Take a few moments to plan your senior gift-giving this year.

With Christmas just days away, it's time for you to give some thought to the kind of gift you're going to get for your senior loved one. Don't wait to the last minute and just grab whatever is left in the department store, after it's all been picked over by early bird shoppers. You care more about your parent than that, and your Christmas gift should express that. In Arlington and elsewhere, you can ensure that any gift you decide on for your senior loved one will be much more appreciated if you spend a few moments planning just what you want to get for him/her. Your private duty caregivers in the area urge you to do a little planning to make this holiday a special one for your elderly parent.

Considerations for gift-giving

Keep in mind that more than likely, your elderly parent has limited space in his/her dwelling, so any gift you give should be one which takes up very little extra space. There are a great many presents you can think of which are not large or bulky, so this won't impose too great a restriction on your planning. If your senior loved one has dexterity issues, you should take that into account as well, and not give them a gift which requires considerable hand movements.

Many elderly people are afflicted with arthritis, which makes the joints of the hands sore and difficult to move easily, so any gift you get should not require hand motions if your parent falls into this category. It's also necessary to consider the state of your loved one's mental function, because an Alzheimer's patient, for instance, should not be given anything which could potentially cause them harm. In fact, if their cognitive abilities are inhibited in any way, you should be aware of this, and tailor your gift-giving to account for that.

Some senior gift ideas 

If you're like most people, when it comes to thinking of gifts for seniors, you just draw a total blank and can't think of a single thing. If that's the case, the ideas suggested below may be of help, and they should not be objectionable for most seniors in any way.

One of the things that seniors love the most is the memories they've accumulated throughout a lifetime, so why not give them a gift in this same vein? For instance, you could give them a special photo album loaded with family pictures, a blanket with a particular family photo, or a 12-month calendar featuring family photos which they can enjoy all year long.

If your senior loved one has a favorite singer or movie actor, you might want to get them an album of songs recorded by that artist, or perhaps one or two videos of movies made by a favorite star. These are especially good gifts because they can be re-used over and over again, and may even become a particular favorite of your loved one. 

Gifts which have been proven to promote a calm and relaxed attitude are a wonderful gift to provide your senior loved one with, even if they are troubled by some form of dementia. Weighted blankets are very good for such cases because they provide warmth and a sense of security, and this can be especially important to an elderly person suffering from dementia. A heated throw blanket can keep your loved one warm and toasty, regardless of the weather or conditions in the home. A wheelchair blanket could also be much appreciated, keeping legs, knees, and ankles all warm and protected against drafts and chills.

You may have been avoiding any kind of gift-giving which involved clothing, but that's not really necessary if you can find the right kind of adaptive clothing for your loved one. Compression socks, for instance, are great for people with diabetes, and they reduce swelling and discomfort as well. Slippers with non-skid soles are a great idea to help your loved one feel comfortable all day long, without having to go through the hassle of putting on socks and shoes. Specialized adaptive clothing can be a boon for any senior suffering from incontinence, limited mobility, or arthritis, so if you can find something suitable online or at a local store, this would surely be much appreciated.

One last gift idea which is almost certain to find favor with your loved one is a memory-foam cushion which could be used in a wheelchair, on the couch, or even at the dinner table. Your elderly loved one may have difficulty getting comfortable while sitting, because of joint soreness or other discomforts, so an ultra-soft cushion which caters to its owner's form just might be the perfect idea for making them happy. 

This year, take a few moments to plan for the gift you want to give your elderly loved one. They will certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness, and you'll feel much better about having given some thought to senior gift-giving, rather than just picking up any little present leftover on the week before Christmas.