Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has “Everything:” Blog Series Part 1
When it comes to gifts for the holidays, birthdays and other occasions, we may struggle with ideas for our older loved ones. It may seem they already have “everything,” so they might not welcome the addition of more stuff they don’t need. If your gift-giving repertoire usually consists of pajamas, bathrobes, slippers, wallets and purses, it may be time to consider some other gift ideas that are both functional and practical.
Think about the types of challenges your loved one is experiencing and consider items that could help increase their functioning and maintain their independence. This blog series will explore a range of gift ideas you might not have thought about across a variety of categories. (Note: The links below are provided to offer examples of these products and are not product or business endorsements.)
In today’s blog, we’ll talk about gift ideas to enhance your loved one’s health and safety as well as communication needs. Future blog posts will cover gifts to make their lives more convenient, support their hobbies and activities, assist with entertainment and technology, share photos and provide unique gift card ideas.
Health and Safety
The kitchen and bathroom can present safety concerns for some older adults. Help mitigate the risks with items like these:
Bathtub grab bar:
A clamping or locking grab bar ($35) can be attached to the side of a tub without the help of a professional. Install the grab bar for your loved one as part of the gift.
Shower chair or transfer bench:
A shower chair ($25-$35) placed in the shower or tub can minimize the risk of slips and falls, especially for individuals with mobility issues or difficulty standing. A transfer bench ($45-$140) can straddle the side of the tub, allowing your loved one to remain seated while shifting safely into the bathtub.
Hand-held shower attachment:
Consider a hand-held shower head ($20 and up) in addition to the shower chair or transfer bench to make bathing easier.
Help reduce the risk of kitchen fires and burns with an induction cooktop. A variety of built-in models are available at a cost of approximately $300 for one element or $1,000 and up for models with multiple elements.
Pill organizers ($8-$40) help your loved ones plan their medications for days, weeks or even a full month so they’re easily accessible and ready to take at the right time.
If you’re concerned about your loved one’s overall safety and access to emergency services:
Personal Emergency Response Systems:
A PERS provides immediate access to help at the push of a button. Before buying a personal emergency response system, check out a buyer’s guide for tips on choosing a system that’s right for your friend or relative. Consider buying the device or system and covering any monthly monitoring fees to eliminate the costs to your loved one.
Do your loved ones struggle with technology or feel disconnected from your family’s electronic communication? Help them stay in the loop and feel included:
Presto Printing Mailbox:
This device automatically prints e-mail, so your loved one can receive and read them without a computer. While Presto’s Printing Mailbox doesn’t allow the recipient to respond to e-mail, they can get the family updates, photos and other communication they’ve been missing. The device also would be helpful for sending your loved one reminders. The cost is approximately $50 for the printer plus a monthly fee of $16 for the service. Replacement ink and paper can be purchased directly from Presto, but the device works with ink cartridges and paper available at any office supply store.
Amplified and/or large-button telephones:
These telephones ($27-$95 depending on model) can improve your friend or relative’s ability to hear phone calls. Large-button features can help with vision loss as well as dexterity.
Help with the cost and convenience of sending postal mail:
At a cost of 47 cents each, a supply of Forever stamps can cut down on your loved one’s mailing expenses. A coil of 100 stamps is $47 at the U.S. Postal Service or consider their monthly stamp subscription service for regular stamp deliveries.
Pre-printed address labels:
Supplies of mailing labels eliminate the need to write the return address on every envelope. Design and print at your own at home with labels from an office supply store or order labels from your favorite printing company.
Our next entry in the series, Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has Everything, will explore ideas to make your loved one’s life more convenient as well as for entertainment and technology!