Great Holiday Gifts For People Over 55

Thoughtful Gifts That Keep On Giving

The Holidays always bring out the best in people. It’s a time of joy, love, sharing and caring so whenever possible the gifts we trade should encapsulate and personify those ideals. However, it’s not always easy – nor possible – to personally sift through the massive amount of promotional propaganda that accosts us this time of year and find those unique gifts that truly make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Understanding this challenge, FreeStyle Online Magazine spent a bit of time researching and sorting through products available this Holiday Season and identified those that are most thoughtful and helpful. The result is our 2010 Top 15 Gifts List, a list of items that aren’t only functional and beautiful, but give the added gift of health, comfort and safety to those we cherish.

Gifts range from walk-in tubs to doorknob grips to support pillows and range in price from a few bucks to a few thousand dollars. Each gift was selected for its quality, effectiveness and utility and while all are perfect for folks over the age 55, many are just as useful to those in their younger years as well.

FreeStyle Magazine 2010 Top 15 Gifts List

A) Universal Design Gifts

Universal Design is the term used to describe the design of products and environments that are accessible by everyone, regardless of age or physical limitations. Gifts that help make daily life and routines safer, easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable are those that literally keep giving, day after day. The following universal design products are highly rated for their usefulness, functionality and visual aesthetics.

1) American Standard CulinaireTM Top Mount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink.

Price: $461

A versatile, space saving and easy-to-clean kitchen sink, the CulinaireTM Top Mount Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink from American Standard fits easily into smaller areas and leaves more countertop space available without sacrificing sink volume and utility. Helpful when retrofitting tighter spaces to allow for better universal access, particularly for people who need to sacrifice counter space to open up floor space in order to accommodate those with walking aids or wheelchairs, this sink is a beautiful and functional upgrade for any kitchen.

2) American Standard Colony® Soft Pull Down Kitchen Faucet

Price: $239 – $311

This beautiful, easy to grip, multi-functional faucet offers a full 360 degree swivel spout, solid brass construction and single lever convenience to control both temperature (to prevent scalds) and flow rate. The simple, pull-down hand spray easily toggles between functions (pause/spray/stream) at the light touch of a button, making it perfect for those who may experience manual dexterity degradation. The innovative pause function is especially handy for easily watering plants of filling pots without the threat of water getting where it doesn’t belong. Other key features include water temperature memory, lifetime drip-free performance and easy installation.

3) American Standard RepertoireTM Pedestal Sink

Price: $400 – $600

Engineered to be both beautiful and durable, this pedestal sink gracefully holds up to everyday use and has a limited footprint, making it an ideal fixture to include in smaller bathrooms where access may be problematic for people with limited mobility who utilize walking aids or wheelchairs. The stylish pedestal base also provides protection from hot water pipe burns by cleverly encasing and concealing the piping.

4) American Standard Townsend Champion® 4 Right Height Elongated Toilet

Price: $560

The Townsend Champion® 4 Right Height Elongated Toilet boasts the industry’s widest 2 3/8” trapway and a 4” flush valve, so it virtually eliminates clogs and toilet overflows. With a 17” height seat for easy sitting and standing, an elongated seat for ultimate comfort and stability, and a permanent Everclean® bacteria and mold resistant surface, it offers safety, convenience and peace-of-mind along with a fabulous 10-year warranty.

5) Safety Tub® Walk-in Bath

Price: $3,000 – $8,000

Safety Tubs® award winning Walk-In Bathtubs offer the ultimate in bathing safety, comfort and convenience. Complete with the patented, guaranteed, leak-resistant T5 Door System, industry low threshold, ergonomic controls, slip resistant flooring, safety grab bars, molded 17” built in seats, anti-scald devices and available with optional jet massage therapy, air massage therapy, aromatherapy and chromatherapy, Safety Tubs® walk-in baths offer the ultimate therapy for people of any age who enjoy a relaxing spa experience or who suffer from regular muscle aches and pains, arthritis and other diseases and conditions that benefit from long soaks in either hot or cold water. Available in multiple sizes, the walk-in bath tubs fit in all standard sized tub openings, so installation is a snap.

6) Safety Tubs® Seated Safety ShowerTM

Price: $2,500

Safety Tubs® Seated Safety ShowerTM is the first seated shower built to universal design standards, meaning it’s accessible to most people, including the elderly and disabled. This acrylic, fully molded seated shower comes with a multitude of ground-breaking features including a wide, contoured full-sized seating area that’s high enough to make sitting and standing easy, an accessory ledge for personal items, a built in armrest, a 3” threshold and a built-in, wrap-around grab bar. At 60” wide, it fits into most standard tub openings, making installation easy and convenient.

7) Furniture Risers

Price: $24.95 – $44.00

Furniture risers are the perfect alternative for people who need to raise the height of chairs and other furniture surfaces in their home to accommodate changing physical needs as they age or experience issues with mobility, but who do not want to purchase new furniture. Available in two styles, Easy Risers and Elephant Feet Furniture Risers, these furniture risers easily attach to the feet of existing furniture and elevate them to more accessible heights, making chairs and sofas easier to sit on and get up from, and surfaces like tables higher to accommodate wheelchairs underneath. Available in multiple heights and widths for use with different types of furniture feet and legs, Furniture Risers are a wonderfully economical way to have a big impact on the quality of a loved one’s life.

8) Doorknob Grips

Price: $4.25

Winner of Today’s Caregiver magazine’s 2010 Caregiver Friendly® award, The Great Grips Doorknob Grips make excellent stocking stuffers. Designed to provide extra leverage and better grips for people who suffer from arthritis or other conditions that weaken the hands, these soft, comfortable doorknob grips sport a small lever that makes gripping and turning doorknobs incredibly easy. ADA compliant, these handy little grips are easy to install and come in clear or a light green that also glows in the dark for up to 6 hours after being exposed to daylight.

B) Health and Comfort Gifts

There is nothing more precious than good health, so giving a gift that helps improve the health, well being and comfort of a cherished member of your family or dear friend this Holiday Season is an excellent way to illustrate just how much they mean to you.

9) Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief, Second Edition

Price: $15.61

The Trigger Point Therapy WorkBook by Clair and Amber Davies has already sold more than 200,000 copies and is fast becoming a favorite of medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists to help teach their patients how to alleviate and lessen muscle and joint pain, particularly from undiagnosable causes. The techniques taught in this book involve applying short, repeated massage strokes to “trigger points”, tiny knots of muscle tissue where restricted circulation and lack of oxygen can cause pain locally, or even in other parts of the body. Well written, easy to understand and direct, the book is a wonderful guide that will help people in your life alleviate and prevent common types of pain.

10) Lap Desk Tray

Price: $129.00

The Lapster Lap Desk Tray enables people to read, work and use laptops while in bed, on the couch or in a favorite chair. It has a smooth wooden surface shaped in a patented kidney bean shape and can concurrently hold a laptop, reading materials and other paperwork without becoming cluttered. The reading panel adjusts to three different angles for stress-free, comfortable reading and the built in lycra wrist pad provides correct ergonomic wrist and hand support. Sturdy legs fold flat under the surface when not in use and secure with strong magnets. It’s a wonderfully useful and comfortable alternative to a typical desk and chair.

11) Back Cushion

Price: $45.75

One of the most common reasons people visit their doctor is back pain. Many times, back pain is caused by the poor posture that results from inadequate back support from chairs, sofas or car seats. The Lumbar Plus Cushion is a comfortable, well fitting lumbar support back pillow that works with body temperature to conform perfectly to a person’s back contour and offers excellent comfort and support. The pillow is covered in an attractive, blue, tweed style fabric that is removable and machine washable. Strong, adjustable straps keep the cushion firmly in place when in use on chairs and seats. The cushion keeps the spine in a correct position, helping to alleviate back and muscle aches associated with slouching and poor posture.

12) Aromatherapy Hand & Foot Warmer

Price: $19.99

The Bed Buddy Hand and Foot Warmer Aromatherapy Gift Set is a great way to provide relief from aches in pains in the hands and feet – particularly from arthritis – by delivering moist, soothing heat therapy. Filled with 100% natural materials and lightly scented with eucalyptus, cloves and cinnamon, these reusable hand and foot mitts are microwavable and stay warm for up to an hour. Available in zebra, leopard or pink, they are a wonderful way to treat the important people in your life with a spa like experience that helps alleviate pain, anytime they’d like.

13) Chair Aerobics DVD Videos

Price: $13.95 per DVD

Chair aerobics are a great way for anyone to enjoy fun, safe and effective exercise. Wonderful for people who are confined to wheelchairs, beds, or who are mobility impaired, they are also a great workout for people with higher fitness levels who sit for long periods of time in office chairs and are looking for ways to exercise while working. The videos teach isolation of muscle groups and how to use body weight to condition and tone muscles, while also elevating heart rate and working the cardiovascular system. There are 9 different videos ranging from Tai Chi to Salsa to the original Chair Aerobics, and each contain fun, original exercises that keep the heart, lungs and muscles healthy.

14) Brain Fitness Software

Price: $249.95

Studies have shown that regular exercise of the brain can help prevent mental fatigue and helps delay the onset of dementia in patients with Alzheimer’s or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Dakim Brain Fitness Software cross-trains 6 cognitive domains in the brain: long- and short- term memory, language, computation, visuospatial orientation and critical thinking. It can actually help prevent the degradation of the neurons and synapses in aging minds a well. Useful for any age, this software is a great way to keep the mind as healthy as the body.

15) Gel Kitchen Mat

Price: $99.95 – $199.95

The Gel Pro Chef Mat is a wonderful gel-filled mat that helps relieve back pain, foot pain and arthritis pain that results from standing while performing typical kitchen tasks. Featuring a basket-weave design, these mats are easy to clean, stain resistant and are held in place with a non-skid bottom. If punctured, the unique non-migrating gel will not leak and they make standing comfortable, especially for longer periods. Available in six colors and different lengths, they work well with any kitchen décor and configuration.







6. – by Gwynn Guess, Yahoo! Contributor Network