Christmas gift baskets offer a festive gift option for seniors, but deciding what to include in the basket can be challenging. You can choose a theme, such as tasty foods or movie night, or gather various gifts you know the recipient will love. Since space is often limited in an assisted living community, choose items that are useful and small enough to fit well, and place those items in a basket or container they can reuse for storage. Here are some options to include in a Christmas gift basket for older loved ones.
Photo gifts are sentimental and something your loved one can display year-round. For loved ones with memory loss, photo gifts can give them comfort and help them remember their family members.
A photo album or framed picture is a simple option. Add captions to your photo album or make a scrapbook with captions to help remind them of the details of the event or the names of the people in the picture.
You can upload many photos to a digital picture frame. This option won't take up much space in your loved one's assisted living apartment, but it lets them see multiple pictures. It can also be easier than a photo album if your loved one has limited mobility. You can also order items with images printed on them, such as mugs, shirts, blankets and calendars.
Favorite foods can also bring comfort to your loved one. They can bring back memories of past Christmases or other family members. You might bake the holiday goodies that your family makes every year or buy your loved one's favorite holiday candies and treats. A cookie decorating kit with baked sugar cookies, frosting and sprinkles combines yummy holiday treats with entertainment.
You can also focus on something specific. For example, if your loved one is a coffee fan, you might include different types of coffee, a mug, creamer and other coffee add-ins. A tea theme might include loose-leaf teas, a teapot, a tea cup and honey.
Consider your loved one's preferences and dietary restrictions when choosing food items. For example, some people might need to eat a low-sodium or low-sugar diet based on their health conditions.
The assisted living communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella offer comfortable accommodations for seniors, but it's always nice to have extra cozy touches that make the space like home. An extra soft throw blanket works well in the bottom of a large gift basket. It can serve as the filler with other gifts nestled into the blanket. Other cozy items you can gift include slippers, mittens, scarves or hats. A spa-themed basket with scrubs, lotions, LED candles and other pampering items is also a way to offer comfort to your loved one.
Another way to make an assisted living space feel like home is with decor pieces. A new Christmas ornament or a mini Christmas tree with decorations sets a festive tone, or gift them a new Christmas CD for festive background music. Choose some small Christmas decor pieces, such as holiday towels, wall hangings, throw pillows or string lights, that your loved one can hang up in their assisted living space. If you want something they can use year-round, look for faith-based home decor that's more general.
If you don't get to visit your loved one in their assisted living community as much as you'd like, include a tech gadget in their Christmas gift basket to keep them connected. This can also be a useful gift if they have other family members who live far away. A tablet makes it easier for older adults to video chat with family and friends when they can't see them in person. Set up the device and download video chat programs before gifting it to your loved one so it's ready to go.
Another tech option is a voice-activated personal assistant device, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home devices. Your loved one can use the device to do all sorts of things such as checking the weather, getting answers to questions or playing music without getting up. This can be beneficial for people with limited mobility.
Incorporate faith into the Christmas basket to emphasize the true meaning of the holiday season. A Christian book is one idea with many possibilities, which makes it easier to find a book that the recipient will like. Other ideas include candles with Bible passages, jewelry or a faith journal. Consider the recipient's faith and interests to find a gift that fits both.
Residents of Bethesda Senior Living Communities have plenty of activity options, from scheduled outings to crafts and other on-site activities. However, your loved one might appreciate having entertainment items that can enjoy in their own assisted living apartment. This gives them something to do when they're not visiting with fellow residents or enjoying the amenities of the assisted living community. Examples include books, puzzles, crosswords, games, craft supplies, movies or supplies for a hobby.