Happy Holidays! Now, for the Senior on Your Gift List …
Coming up with gift ideas for a grandparent, elderly parent, or any senior in your life can be a real headache. There is almost nothing that they need and very little that they want. Most grandparents have more stuff than they could possibly ever use, so often you see seniors giving things away as they declutter or purge. What do you give someone who has almost everything, whose home is already full of family photos, personalized mugs, candles, and slippers? Here are some suggestions to get you started.
We all cherish our independence as we age, especially seniors. If your loved ones can take care of themselves in the comfort of their own home, that independence provides a high level of satisfaction and generates a sense of well-being. The key to maintaining a senior’s independence is to keep them safe, which is why ambulatory and assistive devices can be very good gift ideas.
For the Bathroom
For seniors who have difficulty bending or limited mobility due to an injury, the bathroom is probably the most dangerous room in a home. Bathroom accessories such as grab bars, tub rails, and bath seats can provide a sense of security when using the shower, and you could even offer to help install these for them. Unlike some skimpier bath seats on the market, the Lumex® Platinum Collection Bath Seat with Arms is designed with a wider 20” contoured seat and removable padded armrests for added comfort.
There are also products like raised toilet seats and safety frames — the Lumex Elongated Raised Toilet Seat — designed to reduce bending and simplify getting up from sitting. There are several types of raised toilet seats; some that clamp onto the toilet for secure positioning and some that can be used with your regular toilet seat to blend into the home décor.
For the Kitchen
For many, the happiest memories with their grandparents take place in the kitchen, where the special ingredient is “love”. Updated appliances and cooking gadgets are always a thoughtful gift. A floor mat like the Lumex Beveled Edge Floor Pad at the kitchen sink, in front of the stove, or in front of the island can reduce the fatigue that comes with spending hours in the kitchen getting every layer of your grandmother’s special cake just right. Another interesting gift option for elderly people is a Grocery List Organizer, a device that records your items, sorts them, and prints a paper list that your loved one can take along to the store. We all forget something from the grocery store, so having an organizer handy can be a great gift that they may not even know exists.
A shopping cart can also prove to be a nice gift for that older person that lives in a crowded area and uses public transportation. These carts can make shopping and carrying items easier. The Lumex Rolling Utility Cart is designed to be an ideal solution — its compact folding design and wheels make it easy to maneuver.
An inexpensive way to help an older person remain independent and healthy is to support them when it comes to taking their medication daily. Managing medication can be a challenge for many seniors, especially when dealing with the complications of prescriptions that must be taken at specific times during the day and the number of different medications. The more medications prescribed, the more likely they may not remember to take them all. One gift to help simplify medication management is a pill organizer — pill organizers come in a variety of sizes with daily and monthly storage options. Finding one that can hold all their medications, is easy to open and fill, and can be easily stored to take with them can be helpful in keeping them healthy and sound.
Restful sleep plays a vital role in health and well-being. Some of the more common problems the older generation experiences are insomnia and discomfort during sleep. Your loved one may find a Sleep Machine an awesome gift to help them fall asleep faster and sleep soundly through the night. Tossing and turning throughout the night can prevent someone from having a good night’s rest. A quality pillow and mattress are essential. A positioner such as the Lumex Bed Wedge can be a great addition — designed to elevate the body for added comfort, it can also help reduce snoring (so your grandmother can stop elbowing your grandfather during the night).
Elderly people often suffer from a variety of age-related diseases such as arthritis or diabetes, causing them to have limited physical conditions affecting how they sit and move and leading to poor circulation. A Ring Cushion or Lumbar Support Cushion can be an ideal gift to help provide added comfort, whether in the home or in the car. A cushion for their wheelchair can make them more comfortable, and a Lumex Swivel Seat can help reduce hip strain when getting out of the car.
What’s that old saying about “an ounce of sunshine”? Being active and getting outside can do wonders for a senior. As we get older and physical ailments take over, it can be harder for us to get out and about. An ambulatory aid — like a cane or rollator — can help keep someone active and independent both in and out of the home. There is a vast array of options for ambulatory products, and your senior’s healthcare provider would be the best to advise them on what would work best. However, you can always offer them an upgraded option to what they might already use, such as a Lumex Tri-Step Cane that can stand upright on its own and provide added stability, or a high-end rollator designed to be sleek, lightweight, and portable, with additional features like a convenient cane holder, possibly more convenient than what they are using now.
Many older people have hobbies they love. Research what the senior on your gift list enjoys, whether cooking, crafting, gardening, golfing or fishing, for gift inspiration. A tool to help with that activity, a book or magazine about that hobby, or even a basket of goodies is a thoughtful gift. The gift of time is just as valuable as anything else you could give — ask your grandmother for the recipe for your favorite meal, frame it, and offer to come over and make it with her. Show interest in their life or hobby and share in it with them. Sometimes the thing to make that special senior feel loved is just the quality time that you can share with them. That beats any framed or on-a-mug photo you can ever gift them.
So while that special senior may think they have everything they need, there may be a more practical item that you can give to keep them safe and sound in the home. Home … where the heart is.
Cynthia Counts is Vice President of Product Management & Homecare SBU at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. Graham-Field product brands include Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, Intensa, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 1.770.368.4700.