Gift Ideas For Older Adults

As people age, their needs and wants often change. Even healthy, independent older persons may find that certain gifts make life more enjoyable and less challenging. The following list includes some of the more non-traditional, but highly useful gifts which an older person might enjoy receiving:

Perform or purchase home maintenance services such as snow removal, lawn mowing, window washing, housekeeping, etc. Purchase personal care services such as congregate or delivered meals, adult day care, bath aide, transportation, etc.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for the home. Arrange pre-season inspections of the furnace/central air systems. Install an emergency alert or home security system.

Gift Certificates:
For food items, long distance phone calls, taxi cabs, beauty/barber services, etc.

Assistive Devices:
Bath safety equipment (grab bars, shower bench, hand-held shower wand, raised toilet seat). Large numbered clock, watch or telephone. A magnifying glass that can be worn around the neck. A long-handled shoe horn or reaching device. A lap board for writing.

Large print materials or books on tape, large numbered playing cards, crossword or puzzle books, a bird house/feeder, stationery and assorted greeting cards, envelopes, stamps and address labels, easy-grip pens, newspaper/magazine subscription, plants. craft equipment, recordings of old songs.

Washable jogging suits, sweater, shawl, lap robe, cotton socks and underwear. Head scarf/muffler. Sturdy tie shoes, non-skid slippers.

Personal Items:
Cosmetics and toiletries in unbreakable containers. A standing mirror. A "fanny pack" or a cloth bag to hang on a walker. A pocket clip-on eyeglass case or neck chain for eyeglasses. A visor to reduce glare when reading. A U-shaped inflatable neck pillow. Notepads and a clipboard.

A daily or large-print wall calendar. An address book. A guest book for visitors to sign. A scrap book or family photo album. Audiocassettes/videos of family members. Framed photos or a picture collage. A family tree chart. (The older person can give a priceless gift to the family by helping construct the family tree, by identifying and labeling old photos or by recording old memories and family stories on tape or in a journal.)

Give of  Yourself:
Visits, phone calls, entertaining outings, putting up holiday decorations, etc.