Grand parents can be tough to buy for at Christmas. They have seen everything, they have done everything and generally have everything they need. If they have spent time downsizing or decluttering, you want to get them something they can use…and that doesn’t include fruitcake. NEVER buy fruitcake, unless you’re building Granny a retaining wall, only then may fruitcake be appropriate.
1) Google PhotoScan + Photobook
Before the digital age people actually had to go to a store to drop off film and then return days later to pick up printed photos. Chances are your parents and grandparents have loads of these glossy things littered in shoeboxes and yellow stained paisley covered albums.
Now it’s time to back up those paper memories and convert them into digital files. And here’s the kicker, you don’t need a desktop scanner to do it. Google has just launched their Google PhotoScan app that turns your phone into a handheld scanner. And don’t worry, there’s no glare, you’re not simply taking a photo of a photo. See how it works here and download for iOS and Android.
But don’t stop just there, create a hard cover photobook, photo canvas or calendar of those old memories. Sites such as Shutterfly, Blurb, and Mixbook provide a variety of nicely designed templates, paper stocks and covers. The sites are user friendly and pricing depends on what you choose. Of course, this will take more time and effort but it will immediately catapult you to the top of Grandma or Grandpa’s favorite’s list.
2) Event Tickets
Most seniors appreciate a night out as much as the next person but the price of admission is not what it used to be. That is why tickets to a favorite concert or play make the perfect gift. There is a price point that suits every gift givers budget starting with local theater groups and symphony orchestras offering seasonal specials. If you are done paying off student loans and not yet paying for your children’s college you might even consider tickets to a broadway play for that special senior in your life.
The ultimate group gift for a parent or grandparent that struggles with the stairs. The priciest item on the list, the Savaria K2 will deliver mobility and peace of mind. Nana or Papa will be able to ascend and descend the stairs without harm, greatly reducing the risk of a fall. Can you really put a price on that? The K2 fits practically any straight staircase and has a battery powered system with built in charging so it can operate during a power outage. New power options are also available that feature a power swivel, leg rest and rail.
Starts at $3000 installed
The romantic image of the classic picnic scene is timeless – sharing lunch outdoors with a loved one on the buffalo check blanket with a woven picnic basket off to the side speaks to any age and generation. But here’s the reality, the picnic basket was awkward to carry, had no pockets and keeping the pinot cold was a pipe dream…until now. The igloo day-tripper is the best-looking wearable cooler you will find. And it comes with a built in bottle opener, bamboo cutting board, 2 cooler compartments, side pockets for additional storage and padded backstraps for hands-free carrying. Now Grandma and Gramps can plan that pretty picnic.
5) Specialty Clothing
Clothes shopping is a chore that many seniors avoid due to accessibility and mobility issues. Many styles are also not suitable if your loved one has difficulty with dexterity. Clothes with zippers instead of buttons, front closures rather than back zippers are just two of the many options available at specialty retailers dealing with clothing for the elderly.
Are you worried about your Grandpa’s driving or want a way to monitor Grandma’s visits to the casino? Then this portable GPS vehicle tracker has got them covered. This may take some creativity to spin this into a gift that Grandma or Grandpa actually appreciates when their privacy is being eroded but when it’s about their overall well being how can they say ‘no’?
Use the free app to receive real time location reports to your phone or tablet. Set up a geofence and receive alerts whenever the tracker exits the area. If Gramps has a bit of a led foot, set a speed limit and receive alerts when it is exceeded. Pretty soon you’ll have those grandparents becoming speed abiding non-gambling citizens.
$79.99 plus a $5/month service fee
7) Gourmet Delights
Cooking for one can be boring and scrambled eggs and toast is not exactly a balanced diet so why not check out the options in your area for delivered gourmet meals. Most cities have companies that will deliver as little or as much as your budget allows. Set the Grands up for a week, a month or more, of home cooked meals delivered right to the door or stock the freezer and leave the choice up to them.
Catching up with friends and family on the phone is one of the most important things to a senior. But when hearing loss makes conversations a challenge it can be frustrating for everybody. Never will you have to utter the phrase “can you hear me now? “ at differing decibels because the Captioning Telephone takes the hardness out of hearing.
Similar to closed captioning on a television, the Captioning Telephone displays every word from an incoming or outgoing call on it’s 7” color touchscreen allowing the user to read the conversation. It also includes an answering machine that displays captions of the message. The product requires telephone and internet service (wifi or ethernet cable).
9) Lift Chair
If Granny is unintentionally binge watching Game of Thrones there could be a reason. She may need a lift chair. Powered to mechanically help people get up from a seated position, a lift chair is part comfort and part practical. With the push of a button it can recline or lift Granny to her feet without her being forced to view the Red Wedding.
There are 3 different types with varying degrees of recline. The upholstery comes in many different fabrics, leathers and faux leathers to match any home’s decor. With a price tag starting at $600 it’s another group gift that you can be sure Granny will use.
10) Card Shufflers
Old timers didn’t grow up on Halo or Assassin’s Creed but ask them to play Hearts, Euchre or Gin Rummy and watch their eyes light up. Fuel their passion for cards and get your grand parent a card shuffler this holiday season. It will add instant cred to their card game regardless of what it is and it will save their arthritic hands. This list breaks down the best units and don’t worry it won’t break the bank, units start at roughly $15. So put the senior centre on notice, the players are gonna play.
Do you need stocking stuffer ideas too?
The smallest thing can sometimes have the biggest impact on a Senior’s day to day comfort. Items such as non-skid shoe pads to make slippery floors safe or a thermal travel mug are great stocking stuffers. If Granny or Gramps are cold all the time consider an electric throw or easy on slippers with velcro closures.