Gift ideas for seniors

Staff report

COLUMBUS — Do you have an older loved one who is difficult to buy for each holiday season because he or she doesn’t need or want anything in particular?

The Ohio Department of Aging’s Golden Buckeye program encourages you to consider gift ideas that will help an older friend or relative pursue interests and make choices that will help them live “Well Beyond 60!”

“As lifespans get longer and Ohioans increasingly live well beyond traditional retirement age, it becomes more important that they find and embrace ways to live well so that they can continue to be respected as vital members of society who continue to grow, thrive and contribute in meaningful ways,” said Bonnie K. Burman, director of the department. “When we recognize that the choices we and our loved ones make for ourselves have a greater impact on health and well-being as we age than genetics, we begin to understand that aging is everybody’s business.”

The department, through its iconic Golden Buckeye program, offers these gift-giving suggestions to help an older loved one, family member or friend discover what living “Well Beyond 60” means to them:

• The gift of being steady: Falls are the leading cause of injury in adults age 65 and older, but most falls can be prevented. Visit for falls prevention tips and resources, then give a “coupon” good for your help checking for and removing falls risks around the house. Take them on a shopping trip for new footwear or assistive devices, like canes or reaching tools.

• The gift of music and memory: Listening to beloved songs and other recordings helps keep the mind sharp and eases worries. Get them an inexpensive and easy-to use digital music player and help load it with a personalized playlist of their all-time favorite tunes. Or, buy them tickets to the theater or a concert and offer to take them.

• The gift of mental fitness: Give a gift card for a local bookstore, or buy them a digital ebook reader and offer to help load it with their favorite books and magazines. Create a gift basket of puzzle books and card, board and video games, and offer to play with them.

• The gift of physical activity: Learn what physical activities they enjoy doing and give a gift that helps them do it. For example, if working out is something they value, give a gym membership or new workout gear, arrange a session with a personal trainer or offer to work out with them.

• The gift of good nutrition: If your loved one enjoys cooking, give a cookbook with healthy recipes or arrange cooking classes. If cooking for themselves is a challenge, help them set up a meal delivery subscription, or prepare meals for (or with) them in advance that they can keep frozen and re-heat easily.

• The gift of being together: Feeling connected is an important part of well-being. Create a coupon book of activities they can do and destinations they can visit with their children and grandchildren. Buy them a zoo or museum membership. If you can’t physically be with them, consider helping with the costs of a smart phone or tablet, Internet service and lessons to help them stay connected online.

Staff report