Jodi Whitaker

Gift Ideas for Older Friends, Loved Ones

Published: Dec 18, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2012) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, Dec. 16.

 

By Julie Lassslo

 

Buying gifts for the older loved ones in your life is often the most difficult part of our holiday giving lists. The Kentucky Safe Aging Coalition encourages you to consider making that gift one that will help provide health and independence to these individuals.

 

Here are gift ideas for the home, the mind, and for improved physical fitness, all of which encourage independence, wellness, and improved quality of life.

 

GIFTS FOR THE HOME

  •  Motion lights, touch lamps
  •  Large-handled kitchen tools (especially knives)
  •  Intercom system for the inside of the house
  •  Bath rails, with installation provided
  •  Floor treatments like “shark grip” or slip resistant mats for showers and bathtubs
  •  Pull up rails for the bed
  •  Prepaid lawn care services
  •  Prepaid house cleaning services
  •  Laminated phone list with the numbers listed of family, friends and other contacts (electric company, doctor’s office, etc.)

GIFTS FOR THE MIND

  •  Lighted magnifier
  •  Beanbag lap desk
  •  Tickets to a play or sporting event
  •  Magazine subscriptions
  •  Crossword and math puzzles
  •  Large-print playing cards
  •  Handheld electronic games like Yahtzee or solitaire
  •  An organizer for birthday and other cards, arranged by date with stamps provided

GIFTS TO IMPROVE PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SAFETY

  •  Socks with grippers
  •  Fancy canes
  •  Reachers/pickup tools
  •  Personal alarm system
  •  Membership to a local fitness center, YMCA, exercise or dance class
  •  Action games, like those provided with Nintendo Wii

Deborah Reed, professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky, reminds us that the best gift we can give is ourselves. She suggests “a daily phone call, an afternoon helping with little things, around the house, or a picnic at the park.” As you look for the last few presents to place under the tree, keep an eye out for those that encourage your loved one to stay active, social, safe and mentally sharp. Whether you want to <?xml:namespace prefix = owc />

 

Check out more expert health columns at BlueGrassMoms.com   spend two dollars or two thousand dollars on your next holiday gift, remember that the best gifts are those that enhance quality of life ; as Reed points out, sometimes that doesn’t cost a thing.

 

The Kentucky Safe Aging Coalition is part of the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center. For more information, call (859) 257-5839 or visit NoFalls.org  .

 

Julie Lasslo is the Kentucky Safe Aging Coalition Coordinator at the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center.

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