Gift Ideas for Seniors

 

What do you get for the grandparent or senior who already has everything? The great-grandparents are even harder to shop for! What is the perfect gift for someone who is 80+? Different gifts are ideal depending upon where someone lives. Here are two gift list ideas to suit different living situations.

 

4 IDEAS FOR SENIORS LIVING AT HOME

If your 80+ relative is living independently at home (either a house, condo, or apartment), then the best gifts you can give them are practical items that will prolong their independence. Your loved one is likely very focused upon remaining at home for as long as possible; any gift you give that helps in achieving that goal is a good idea.

 

 

Here are some suggestions

 

1. Gift Certificates for property maintenance. The physically demanding activities of home maintenance are likely difficult, so provide your loved one with a gift certificate for regular home maintenance chores such as snow shoveling, grass cutting, garden upkeep, window washing, etc.

 

2. Homemaking and Household Assistance. Out-door house maintenance is not the only area of challenge for the elderly. Household chores can also become quite onerous. Your loved one will greatly appreciate a gift certificate for housekeeping. 

 

3. Assistive Devices. Assistive devices can include a whole range of products to help with any variety of needs. There are specially designed items for challenges such as hearing impairment, sight impairment, weakness following a stroke, dexterity, memory loss, etc. You might be surprised at some of the items available for purchase at your local assistive devices store. Your loved one will truly appreciate this gift if they have already acknowledged challenge in a particular area.

 

4. Transportation. Many elderly seniors no longer have a licence and no longer drive. No access to transportation can be isolating, especially in the winter months. Providing your loved one with pre-paid driving options ensures that they will not be home-bound when the winter weather hits. Warm Embrace caregivers are pleased to drive your loved ones wherever they need to go.

 

4 IDEAS FOR THOSE LIVING IN NURSING HOMES

If your loved one lives in a retirement home or long-term care centre, then different gifts might be more appropriate. Their personal quarters are much smaller, so they do not have space to keep many belongings. Here are some ideas that won’t take up too much space but will still bring a smile on Christmas day.

 

1. Window Ornaments. Glass window ornaments are pretty to look at, and cast a cheerful glow when the sun is shining. There may not be much shelf space available for knick-knacks, but adding a personal touch to the window doesn't take up any additional space.

 

2.Personal Items. Residents in long-term care use their own preferred personal care items such as hand soap, lotion, toothpaste, etc. A care package of your loved one’s favourite items is always appreciated! The scent is strongly linked with memory and emotion; selecting a favourite scent can induce positive memories.

 

3. Blanket or Lap Quilt. Having a cozy item such as a small blanket or lap quilt is always comforting. It can be left on the bed or on a chair in your loved one’s room. If recognition of new items is difficult for your loved one, a blanket on the bed implies its purpose in a way that new clothing items do not.

 

4. Companionship. Providing your loved one with on-going visits is probably the best gift you could offer. Warm Embrace provides Companion Aides to long-term care centers across the region. Companion Aides visit one-on-one with residents and can take them on personal outings into the community. They provide mental and social stimulation, as well as an opportunity for physical activity. This is a gift that keeps on giving long after the holiday season!

 

If you just have questions about the above list of gift ideas, please don’t hesitate to call. We love to know that the seniors in this area will have a meaningful holiday season!

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What's a Quiet Room?

Are you hosting any holiday gatherings where you have invited elderly relatives who have health conditions? You have probably already thought about accessibility accommodations such as helping them into your home and ensuring they have access to a bathroom. Those elements are very important and should not be overlooked. 

 

Another element that should not be overlooked is how to make the overall

environment more manageable for your elderly loved ones, especially when there are health conditions to consider.

  • If someone has a chronic illness such as CHF or COPD, they may fatigue very quickly and need an opportunity to rest. 
  • If someone has edema in their feet or legs (swelling) they may need a chance to sit with their legs elevated. 
  • A stroke survivor may find the environment overstimulating and may need relief.
  • Someone with dementia may need some peace and quiet and a break from the noisy environment. 
  • Hearing aids may blur the sounds into a din so that individual voices are difficult to discern, and someone with hearing loss may need an auditory break.

To help facilitate these needs and more, you can create a Quiet Zone for your holiday gathering.

 

 

Part of the beauty of a Quiet Zone is that it can meet the needs of so many different health conditions. It is one solution that actually meets numerous needs simultaneously. It may even be appealing to younger family members too!

 

A Quiet Zone is a space dedicated to quieter interaction and less stimulation.  Ideally, the Quiet Zone would be a separate room, but if that’s not possible, then a nook or area can be allocated as the Quiet Zone.

 

The Quiet Zone should be less stimulating than the environment of the main event.  If there are Christmas carols blasting on repeat in the dining room, the Quiet Zone does not have any music. If the Christmas tree in the living room has blinking lights and a miniature train set zooming past, the Quiet Room has steady, ambient lighting that isn’t distracting.

 

While the main event likely includes loud chatter, many people speaking at once, laughing, and loud voices to be heard over the din, the Quiet Zone is where people can have one-on-one conversations that can be more easily heard and understood.  For relatives of any age, the chance to step away from the noise and engage in a more in-depth one-on-one conversation might be a welcome relief. 

 

Someone who tires easily in a crowded room of people might appreciate the relief of settling into the Quiet Room.  Other guests can then take turns, one at a time, visiting within the Quiet Room.  This way, everyone is supported to be part of the family gathering, but they can participate in a way that matches their individual needs. Having a space to retreat may allow people to reserve their physical and mental energy to join the group for dinner. 

 

The Quiet Room makes it possible to have a quick cat-nap if needed.  Giving the brain an extra boost of sleep can make the difference between enjoying the rest of the event, and just feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. Family members who are stroke survivors or who have dementia will particularly appreciate the opportunity to have a power nap. 

 

When the brain has been impacted by stroke or dementia, part of the brain may not be working the way it once did. The remaining parts of the brain are functioning on overdrive to compensate for the losses. Those over-active brain areas tire easily and benefit enormously from rest. A Quiet Room creates the space and permission to invite such guests to rest their brains when they need it most.

 

This holiday season, consider creating a Quiet Room for large family gatherings.  The Quiet Room will be a retreat space to ensure that all your guests find the event manageable and can enjoy it fully.

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