Senior Living: Great gift suggestions for anyone 55-plus!

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By BETH DOW, Senior Living Advice

Every year Oprah has a show where she lists her “favorite things” for Christmas.

Not to be outdone by Oprah, I decided this year that I would put out my own list of favorite Christmas gifts for anyone over 55. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the younger folks wouldn’t enjoy them also.

There are two things I love when it comes to gifts: conversation starters and items that help people to reminisce.  These items do both.  

A few years back, digital picture frames came on the market.  My favorite ones are those that allow anyone you invite, to send pictures right to your picture frame.  It is fun to watch your pictures scroll by and especially fun when you see a new picture pop up from a loved one.  These are great gifts.  If you are giving the gift to an older, not so tech-savvy person, please don’t just wrap the box and give it to them.  Set it up.  There are so many gifts that get given that never quite make it out of the box.

I love to travel.  It is my favorite pastime.  A few years back, I bought a destination map where I can mark all the states we have visited.  My goal is to visit them all.  I love my map.  I love talking about it to people, showing it to people.  It is a great way to relay stories and reminisce.  The maps come in many sizes from full-size maps that can be mounted on the wall, to place-mat size maps.  Last year I even bought a friend of mine a coffee cup with a destination map and the markers to fill in the states.

If I had to pick my favorite purchase in 2021, it would have to be my Roomba™.  These are the electric floor sweepers/vacuum.  Game Changer!!!!  I set that baby to go every morning and come home to nicely swept floors.  And you would not believe all the stuff they pick up. I have 2 inside dogs and one sheds.  I had no idea my floor was that dirty.

Another great gift is a sound bar for the TV or if you are buying for a couple, one with worse hearing than the other, a Bluetooth headset will make everyone happy.  The spouse with good hearing can listen to the TV at a normal volume while their spouse can pull up the volume as much as they want with their headset.  Not only is it a great gift… you contributed to marital bliss.

Need other gift ideas?  Flowers of the month bring smiles all year long. I would prefer cookies of the month, but flowers of the month would be better for the waistline.  Bird feeders are also great gifts.   Once again, don’t just give the gift.  Help with the set up.  It is funny how the older I get, the more joy I find in just watching birds at my bird feeders.

I hope I gave you some inspiration as you plan your gift giving and I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

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