Gift ideas to help seniors live healthier

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When you love someone, you want them to be healthy, and your senior family member is no exception. Why not give a holiday gift that will make them feel good and help them take care of their health?

 Seniors suffer a long list of potential health concerns, including arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease and more. Helping them stay on top of their medications and doctor’s visits is especially important for older adults.

 Diet and exercise are also critical to long-term health, so helping your senior loved one get moving and eat more fruits and vegetables can give them a healthy chance at a longer, healthier life.

 When buying gifts, consider items that will make their health journey easier. Here are some gift ideas for your senior loved one.

 

 Gifts for Seniors:

     

  1. New walking shoes — Getting out and moving is very important for long-term health, and some good shoes are the perfect starting place. Look for shoes that are made for walking, and don’t just buy shoes that are labeled as such. Go to a specialty running store for a fitting. A person’s gait is important to finding the right shoe. While you’re there, grab some running socks. Good socks wick sweat away from feet, helping to prevent blisters and sore spots.

  2. A blender or juicer — A juicer can help your loved one take in more healthy fruits and vegetables. If your senior doesn’t know how to make a smoothie or juice blend, help them learn by making some concoctions together. It will make for a fun afternoon of experimentation.

  3. A massage or spa day — Self-care is important for seniors, too. Spending a day at a spa or getting a massage or facial will help them relax and feel refreshed. Seniors are often isolated and unable to socialize, which can lead to depression, so self-care is important. Helping them get out and feel good is a great way to show your love and boosts their mental health.

  4. Medication dispenser — Keeping track of all the medications a senior needs can be very daunting. Getting a smart dispenser can help make sure they get the right doses at the right time. Some are even lockable so the user can’t take more than what’s prescribed.

    If needed, spend a little extra time loading up the dispenser so there’s no confusion about the medications and their timing.

  5. A good cane or walking stick — Canes can help seniors with mobility issues move around, and there are lots of options out there: foldable, with a seat, with legs and even some that light up. You can even get canes decorated with skulls and flames, for the senior in your life with a rebellious streak.

  6. Subscribe to a CSA — Community Supported Agriculture is a way to get healthy, local vegetables directly from a farm. Many of them are organic or use organic methods (without being certified organic). If your senior loved one isn’t sure how to use all the vegetables that are in season, you can work with them to find ways to cook healthy meals full of vitamins. Some CSAs allow people to purchase half shares for smaller households, or you can go in on a share as a pair or group, then divide up the veggies. Some CSAs also offer the opportunity to buy fresh eggs or meats when you pick up your shares.

 

Gifts for Seniors in Long-Term Care

     

    1. Pedal exerciser — In an assisted living facility, space can be rather limited, so there isn’t necessarily room for a full home gym. However, with a pedal exerciser, your senior can strengthen weakened leg muscles from the comfort of a chair for low impact exercise.

    2. Traveling bookshelf — With a digital e-reader such as a Kindle, your loved one can read all their favorites (and new ones too) without having to depend on others to refresh their stock. The text size can be adjusted to make reading easy, day or night. In addition, reading is a great way to relieve stress, so it mixes fun with a mental health boost.

    3. Puzzles — Mental fitness is important, especially as we age, and nothing keeps the mind occupied and sharp like a puzzle. There are plenty of great, large-piece options for seniors. You can even put a sentimental spin on it by turning a cherished photo into a puzzle they can put together and enjoy.

    4. Toiletry basket — Put together a basket filled with your loved one’s favorite toiletries such as shampoo, lotion, perfume, body scrub, and a pair of comfy socks. Perhaps you could throw together a spa basket and encourage them to enjoy it with a friend to promote socialization.

    5. Comfy pillows — We all have that one pillow that we simply can’t sleep without, but as we age, the right pillow can provide a better night’s sleep. A lumbar cushion or memory travel pillow could be just the ticket to relieving those achy joints so that your loved one can sleep well, wake up refreshed, less stiff, and ready to tackle the day.

    6. Day out — A change of scenery does a world of good, and if your senior is able, a day spent with a friend or family member is a special treat. Give them control over the day, and oblige as many of their requests as possible.

 

Helping your loved ones stay healthy is the ultimate way to show your love. Good health and healthy habits can help extend their lives as well as keep them healthy and enjoying life longer.

Written for Aftenro by Hazel Bridges @

agingwellness.org