Holiday Gifts to Keep Older Adults Connected

Observing how our Age Assured members thrive when they stay connected to friends and family, Senior Ally Angelina Portuense has put together the following 2021 holiday gift list to support year-round interaction, intellectual stimulation and engagement for older adults and their families.  Happy Holidays!

Grandpad: For a second year in a row, the Grandpad, a tablet designed for older adults, continues to be a hit. The tablet and corresponding subscription service allows users to videochat with loved ones and to send photos, videos, and voice emails. The tablet also comes preloaded with customized music and popular games. 

Customized Photo Album or Calendar: This gift requires more effort on the part of the giver to select photos, write captions, and customize, but the gift becomes that much more meaningful to the recipient. Every time your mother or father-in-law flips the calendar page up for a new month, he or she will remember special family times and feel connected. Online retailers like Shutterfly make creating the perfect custom calendar or photo album easy. Walmart and Walgreens Pharmacy also offer in-store kiosks that do the same.

Amazon Echo: Amazon’s Echo and Echo Show provide hours upon hours of stimulation and connection. The cylindrical Amazon Echo sits on a tabletop and uses artificial intelligence or AI to run a voice-controlled virtual assistant, Alexa. You can ask Alexa to play music, check the weather, turn off any wifi-controlled light or adjust a smart thermostat. The Echo Show adds a display screen to facilitate video chatting, web browsing, and more. Subscription: For those who enjoy getting swept up in a good book, consider a subscription to Audible, an audiobook service from Amazon. A huge library of books, podcasts and guided wellness is accessed easily through an internet browser or Audible app on a smartphone or tablet. 

Online Education: “Inspire the person who inspires you” by giving the gift of online classes through platforms such MasterClass or GetSetUp. MasterClass is an all-you-can-learn subscription platform (starting at $15/month) featuring classes by artists, leaders and celebrities.   Take a cooking class with Gordon Ramsey or work on your singing with Christina Aguilera. GetSetUp is a social and educational buffet of online classes by and for older adults with strong offerings in computer literacy, fitness, personal finance, aging in place, art and more.  

Quality Time Coupon: A coupon for the gift of your time together — a dinner date, show, or nice walk around the neighborhood followed by tea and homemade cookies — is a great way to show someone you care. You can get really creative with this one! If you’re feeling ambitious, put together a homemade coupon book for a whole year of outings. 

GoGo Grandparent Gift Certificate: GoGo Grandparent connects seniors to ride sharing services like Lyft and grocery and meal delivery options. By gifting a GoGo Grandparent gift certificate, you are giving someone the gift of mobility and independence, and the chance to attend an in-real-life event like a local class or museum exhibit.

Angelina Portuense, LSW
Angelina is a licensed social worker who has been working in the elder care field for over seven years. Her passion for working with older adults started in her teenage years when she became a family caregiver.