Seniors often say they have everything they need, don’t buy a holiday gift for me. Those who think they have everything probably aren’t aware of the many new items to accommodate the growing numbers of seniors in support of their needs and independence. As the numbers of Boomers grow, expect new gadgets, gizmos and even services to grow right along with them! Take a few moments to carefully observe or listen to some of the perceived minor annoyances your family might express as they cope with aging. You’ll get clues!
Start with the simple—and obvious:
Even the most active seniors may have a problem buttoning a shirt or zipping a zipper. Listen to Dad describe getting dressed. Watch for clues as to what might make “activities of daily living” (ADLs) easier. Arthritis can make hands and fingers stiff hindering even the simplest of tasks. Does Mom drop utensils more frequently? Not only is that a nuisance but most important, reaching for dropped items can also increase a fall risk. Does she need a grabber? Did you know these are even available?
On-line you can find so many websites to help seniors maintain independence with simple tools. Check these ideas to help families shop wisely, for clothing or support for activities of daily living.
Websites specialize in adaptive clothing for seniors. Look for shirts, blouses and sweaters for men and women with Velcro or magnets sewn in under flaps. Many give an outside appearance of buttons. Comfort and style are emphasized along with functional clothing offerings. Easy on/off shoes, soft slippers with skid resistant soles, trendy compression socks in colors and patterns — Baby Boomers still want to have fun!
Families value safety! New inventions and gadgets galore aid seniors and reduce risks. Grabber tools are inexpensive, but when a device is pricey the family can contribute!
- Reminder Alarm Clocks—programmed to alert appointments, time to eat, take medicine or whatever, using the recorded voice of a loved one to enhance the personalized touch.
- Wireless TV Listening Systems—connected to the TV, choose earbuds or a comfortable headset to enhance hearing.
- Apple Watches– monitor wellness vitals: heart rate, steps , falls, and can be worn in the shower.
- Apple Tags—in a glove compartment pings location anywhere from your phone.
- Google Home device—includes calendar display with drop in camera feature to see loved one from your phone.
- Recliners that convert into many positions, including into a bed for sleeping.
- Chairlifts that manually help lift a person into a standing position without pain or strain—these can be used with chairs or sofas throughout the home.
There have been so many new services introduced as retailers were challenged to be creative during the pandemic. There’s been a revolution in how we shop! Take advantage of the convenience and try something new:
- Grocery delivery services—ensures regular, fresh food is available in the home of a senior who is permanently or temporarily homebound, or who is dependent on others for shopping. Find a local grocer on-line and simply follow their instructions.
- Meals on Wheels –check them out for entrees and sandwiches 5 days a week and accommodations for weekends delivered Fridays; ask if there are any qualifications for the service other than a small fee if the senior is not necessarily requiring other financial support.
- “Fruit of the Month” and other mailed or delivered food selections are fun as well as nutritional.
- Prescription and Over the Counter Medications –many pharmacies now offer this service; check those established as part of a retailer such as Target or Walmart that offers groceries delivered as well. Many also offer the support items for ADLs such as canes, walkers, grabbers, grab bars, shower chairs and more.
Sometimes a helping hand with housekeeping or even companionship could be considered a gift!
- Families can pitch in together for a low-cost/no-cost volunteer program extending over several weeks during the year or least winter months. Create a weekly schedule with an added bonus—companionship which is always appreciated by those who may be alone.
- Respite Care or a Staycation in an Assisted Living, such as Residences Senior Living. It’s also a gift for family who usually provide support or more intensive caregiving. They have an opportunity to schedule a vacation or perhaps just need a break. This is a great option for a senior who will enjoy the social as well as hotel-like surroundings. It’s a great family “pitch in” for a gift on a larger scale.
Gifts for seniors are now useful, comforting, and stylish. Families will also enjoy the convenience and peace of mind of many opportunities to express love and gratitude to parents and grandparents. More than ever, it’s the thought counts !
For more information about Respite or Staycations at Residences at Deer Creek Senior Living call us at 219 864-0700. Call Residences at Coffee Creek Senior Living at 219 921-5200.