November 4, 2013

Holiday gifts for parents and grandparents

Hi friends,

The holidays are fast approaching and I’ve been giving some thought to some fun, helpful and meaningful gifts for parents or grandparents. I think you might agree that some of these ideas will apply to anyone on your list..
Let me start by saying that everyone is an individual. And people do age differently. Many octogenarians are still playing tennis, traveling, learning and using new technology, socializing and going out to cultural events. Others are happy to stay home, watch TV, visit neighbors,etc. You know your relatives.
So, I offer these ideas for your consideration, especially if you are stumped and would like to surprise someone with a thoughtful and helpful gift.

We are all so busy. How wonderful to give a personal gift certificate (maybe even handmade) offering to spend an afternoon or evening doing something enjoyable together . Movies and lunch? Conversation and baking? An afternoon drive to a local place of beauty? Add some photos or make a photo-book to capture the memories and that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

A variation on the idea above. This one is perfect for grandchildren to give their grandparents. Combine a nice meal and a few hours helping clean out a room, transport items to donation center, fix a broken lamp, set up a Facebook or Netflix account. You get the idea. Make it fun . If you can disconnect yourself from technology for a few hours to give the recipient undivided attention, it will also be a tension reducer for you.

As circulation becomes less efficient, older people are prone to feeling colder . Consider a nice new blanket, slippers, robes and items to reduce drafts . There are window sealing kits at hardware stores and “stuffed” animals that are placed by doors to limit drafts.

Falls are increasingly common the older population. Going over a home safety checklist with your relative and following up with needed equipment or modifications can be a great way to show that you care. The AARP has great resources to help you go through the house . I often tell my patients to ask family members for helpful equipment( with installation) as their holiday gift.

As we age, we all need more light in order to perform daily activities and leisure activities. Some additional lamps, flashlights and lanterns for emergencies, improved outdoor lighting and press-on lights for dark closets or power outages are a great way to improve safety and make daily activities easier. Check out Ott-lites for a large selection of high quality affordable room and task lighting.

The internet is filled with online catalogues devoted to the function, comfort and ease of our aging population. Take a look and you might find just the right thing: a long -handled shoehorn, a reacher , risers to lift a chair, utensils with built-up handles , large button phones, to name a few. Bundle them up in pretty container with the catalogue and you’ve a got a great gift. Check out the Sammons-Preston catalogue and then search in the Aides for Daily Living section.

In my next post, I will continue the conversation about gift-giving. Topics will include gifts for aching feet and backs, for arthritis sufferers and for visually, hearing and memory impaired relatives.

If you have any great ideas, please let me know by commenting below or by sending me an email at You can also check out my Facebook page for links to articles and posts about other products that I have both tried and personally recommend .


November 4, 2013