Gift Ideas for Seniors in Care

By francy Dickinson

Dear Francy: Mom is very picky and wants to go out to breakfast on Mother’s Day. My family wants to take me out for a lunch and go to a movie. How do I do both?

You don’t, your mom can have a wonderful breakfast on Saturday morning. She will understand that Mothers Day is any day that she is given love from her children. Invite your siblings and make the breakfast fun. You could have your family be at the restaurant and then you take her in for a surprise. The breakfast or lunch is enough. If you need to add anything else get her a wrist corsage, she can wear it all day long.

Other Tips for Gifts for Seniors in Care and at-home:

  • Small flower bouquets are best, usually there’s a space limit so a small glass container with a few lilacs or garden flowers are just as sweet as a big bouquet. I love the wrist corsage, my mother used to just love them. She would wear it for a couple of days, putting it in the refrigerator at night. They do have fancy fruit and cookie bouquets, but seniors do not eat the volumes that we do and they can go unused.
  • A nice covered glass dish with handle filled with a favorite treat. Like crackers, chips, popcorn, etc.
  • Bulletin board that is covered in a print with ribbon crossed on a diagonal is a perfect project for family members. Fill it up with the senior’s cards and pictures and place it right across from their bed. You can always use a special wall mount with removable backing so you do not hurt the care center walls.
  • Cleaning your pet and bringing them in for a special treat, many seniors miss their family pets and a good hug goes a long way
  • One of the great new picture viewers filled with the older family pictures. This makes the project good for you to scan and capture old photos for the family and share them with Mom or Grandma. They have these views large, med and even small on a key chain. They hold lots of pictures and do slide shows as you press the button.
  • She loves cards; get her a hand held game machine for cards from the larger box stores like Walmart. Most are easy to use and you just load it with batteries and off they go. They can play blackjack or poker from their bed or chair. The audio can be turned off and the games are easy to hold and usually from $10-$30
  • A guest book, if a senior forgets who’s visiting – you can make a guest book asking the guests to sign their name and date of visit and add a little note. When the senior says; “No one every comes to visit, me” You can open the book and read the names and sweet messages
  • If they love puzzles like crossword, then take a look at all the things you can buy for crossword puzzles. You can go online and print them out and find crosswords designed for different hobbies and interests like quilting, gardening, politics, etc. Great for the brain and passing time Add an easy to use pen and there you go, you’re leaving fun behind
  • Small manicure set that will fit into your bedside table or basket, a large scale mirror X7 is great. Lip balm, small hand cream, hand cleanser all small enough to fit into that drawer or basket she has by her side.
  • Cable TV expansion for movies – most care centers have cable but they do not have the extension for Show Time and you can ask if it is available and then add it for a three month period at a time. If she leaves the center, gift it to her roommate.
  • Hard of hearing, you can add a bedside phone that is made for hearing challenges and program in a few numbers. This is such a lovely treat when someone can hardly hear anything on the phone
  • Have some talent with nails? Give her a bedside manicure, with a warm cloth and a good nail file. Then brighten her up with some spring time polish. Nothing like a good nail polish to lift a gal’s spirits!
  • New slippers and a new house coat or easy to wear sports pants and top. Whatever is easy for her to wear, is what you need to bring her. Many times they cannot button, so you have to get a zipper, often they can dress over their head and often the pants have to be loose to work with bladder control products. So keep it all in mind, but a nice new outfit always hits the spot
  • Seniors are always cold, if you find an extra fuzzy, bright and fun throw – that’s the ticket. Then remember to take it home every few weeks to give it a good wash.

I hope this information is helpful for you. To think about someone being stuck in a room on their own is not easy. But so many little things can bring them joy. Please go and visit my website and enjoy my on-demand talk shows with more tips, and my workbook written for Care-Giving 101 Workbook it will give you a lot of guidance on in-home care.

Thanks, francy


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