Photo by Miriam Doerr Martin Frommherz / Shutterstock.com
Hunting for holiday gifts for your older friends and relatives can be tough.
You want to remember them with something special. Yet the seniors in your life may be trying to downsize, not add a pile of new belongings to their homes.
It’s possible to give a gift that will be both memorable and useful. The following thoughtful and handy ideas, for example, are suitable for anyone but might especially please the older folks on your shopping list.
1. Digitized photos
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If the elderly loved ones in your life have boxes of photos, negatives, slides or video they can no longer easily enjoy, help them send those images off to a photo scanning service like ScanCafe.
With photos, for example, ScanCafe will hand-scan images, manually color-correct or otherwise retouch them as needed, and send back the digital versions along with the originals.
2. Easy-to-grip kitchen gadgets
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Is that tiny little carrot peeler or grater getting tough for mom or dad to use, even though they’re still perfectly able to cook for themselves? Replace those old kitchen gadgets with the Oxo Good Grips 6 Piece Kitchen Essentials Set.
As Oxo describes it:
“This set includes 6 of the most important tools for preparing and serving food: Swivel Peeler, Can Opener, Grater, 9″ Locking Tongs, Ice Cream Scoop and 11″ Balloon Whisk. Each tool has been specially designed for ease of use and comfort, with durable stainless steel heads and soft, non-slip grips.”
The retail price is $39.99, and you can find this set at various retailers, including:
3. Amazon Echo
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Grandma may not have the same musical tastes as you do, but with an Echo “smart” speaker and a little explanation, she can play DJ in her own home. The recipient just commands, “Alexa, play Elvis Presley,” and soon, she’s “All Shook Up” and on the way to “Heartbreak Hotel.”
Amazon’s Echo devices are powered by Alexa, which is what’s known as an intelligent personal assistant — just like Apple’s Siri, for example. Alexa’s many capabilities include giving you the local weather forecast, making phone calls for you, and checking your bank and credit card balances.
Amazon’s Echo devices include the:
- Echo Dot — which is $20 off (only $29.99) from Nov. 17 through Black Friday, as we reported earlier this week
- Echo — $20 off ($79.99)
- Echo Plus — $30 off ($119.99)
Note that the Echo was recently overhauled and the Echo Plus is a new addition to this product line, as we detail in “Amazon Debuts New and Improved Tech for Holiday Shopping Season.”
4. Plastic-packaging opener
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Burrowing through plastic clamshell packaging can be even more frustrating for those with arthritis or reduced hand strength. The battery-powered Zip-It Opener mows through the thick wrapping and frees the articles inside.
The retail price is $21.95, though you may be able to find it for less. The Zip-It Opener is sold at:
5. Personalized tea box
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If your gift recipient is a fan of tea, help him or her organize their tea bags — or craft or sewing supplies, even — with Lillian Vernon’s elegant hinged bamboo box. It will be laser-etched with your recipient’s initial for that personal touch.
The retail price is $39.99.
6. Automatic salt and pepper grinders
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Replace those old salt and pepper grinders that may be a pain for arthritic hands. The iTouchless Electronic Stainless Steel Pepper and Salt Mill/Grinder is battery-powered, so it works at the touch of a button. It even features an automatic guiding light to help the user see how much spice is being used.
The retail price for a two-piece set is $29.95, but you can find it for less at various retailers, including:
7. Personalized photo ornament
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If your gift recipient decorates a tree, help warm up the boughs with a personalized photo ornament. Many have multiple sides, so you can use multiple photos or put a photo on one side and a meaningful message on the other.
You’ll find a variety of ornament shapes, sizes and materials as well as price points at:
8. Magnetic jewelry clasps
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Let’s face it: Necklaces are hard to fasten, even for the young. Provide a helping hand by giving mom or grandma magnetic clasps like those sold by Miles Kimball, for example.
Be sure to install them on her favorite jewelry for her. Then, all, she will need to do is hold the two ends close to each other, and, in a snap, her necklace or bracelet is securely fastened.
You should be able to find magnetic clasps for no more than a few dollars. If buying them online would mean having to pay for shipping, check a local brick-and-mortar craft store.
What inspired gifts have you given or received that are especially useful for an older person? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.