Senior health and wellness is a topic we care very much about here on the Bridgeway Senior Living blog. And since we love gifts, today we’ll talk about the best health and wellness gifts you can give your older loved ones this Christmas.
The older we get, the more likely it is for health issues to crop up. In fact, the majority of people over 65 years old have one, if not more, chronic condition. Giving gifts to seniors that can help them manage their conditions or stay healthy is the perfect way to show them how much you love them.
Especially if the senior in your life is living at an assisted living facility, you might be at a loss for what to get them. Here we present some last minute health-minded ideas for the seniors on your list. Use them as a springboard to customize the gift to your loved one’s taste and situation.
1. A blender or juicer
Having a blender or juicer handy can help seniors take control of their fruit and vegetable intake. It takes just a few minutes to whip up a smoothie with some fresh and frozen fruits. Throw in some leafy greens, and you have a refreshing drink packed with nutrients. Double up the gift with some smoothie or juice blend recipes, and spend some quality time with your senior preparing a concoction or two.
Massages can provide incredible relief for seniors with back pain. Look for a massage therapist who specializes in seniors, since elderly people often require gentler massages. Even if your loved one doesn’t have any pain problems, a massage can be very relaxing. It can also provide important mental health benefits when they feel cared for and pampered, so consider pairing the massage with a day at the spa.
3. Smart medication dispenser
There are many “smart” medication dispensers out there, each with their own benefits. These are dispensers that improve on the old compartmentalized pillboxes by adding all sorts of techie features. If your loved one takes many different prescriptions and feels comfortable with technology, consider gifting a fancy dispenser. The GMS Med-e-lert 28 Day Automatic Pill Dispenser, for example, lets you program up to 6 alarms every day and includes 28 roomy compartments.
4. Large-print puzzle book
Doing a word puzzle daily keeps our minds sharp. For many retired seniors, lack of quality mental stimulation can cause your cognitive health to deteriorate. Supplying your loved one with a stack of large-print books of crossword or other puzzles can help them maintain their mental fitness.
Adult coloring books and a pack of sharpened colored pencils are also great stimulants for adults. Besides for keeping your brain occupied, coloring is very relaxing. It also improves fine motor skills. Look for coloring books that are involved, but don’t include tiny intricate detailing that might be hard to see.
5. Jigsaw puzzles
Jigsaw puzzles are also a great way to exercise cognition and memory skills. Seniors’ fine motor skills also get a workout when handling the tiny pieces of a large puzzle. If your loved one has always been a jigsaw puzzle aficionado, get them a puzzle of a nice scene that they can display on their walls when it’s completed.
6. Weighted blanket
A weighted blanket is a blanket filled with glass or plastic beads to make them heavier. The blankets provide deep pressure stimulation, and have been shown to decrease anxiety in a safe and effective way. Weighted blankets can help calm seniors with dementia, as well as improve sleep quality.
Keep in mind though, that weighted blankets may be unsafe for people with respiratory or circulatory problems. Check with a doctor before gifting a weighted blanket to your elderly loved one.
I hope these gift ideas are helpful this holiday season and always.