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An Updated Guide to Gifts for Seniors in a Care Facility

This article is a continuation of a previous article we published approximately a year ago: Special Days for Seniors – Best Gifts for Seniors in a Care Facility. Today we look back over the beginning of the year 2020 and, while initially there was a lot of positive energy and optimism, things took a detour with the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic. This has caused many of us to be unable to visit the seniors in our lives–a frustrating situation, to be sure, especially since times of uncertainty are when we’d want to visit our loved ones the most. We can begin to feel helpless when we know that a parent or grandparent is nearby but unable to receive visitors. Hopefully we are approaching a time when we, while remaining cautious, will be able to spend more time with our elderly loved ones. To that end, we have updated a few of our gift suggestions.

A Tablet for Video Chat

The technology exists to visit the senior in your life remotely via video chat, but does your senior have the technology–and the know-how–to use it? The first part of the equation has a fairly simple solution. A quality tablet with an easy-to-use operating system might be the most ideal choice, although some seniors may prefer a laptop computer. If it’s only the keyboard that matters, you should be able to find one for a tablet as an after-market accessory. Not to pick sides in the operating system wars, but it seems that an iPad would be useful because you can call your loved one via FaceTime and all they have to do is swipe to accept the video call. They don’t have to log in to any applications or websites or perform any other technological functions. Placing a FaceTime call is fairly simple, as well.

Ebook Capability

One of the additional benefits of tablets is that you can usually download an application for the reading of ebooks. Books in the electronic format can be purchased online from major booksellers or borrowed (for free) from the local public library’s website. You can help your senior set up a library account if they don’t already have one, find and borrow books, and load them onto their device. In some cases a dedicated device, such as a Kindle, might be preferred, since it might be more intuitive to use. However, some dedicated ebook readers are prone to crashing. Additionally, learning to use one operating system might be more appealing to some seniors than managing multiple devices. Weigh the pros and cons as best suited for your loved one.

Hobbies for Shelter-in-Place

It depends on the level of isolation that your senior is experiencing as to what types of activities he or she might be able to enjoy. It might be wise to find entertainment that can be enjoyed in solitude, should that need arise again. Select a just-in-case-you’re-quarantined gift to have on hand, perhaps stashed in a closet. Or, if the senior in your life enjoys technology, they may like to play games on their tablet or device. If a hobby doesn’t immediately come to mind, have a dialogue with your loved one about this to find out what types of activities would appeal to them.

Practical Gifts

For a senior in a care facility, practical gifts will always reign supreme. Personalized items from a loved one, be they comfortable bedding (pillows, blankets, even sheets) or slip resistant shoes, are a welcome change from the uniform–and possibly more utilitarian–offerings most likely provided. However, it is absolutely essential to be cautious about introducing the coronavirus into your senior’s life. Follow recommended sanitary procedures on your gifts before delivering them to the loved one.

As we said before, seniors in care facilities enjoy receiving gifts. Don’t wait for a birthday or holiday to make your loved one smile.