This blog was contributed by the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA).
With the holiday shopping season well under way, smart senior living companies seize the opportunity to reach out to residents’ families with much-needed gift ideas for loved ones in their communities. From senior-friendly technology gadgets to simpler gifts for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, these gifts can brighten the holidays for residents while also giving community staff the chance to communicate with families.
The “Gadgetwise” blog in The New York Times this month listed various technology gadgets designed for older people, including:
· New mobile phones, designed by a Swedish company called Doro, and introduced in the United States for the senior market. Through Consumer Cellular, AARP’s official cellular provider, seniors can access Bluetooth technology as well as emergency-only plans.
· Simplified Internet services, including Familink, which is designed specifically for seniors and offers a package that starts at $10 per month. Easy-to-view screens are color-coded. Features include a calendar, which can also be accessed by family members, that can remind residents to take their medications.
Nashville, Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living recently posted a link to its Facebook page about gifts ideas for loved with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Here are the ideas the company recommends:
· A listening device with recordings of favorite songs.
· Framed enlargements of family pictures.
· A picture scrapbook of the loved one's life, work, awards, and more.
· A photo album filled with pictures of past fun family activities.
· A personal reminisce/life enrichment box with contributions from all family members, based on the person's specific interests.
· Recorded Bible readings, sermons, or poetry.
· Lotions, creams, or favorite scent.
· A music box.
· A therapeutic photo memory quilt or fidget quilt, such as the ones at http://www.patchworkmemoryquilts.com