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10 Genius Gifts for Aging Parents Who Have Everything

Have you been having a tougher time each year finding the perfect gift for your aging parent or a family member? Maybe they don’t need more “stuff” because they’ve got it all. Or maybe because of an illness like dementia, they can’t quite enjoy experiences as they once did. 

With the holidays approaching, here are 10 genius gift ideas for aging parents 🎁. 

1. Photos with a Modern Twist: This is a classic gift. Below are 3 options with a modern twist. 

Framed Picture: Many parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles may have held on to a wallet-sized, black-and-white photo, that, by now, is probably worn. You could restore the photo, blow up that wallet-sized photo into an 8×10-inch photo and frame it. That way, they no longer have to strain their eyes to enjoy that picture and that precious memory. 

Digital PhotoFrame: A digital photo frame allows you to upload photos into the frame, no printing required. You can invite friends and family to upload and share their photos remotely, from anywhere.

Photobook: This is a wonderful option, particularly helpful for folks with dementia Use a photo book service to upload, print, and deliver your book. Keep it where your loved one can see it, and where staff at an assisted living facility or nursing home can use it to interact with your parent or loved one. 

2. Subscription Service: Buy them a subscription service for weekly prepared meals, monthly coffee or tea, or Netflix. That way, they can enjoy themselves without feeling guilty about the cost. 

3. StoryWorth: This is a one-year, memoir writing subscription service. Every week, for one year, an email with a question is sent to your parents or your loved one. They’ll respond to the email, and at the end of the year, their responses will be compiled into a book. If your loved one struggles with technology, consider Story of My Life – a handwritten hardcopy book with a similar premise. 

4. Throw Blanket: you could go for a warm afghan, a heated blanket, or a personalized throw blanket with a picture of their kids and/or grandkids printed on it. 

5. Cozy Slippers: This is a good time to chuck those worn-out slippers and trade them in for cozy, non-skid slippers – to keep them safe and their feet toasty. 

6. Bird Feeder – This is a great gift to put outside their window, whether in their private home, at an Assisted Living Facility, or at a nursing home. It provides endless entertainment and something to talk about. You’ll just have to be on top of refilling the bird feeder or finding someone else to refill it for you. 

7. Magnifying Glass with Light – They may not buy this for themselves but they’ll probably use it. Enough said!

8. Monthly Housecleaning: It’s hard to keep the home clean and tidy and harder when you get older. Maybe you and a family member could pitch in to cover the cost of monthly housekeeping – taking one thing off their plate. 

9. Offer your Time: Perhaps your mom is the primary caregiver for your dad. If you live nearby or are visiting, offer to take care of your dad one afternoon so that your mom can relax. She probably needs much more than this – but it’s a start. 

10. Peace of Mind: Through EpioneMD’s personalized coaching, your parents will get clarity on how they want to live and the type of medical care they want and don’t want as they age. You’re gifting them peace of mind knowing they’ll have a plan for whatever comes – and you’ll be thankful too!

Now I’d love to hear from you! 

  1. Which one of these gift ideas did you like? 
  2. What gift was a hit with your parents or grandparents?

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Ashwini Bapat, MD is a board-certified Palliative Care and Hospice Physician, coach, and co-founder of EpioneMD. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hospice & Palliative Medicine Fellowship at Yale University, before working at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.She’s devoted to empowering caregivers so that they’re seen, heard, and supported.

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