Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, so I thought it would be a great time to make some gift suggestions for the older adult in your life, especially those living in an assisted living community during the pandemic that we are in.
Connection is the key this year. In a time where we should be socially distancing and many senior living communities have had to restrict or limit visitation, we still need to find ways to connect.
The best way to do this we have found is through devices such as tablets and cell phones that can allow virtual video chats.
Our residents truly enjoy connecting through FaceTime, Zoom and other video chatting platforms. Ipads are great, but costly, especially if you are just using them for FaceTime. Since the pandemic started many tech companies have been working fast and furiously to update their technology and offer more of a selection.
One great option is through Amazon and Alexa. The Echo Show is great for seniors. It serves as a clock, a timer, can set reminders, make video calls, share pictures and so much more! All of the reviews I have seen mention how great the speakers are in the Echo Show. You can also use a Kindle Fire through the Alexa app or any mobile device with the Alexa App can make video calls. Right now the Echo Show and Kindle Fires are on sale in honor of Black Friday!
Other items I am aware of include the Grandpad and Google Nest.
Another great idea is a digital photo frame that you can send pictures to from anywhere in the world! There are different brands of these including Aluratrek, Brookstone Photoshare, Nixplay, SimplySmart and Skylight.
For any electronic device, I would recommend setting up prior to gifting to alleviate and stress on your loved one.
Other items I have noticed some of our residents have that I think everyone would enjoy include TV/Sofa tray tables, the ones that slide under chairs and beds are sturdier and often larger than the simple TV tray you can purchase at Wal-Mart; bird feeders that suction cup to their windows; pajamas; robes; cool mist humidifier; and cushioned lap desks for coloring, reading or doing crossword puzzles.
Many of our residents are frequently looking for new crossword puzzle books or like to color and draw so I am sure they would appreciate being stocked up on these items.
Your loved one may appreciate a subscription for a newspaper or magazine. Currently, our guidelines do not allow us to share these items as a precautionary measure against spreading the virus.
For seniors who love books but can no longer see to read or hold a book, Amazon has an Audiobook program available that can be used on a Kindle. The Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicap out of Pittsburgh offers books on tape and a tape player that they will ship to your loved one for free.
North Central Sight Services in Williamsport also has a low vision store full of products on Reach Road for those with poor vision.
Last but not least, never underestimate the power of a simple letter or card in the mail. I think all of us can agree, it’s nice to be remembered.