1. Audio Books / Podcast Subscription
Aging can take away our eyesight, but it can't take our enjoyment of a good story! Audio books and podcasts (many of which are free, such as Radiolab or This American Life) are a fantastic way for an elderly person with visual impairments to enjoy their favorite yarns. You can set them up with an audio library on their computer, smart phone or tablet. Check out Audible for some great selections.
2. Photo Blanket- the softer the better!
The modern age offers an incredible variety of photo gifts out there on the market. But one of my favorites, for both form and function, is the photo blanket. They're easy to order online (you can get one from WalMart) and can be a wonderful way to keep pictures of the grand-kids close. Plus, our elderly relatives tend to feel the cold more easily, so warm blankets are always appreciated.
3. Digital Picture Frame
Many of our elderly loved ones struggle with limited mobility. This might mean they spend a lot of time in one room of the house. Instead of offering a dozen of the traditional photo frames that gather dust, consider giving them a digital frame that can include tons of photos all in one place. Your loved one can enjoy a slideshow of smiling faces of family and friends from the comfort of their favorite chair.
4. Comfy Footwear
Your elderly loved one is more susceptible to chilly feet. Slippers and socks with non-slip treads not only keep them cozy, but they also help prevent hazardous falls. You may also want to consider indoor/outdoor "garden shoes" like crocks that have non-slip bottoms and warm fuzzy fabric to hug their feet.
5. Cleaning Services
If you've never hired a cleaning service before, boy you'll be amazed at the difference they can make. They not only keep your house clean, they also help keep your mind free from clutter and your spirits high. It can be extremely difficult for your elderly loved one to keep a clean home, especially when cleaning requires strenuous physical activity like scrubbing, bending and kneeling. Consider hiring a monthly or bi-monthly cleaning service to do the job. Most services charge by the square foot and allow you to schedule regular days. Think of how good your elderly loved one would feel with a consistently clean, comfortable home!
Of course, it needs to be said that the best gift is your company! Our nation's seniors suffer from loneliness. Paying them a visit as often as you can is the greatest (and most appreciated) gift we can offer.