If you want to be sure there’s someone who can help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then you need 24/7 monitoring. This means your elderly personal alarm pendant or wristband is connected to a SureSafe operator at our UK based response centre. We are always here to help you, any time of the day or night. If you need medical help, we will phone the emergency services. If you want to talk to one of your nominated contacts, we will get in touch with them on your behalf.
Best Christmas Gifts for Older PeopleArticle by Daniel Westhead
Looking for the perfect gift for a parent or grandparent this Christmas? You’ve come to the right place.
Time was when it came to choosing a gift for the older people in your life all you needed was a pipe, some slippers and perhaps a pack of Werther’s Originals. These days of course things are a little bit different. Todays over sixties are the longest-lived, wealthiest and healthiest generation ever to have set foot on the Earth. They have time and money to spare and may decide to do all sorts of things with it.
Choosing a gift, therefore, will depend on the individual. That said, there are a number of gift ideas available which can specifically cater to the needs of older people. We explore some of the best Christmas gifts for older people.
The last couple of years have been difficult for everyone, especially those who are older and in the higher risk categories for COVID-19. However, with vaccines successfully rolled out and lockdown restrictions more or less lifted people have the freedom to get back outside and enjoy the world.
Holiday vouchers can help people do just that. Before the pandemic, older people were increasingly looking for a broader range of travel experiences. With the help of vouchers, they can choose their own ideal travel experience, be it overseas or closer to home.
Virtual reality gifts for older people
Thanks to COVID-19 many older people have been reluctant to step out of the house, but that comes at a price. Exercise is critical for all of us, but in your later years, it can help you stay much more active for much longer.
Virtual reality has a solution. With a subscription to a service such as Supernatural, people can get a bit of exercise without ever leaving the comfort and safety of home.
Games such as these are beneficial in keeping people both physically and mentally active. One study showed that the recreational use of VR games had benefits for mental and physical well-being among older people, and also helped with those with memory issues or early stage dementia.
This is a gift that can be useful for all of us. Wearable fitness trackers can keep tabs on all sorts of things from heart rates to blood sugar levels. They can keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to exercise or diet plans, and can also give you more insights into your health.
By examining certain biometric signals, they can give you a more comprehensive view of your overall health and possible risk indicators. The information from these can be used to move towards preventative healthcare that can hopefully provide better ongoing management of any health conditions.
For those who want to combine health tracking with safety, the SureSafeGo Plus offers the combined benefit of a smart watch and a personal alarm all in one. Not only can you track your steps and monitor your heart rate, the device also allows you to call for help at the touch of a button. Additionally, it comes with features such as automatic fall detection, and GPS tracking – giving total peace of mind when out and about.
High tech slippers
Digital technology is getting everywhere these days and that even applies to one of the archetypal ‘granddad gifts’ – the humble slipper. You could opt for cosy slippers with integrated heating to keep toes warm during the long winter nights.
Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little bolder you can turn to the growing range of digital massage slippers. These can come with built-in massage buttons to provide targeted therapy for pain relief at key acupoints in the foot.
Exercise is important for all of us, but it’s something we’ve been struggling to get enough of over the past couple of years thanks to lockdown. That’s particularly a problem for older people for whom regular exercise can be incredibly important to maintaining fitness, health and mobility. Data suggests people who exercise for 150 minutes of exercise each week can expect to live on average seven years longer.
Gifts that encourage more exercise, therefore, can help improve physical and mental welling. Exactly what type of activity, will obviously depend on the individual, but a perennial favourite is golf. It’s low impact, gets you out in the fresh air and includes a drink in the bar at the end of it. What’s not to like?
Many of the leading golf resorts in the UK offer specialist packages and experience days. For the average golfer, these can be a chance to tread in the footsteps of some of the greatest names to play the game.
National Trust or English Heritage Membership
Another all-time favourite is membership to either of these great institutions. One thing Britain does better than anyone else is history. English heritage currently has over 400 properties around the country while National Trust has more than 300 buildings. A membership to one of these makes all those properties free to visit for a year.
Reaching retirement can be a great opportunity to make the most of the extra time you have on your hands. One way to do that can be to learn a new skill and, thanks to digital technology that’s easier to do that ever. Online masterclasses give you a chance to get tuition from some of the biggest names in their field through your own computer.
From the BBC’s online classes which cover a wide range of topics and feature famous faces from David Walliams to Peter Jones to specialist masterclass memberships, giving the gift of knowledge can be a great present for an older relative or friend.
Candle or incense kit
With many of us trapped in our own homes for months on end, the pandemic prompted us to make the most of our homes. A candle set can be a good way to bring a bit of decoration into the home, and to transform the atmosphere with warm natural light and gorgeous scents.
Make it personal
The world of personalised gifts has exploded thanks to sites such as Etsy. Almost anything you can think of can be personalised to your loved one. From personalised art to a hoodie with a family saying, personalised gifts can feel incredibly meaningful for the received.
One of the big benefits of personalised gifts is that you can make something that is already tailored to the recipients interests even more specific. For example, giving a personalised chopping board to a keen chef, or an engraved decanter to a wine or whisky lover.
While many lists of this type focus on items for the home, older people are more adventurous than most people assume. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine people are living longer than ever. Someone hitting retirement age today can expect to live for many decades yet. They want to fill that free time with memorable experiences.
It could be a visit somewhere they’ve always wanted to go, a trip to a top sporting event, the theatre or anything that they have an interest in.
Here at SureSafe we provide a range of personal alarm devices for older people and their carers. If you’d like to learn more about how our devices can support you or a loved one, call SureSafe's team of experts on 0800 112 3201 to discuss the available options.