Offering to take or accompany your grandparent to doctor appointments is also helpful.

Gifts for Staying Comfortable

Giving an elderly person a gift that offers comfort or relaxation is also a helpful idea. Buy your grandfather a massaging heating pad to soothe away his aches and pains. Give your grandmother a shawl or quilt to keep her warm. Buy your grandparent a swivel seat cushion that takes the stress off his back and knees when travelling in a car. Or, give your grandparent an air purifier that cleans the air and makes it easier to breathe.

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