Gifts for parents and grandparents
A seasonal and useful guest post from friend-of-Riverstone June Duncan of Rise Up for Caregivers.
Parents and Grandparents host holiday get-togethers and shower younger relatives with gifts, but all too often the heads of the family are overlooked during holiday gift giving. After tossing one too many “World’s Best Grandpa” mugs into the back of the cupboard, they’re ready for something different. Since everyday tasks grow more challenging as you get older, consider gifts that make seniors’ lives easier. Not sure where to look? Courtesy of Riverstone Senior Life Services, here are nine great gifts that your beloved senior will actually use.
1. A Smart Home Speaker
High-tech homes might seem like the purview of tech-savvy millennials, but seniors have a lot to gain from smart home technology. While Amazon Echo and Google Home may be marketed as state-of-the-art speakers, the real excitement behind these smart devices is their ability to complete tasks using only voice control. Users can check their calendar, get the forecast, listen to audiobooks, order a rideshare, and control other smart home devices like thermostats and lights.
2. A Folding Utility Cart
Between lost strength, arthritis, and impaired mobility, the once-simple task of hauling groceries into the house becomes a struggle for many older adults. A foldable utility cart reduces the amount of lifting and carrying involved in grocery shopping. For maximum value, search for a cart with a removable bag, like these suggestions from The Kitchn.
3. Grocery Delivery Services
Rather than making shopping easier, why not eliminate the chore altogether? Grocery delivery services like Instacart and AmazonFresh offer the option of a membership, so you can pay up front to gift your family member free grocery deliveries all year long.
4. Photo Digitization
Parents and Grandparents cherish their family photo collection, but storing them in physical form adds one more thing to clean and organize. Digitizing photographs reduces household clutter and puts pictures in a format that’s easier to view; these instructions from PCMag can guide you through the process. Take this gift to the next level by including a digital photo frame to display their collection.
5. Snow Removal Services
Shoveling snow isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but for older adults it can be downright painful. Spare your loved ones the labor this winter by gifting a season of professional snow removal. While the national average cost of snow removal is $116, the price you pay will depend on the size and slope of the driveway, amount of precipitation, and other variables.
6. A Book Subscription
Few things are more relaxing than settling in with a good book, but getting to the library is a hassle for seniors who no longer drive. Book subscriptions solve this problem by delivering a new book to their door every month, making this the perfect present for avid readers.
7. A Universal Remote Control
A remote control is hardly the most exciting gift, but if you know a senior who is constantly shuffling through a stack of remote controls, it’s sure to be appreciated. Since universal remotes can be programmed to control multiple devices, it’s a simple way to streamline a home entertainment system.
8. DIY Remodeling
Handy relatives can treat their older family members to a small remodeling project designed to make the senior’s home friendlier to aging in place. Projects like replacing cabinet hardware with arthritis-friendly handles or installing bathroom grab bars are relatively inexpensive and manageable for the novice DIYer.
9. A Degree
Okay, technically, they’re the ones doing the work — but if your senior loved one would enjoy this type of challenge, consider making a gift certificate saying you’ll pay for their classes and books in order to support their quest to earn a graduate degree. Many retirees are going back to school these days; maybe all your beloved senior needs is a little extra encouragement to set them on the road to self-improvement!
This year, skip the clichés and get the seniors in your family something they’ll really appreciate. Whether your budget is big or small, you have a lot of time or only a little, there’s a gift you can give that will make a difference in the life of your loved one.
Riverstone Senior Life Services provides support and services that help older adults (60 years and older) remain healthy, active and living at home. Reflecting the needs of the community, all programs are offered in both Spanish and English. Contact us today!
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