Whether you’re preparing for the approaching holidays or nearing the date of a special occasion, getting the perfect gift for an older loved one continues to stump even the savviest of shoppers. Especially when a loved one lives in an assisted living community and no longer has the need for as many home goods, finding a gift they will actually use can be difficult. However, with a little creativity, you can still surprise your loved one with a meaningful gift.
Peggy O’Neill, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, shares his advice on gift-giving for assisted living residents: “Since community living often provides residents with everything they need and a number of convenient amenities, gifting becomes a matter of enhanced experiences. The best gifts offer older loved ones a boost in comfort or excitement.”
Grandma may no longer have a use for the new baking pans you got her a few years ago, but she does have a new lifestyle that opens up unique opportunities for her to spend her time doing what she loves. Read on for more gift-giving inspiration for your loved one.
9 Great Gift Ideas for Assisted Living Residents
- Cover Them in Comfort – Gifts that allow your loved one to feel extra comfortable are always in season. A new pair of slippers or fuzzy socks with rubber bottoms, a luxurious blanket, lotions, throw pillows, or a new robe are just a few ideas to keep your loved one cozy. You could also buy them a brand new comforter to brighten their room or a new set of bath linens.
- Gifts That Smile Back – Put together a “greatest hits” photo album that includes all of your loved one’s special moments caught on camera. This can also be a good place to include wedding photos and portraits of the grandkids (since wall space may be limited). If you’re crafty, consider making a scrapbook and write down memories next to each picture. Your loved one will enjoy looking through the album and reminiscing. For a simpler option, give them a digital picture frame and load it with meaningful snapshots to be on display in their apartment.
- Give Peace of Mind – If your loved one has a medical condition that could put them in danger in an emergency situation, give them an extra measure of security with medical identification jewelry. Medical ID bracelets and necklaces come in different styles and sizes, so you can choose a piece that matches your loved one’s tastes. Simple or extravagant, companies make it easy to find the perfect piece of jewelry. Now, your loved one can travel to and from their assisted living community with more peace of mind.
- Help Them Say Hello – Help your loved one personalize their community home with a beautiful welcome sign or wreath for their door. Not only will it make your loved one’s apartment stand out, but they’ll have a pleasant reminder of you every time they come home. Especially if your loved one struggles with memory issues, the sign can make locating their door easier. Be sure to check with their community first to understand their decorating policies. Include a wreath hook or damage-free Command™ strips with your gift.
- Say More with Music – Give your loved one a basic MP3 player or iPod filled with their favorite music. Music has been proven to make people happier and boost brain function. Plus, your loved one will feel extra special knowing that you personalized playlists just for them. They’ll be able to enjoy their favorite tunes on the go or relaxing in their apartment.
- Keep the Love Coming – Spoil your loved one with a subscription of love delivered right to their door. Purchase a yearlong subscription of their favorite magazine, and they’ll have a treat to look forward to each month. Or, jump on the current trend of subscription boxes curated for almost every category you can imagine. From tea to snacks, socks and jewelry, a little internet research will help you find a subscription box your loved one is bound to enjoy. Some subscriptions ship every month or every quarter, so you can choose the type of schedule that fits your budget.
- Community Perks – At many leading senior living communities, amenities often include salons, barbershops, spas and pubs. While the convenience of these on-site amenities is great, the cost of service may not be included in residents’ monthly fee. If this is the case at your loved one’s community, coupons and gift certificates for these amenities can make excellent gifts. Gifts such as these can easily be arranged with the community, and it will help your loved one enjoy the amenities that make their community so attractive.
- For the Tech-Savvy Senior – If your loved one is especially tech-savvy for their age, they might appreciate having a device that helps them stay in touch with their family and friends. Tablets are capable of using apps such as Skype and FaceTime, convenient video-calling applications that allow people to talk “face-to-face” across the globe. Tablets also come in a variety of sizes, so you can select the screen that’s best for your loved one (and their eyesight). Prices also range from inexpensive Amazon Fire tablets (approximately $50) to the latest version of Apple’s iPad ($250+). Make sure your loved one’s home or community is Wi-Fi accessible.
- Make New Memories – They say that money buys us the most happiness when we spend it on experiences with the ones we love. Rather than gifting your loved one just another thing, consider planning an outing together. Get tickets for a concert, sporting event or their favorite musical. Plan a day at the nearest zoo. Or, for a low-budget option, plan a simple day at the park together, picnic included. Your loved one will appreciate the thought you put into the gift, and the memories you make together will be extremely meaningful.
Make It Count
“For many older adults,” says Peggy, “gifts are most special when they understand the love that went into it. With a smaller living space, and a whole community that meets their needs right outside their door, a thoughtful, useful gift may take some creativity, but I promise that your loved one’s appreciation will be well worth the effort.”
If you would like to learn more about gifting for older loved ones, or the services and amenities available at Lions Gate, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Inspiring Wellness Every Day at Lions Gate.
Lions Gate, located in Voorhees, NJ, offers a continuum of lifestyle and care options rooted in Jewish traditions and values. Whether you are in need of Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing or Rehabilitation Services, Lions Gate has you covered.
Our mission at Lions Gate is to enrich the lives of those we serve through quality and compassionate care consistent with our heritage and values. We strive to provide programs and services that inspire well-being, as well as social, cultural and spiritual independence.
As a full-service community rich in wellness programs, meaningful experiences and educational opportunities from Lions Gate University, Lions Gate allows residents to connect with those who share their interests and cherished traditions. Our goal is to provide residents with an active, worry-free lifestyle filled with ways to connect with others, pursue their passions and be engaged in everyday life. While we focus on Jewish customs and traditions, we welcome people of all faiths to the Lions Gate family.
Through our affiliation with Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Service, we also offer three senior living communities for those with limited incomes.