The festive season is upon us. Have you done all your gift shopping yet? We know there are always some hard-to-buy-for people in every family but if you’re stumped for a present for an elderly friend, family member or neighbour, we’ve got some excellent suggestions for you. We’re not talking socks, hankies or boxes of chocolates either!
Technology gifts for older Australians
Even the least tech-savvy person will appreciate these gifts. They do need to be set up but engaging a support worker from the Mable platform can be useful to show them how to do it and how to get the most out of them later on.
Large format computer keyboard
Large orientation clocks
Clocks are something every person uses every single day, but when vision, memory or cognitive function are less than sharp, a large orientation clock comes in very handy. These highly visible, easy-to-read clocks display the time, the day, the phase of the day and the date. Some even have basic alarms and medicine reminders.
Big button phone with picture dialling
This big button phone makes it easy to dial, even with shaky hands. A really cool feature is that you can place a photo of six different people on the top and all your loved one has to do is press the picture to call that person. Programming it is easy. It also has an extra loud ringer and is hearing aid compatible.
iPads and other brands of tablet are fabulous, no matter the age of the user! Not only can your elderly relative play games, use an email account, listen to music and keep up with family goings-on with Facebook, but they can read the newspaper and books in large print, download audio books and enjoy video chats with friends and family all over the world.
Tile tracker tags
If your elderly relative is prone to losing their keys, wallet or even their cat, a simple little gadget can help! Simply attach a Tile Mate to any gadget (or kitty’s collar) and download the app to their smartphone. If something is misplaced, they only have to press a button in the Tile app and it will trigger an audible notification. The item can also be located on a map on the app. By the way, it also works in reverse so if they can’t find their phone, just click on one of the other Tiles.
Clever gifts from Leef Independent Living Solutions
Leef has a comprehensive array of products around personal independence so we thought we’d point out a few that would make excellent gifts.
Take a look at these gorgeous companion pets. They’re cuddly, furry, plush dogs and cats that exhibit lifelike breathing, with their little bellies rising and falling, just like a real sleeping pet. They come with a soft bed, an adoption certificate, a carrier and other accessories and run on a ‘D’ battery.
For those who enjoy writing the odd letter or card but have difficulties holding and handling pens, this Weighted Writing Pen is fitted with a soft, rubberised grip. Gardeners will appreciate the PETA Garden Easi-Grip Trowel and there are matching cultivators, weeders and garden forks.
This HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow helps stimulate blood flow to relieve joint pain and muscle tension and features a heating function.
Books by Australian authors
For the book lover in your life, here’s some recommended reading.
- Dinner with the Founding Fathers – A vivid re-telling of the drama and excitement that surrounded the creation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901. Author: Everald Compton.
- James Cook – An engaging audiobook about the famous explorer. Author: Peter FitzSimons.
- Lee Kernaghan, Boy from the Bush – A downloadable eBook about to read on iPad, Kobo e-reader or other tablets. The story of the Australian country music star.
- Life Without the Boring Bits – The enlightening autobiography of an Australian national treasure. Author: Colleen McCullough.
Health and safety
We have a couple of gadgets to recommend that will help keep your elderly friend or relative safe, plus another very good idea.
Pill organiser and reminder alarm
For those who seem to forget to take their pills, this pill organiser can deliver up to four alarms per day as a reminder. It features 28 storage compartments for four separate times of day over a week.
Motion sensor lights
If your elderly gift recipient forgets to turn on the lights when they go to the bathroom, use the stairs or go to the kitchen in the night, these plug-in motion sensor night lights are the answer. These touch lamps are also a brilliant idea for the bedside table or coffee table.
‘Safety first’ is not just a buzz term. With an elderly person in the house, fall and trip hazards need to be considered. For those who use a wheelchair or walker, ramps may be necessary too. To find out what your loved one needs, you can engage an occupational therapist via the Mable platform to visit the home and see what needs to be changed. The gift of home modifications will help keep your friend/family member at home for longer.
Candles always create a lovely ambience but they’re not always the safest option around the elderly. These LED candles look and perform just like regular ones but don’t carry the risk of burning fingers or objects around them.
Brain training games and puzzles
TV is great and all but it’s rather passive. Set up your elderly friend or relative with some engaging games and puzzles that will encourage fun and give them a sense of accomplishment.
Games and puzzles book
299 on-the-go games & puzzles to keep your brain young by bestselling author Nancy Linde is jam-packed with fun, enjoyable activities that target six cognitive functions including long-term memory, working memory, multitasking and more.
Large format jigsaw puzzles
Keep their mind active with large format jigsaw puzzles. Starting at 13 pieces, each is colourful and easy to use for those with visual and dexterity challenges.
Good old chess
A lovely chess, mah-jong or Chinese Checkers board provides a fun way to pass some time and keeps the brain active at the same time.
Adult colouring books are a recent craze so there are tons to choose from in department stores, discount retailers and of course, online. Don’t forget to buy some pens, pencils or crayons to go with them.
Subscriptions, gift vouchers and tickets
With Christmas being such a busy time, it’s a nice idea to give gifts that can be enjoyed later on or throughout the year. Does your elderly friend or relative follow a particular sports team? Season passes would be exciting! Do they enjoy live theatre? Consider buying tickets to a performance they’ll be thrilled to attend. Avid magazine readers will appreciate a subscription to their favourite publication. What about flowers? Floraly will deliver a stunning bouquet every three, six or twelve months for you.
The gift of support and companionship
When you can’t always be there, it’s good to know that more than 10,000 support workers are available on the Mable platform to visit, assist and support your family member. They offer a wide range of aged care services including social support, domestic assistance, transport services, allied health therapies, nursing services and personal care.
Connect your elderly friend or loved one with the right support. Visit Mable today to learn more and search for a support worker.
Finding gifts for a senior in your life doesn’t need to be challenging. Mable has compiled a list of practical, fun and interesting gifts that are sure to be appreciated. Plus, there’s always the gift of companionship and support! Search Mable for support workers now.