The Best Holiday Gifts for Seniors
By Philip Moeller
Welcome to the age of gadgets, where Best Buy has become the new Toys ‘R’ Us. In assembling a gift list for seniors, there are plenty of goodies that either plug into an outlet or require a large intake of batteries. There’s just no way around them. But experts drum home some cardinal rules:
- Remember who the gift is really for.
- Make sure the recipient has a use for the gift.
- Make sure you or another family member can provide real-world tech support for the recipient. Your continued help needs to be part of the gift.
- Do not saddle the recipient with monthly service charges or other hidden fees for your gift.
"To me the question is, ‘What gift would be personally meaningful to a senior?’" says Dan Cohen, a social worker who looks at technology issues involving older people. "You know, seniors are not pining for another shirt or sweater."
His gift, he explained via e-mail, satisfies an old need with a newer tool:
"One item that will keep them engaged and give them pleasure is the gift of music. The iPod Shuffle is tailor-made for seniors. Once it’s set up, to operate it all one has to do is click-on and click-off. Someone else who is already familiar with iTunes needs to learn what their favorite music is, obtain it, set up the playlist, and load it. If the senior knows how to operate a TV remote, they’ll be able to handle this single-button operation."
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