Xmas Gift Ideas for the Elderly

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Shopping for Christmas gifts is always a challenge no matter the age or relationship of the recipient, but finding meaningful Xmas gifts for the elderly can be especially challenging, particularly if that person has physical limitations or special needs like a failing memory, eyesight or hearing. As they age, many seniors also struggle to keep up with new technologies, so finding items that can help them continue to live independently in a fast-paced world can be a thoughtful gift.

  1. Keeping in Touch

    • Help a senior stay in touch with family and friends with user-friendly telephones, both landline and cell. Today's phones have tiny buttons and multiple functions that can be a challenge for some seniors. Online senior specialty stores offer telephones with large buttons, pre-programmed single button dialing--some with slots for family pictures--and enhanced ring tones and speaker levels to help the hard-of-hearing. Several companies market large button, simple-to-operate cell phones, which can be found at Jitterbug.com and Doro.com.

    Staying Tuned In

    • Keep seniors connected with the world through their television via a senior-friendly remote. Television remotes have an ever-expanding array of buttons and functions that can be confounding, but simple and big button remotes can reduce the stress of operating today's multi-channel televisions. The Tek Pal remote, found at BigButtonRemotes.com, has just six buttons that can be pre-programmed to a senior's favorite channels, and the Weemote Sr. (found at Weemote.com) is offered by a company that designed simple remotes for children.

    Offering Peace of Mind

    • Diminish a friend or family member's anxiety by simplifying everyday tasks. Automatic battery-run pill dispensers that allow access to only one dose of medication at a time can be a reassuring gift for both the recipient and the caretaker. Some models like the Medtime (ePill.com) and MedReady (MedReadyInc.com), can hold four weeks of pills, are battery operated and sound or flash an alert at pill time.

    Nourishing Hobbies

    • Encourage lifelong hobbies like gardening and cooking by giving ergonomic tools designed for aging hands. Two brands to look for are Radius garden tools (RadiusGarden.com) and Oxo kitchen gadgets (Oxo.com). Garden kneepads, cushioned mats or kneeling stools and wheeled mini-carts with a padded seat are ideal for older gardeners. Older home cooks will appreciate double-handled saute pans and lighter pots that can be lifted easily. Silicon bakeware is lightweight, easy to clean and durable.

    Stimulating Gray Matter

    • Keep a senior mentally fit with gifts of puzzle books and games. Audio books and large print copies of bestsellers and classics are available online at sites like LargePrintBookshop.com and ReadHowYouWant.com, plus many bookstores. Buying a subscription to a large print version of a favorite magazine or newspaper at Amazon.com also can help keep a senior engaged in modern issues and trends.

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