The 10 Best Gift Ideas for Seniors Not to be Missed part 1

In this episode, John and Lisa discuss 12 of their favorite gift ideas for Christmas that every Senior will enjoy! (Part 1 of a 2 part series).

Episode Transcript
John
Hey, everybody. About to go live.
Lisa
Well, all right, everyone. Welcome to "Aging Insight." After this particular episode, this is going live right after our Thanksgiving break or holiday.
John
Yeah, we got all of our Thanksgiving and decided that, you know what? We can still show up, and we can do "Aging Insight" live for everybody while they're taking a break from their weekend shopping madness.
Lisa
Well, they're taking a break or maybe they're stuck in traffic or in a parking lot somewhere listening to the show.
John
That's probably more likely, certainly.
Lisa
Anyway, John, I guess last week you were here all solo, weren't you?
John
Yeah, I was here all by myself last week. Somebody was off just watching football games.
Lisa
Yes. I was out last week at the Dallas Cowboy practice facility there in Frisco watching the Texas High Tigers lose a very close game to last year's state champs, Highland Park High School. So, you know, John and I, we're keeping all up with the high school athletics around here.
John
Oh, yeah. Well, that's what you got to do. And Lisa did note that we're simultaneously broadcasting this both on the air live and as well as on Facebook Live. If you haven't already, get on to Facebook, check out the "Ross & Shoalmire" Facebook page. You can find us there and you can see what it looks like behind the scenes, and at least for today's episode, you're definitely going to want to be there either checking it out live or, of course, this will be recorded on Facebook Live and you'll want to be able to go back because we're gonna leave some actual information on that Facebook Live post for you to check out. So don't miss out.
Lisa
It's been a little while since we've done some Facebook Live, but…
John
And we're playing with…you know, just as we get to where we learn how to use the board…
Lisa
The studio.
John
The studio, we're gonna add a whole 'nother level of complexity to it with the Facebook Live. So, yeah, just bear with us as usual.
Lisa
Well, you know, sometimes, John, we talk about stories or we talk about…new stories, or new laws, or things like that, and our goal is, hopefully, with all this technology, with Facebook Live, we will be able to share the links to where you can go read those stories, or read those cases for yourself.
John
Right, or even maybe put up pictures, if we're, like…if we're telling a story about a real person or something like that, we'll be able to…they're much more interactive.
Lisa
Yeah. So we're gonna try it.
John
And, of course, the reason we can do all of this and have so much fun trying out new things on all of you very-patient listeners out there is because of our sponsors, the folks over at Edgewood Manor, Dierksen Memorial Hospice, Cowhorn Creek Estates, Christus St. Michael Health System, Texarkana Funeral Home, Red River Federal Credit Union, Heritage Plaza Nursing Center, and Reunion Plaza.
Lisa
Yeah, we appreciate those sponsors because, you know, while it is free to listen, it is not free to produce or get out over the airwaves, so those sponsors are really important to us. And as a matter of fact, John, we've got a couple of spots open for some sponsors.
John
We do. You know, starting for the new year, we're probably gonna have some new spots open, some new things going on, so you're definitely gonna…if you're interested in sponsoring the "Aging Insight" program, you're gonna wanna get in touch with as soon as you can.
Lisa
Well, and, John, you know, usually we kind of recap our week and talk about where we were out speaking and gallivanting across the community, but, you know, it was a short work week last week with the Thanksgiving holiday. And as we kind of cruise into the…you know, that holiday time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we're gonna be enjoying our families, and maybe not quite out so much during these next three or four weeks, but we will certainly be back at it come January.
John
Yeah, absolutely. We don't do a lot of outdoors, you know, the big speaking engagements thing. People are busy.
Lisa
Yeah, they've got other things to do besides come and listen to us run our mouth.
John
Yeah. No, absolutely. They don't want to see us just…they want to go out there and find the "GI Joe" that their grandchild who's just dying for. I saw a video this morning, and they were showing the 1983 scenes from the stores as everybody fought over the "Cabbage Patch" dolls.
Lisa
Yeah. Well, see that's the thing, John. You know, you mentioned the "GI Joe," the "Cabbage Patch." If you knew what the hot toy was this year…you really don't know.
John
I have no idea what…
Lisa
Because you're out of it.
John
I have no idea what the hot toy is. That is certainly true.
Lisa
But I bet there's some grandparents out there and some parents listening that probably do know. I'm glad we don't need to know these things anymore.
John
That's right, absolutely.
Lisa
But that kind of just brings us to…you know, it's one thing, it's pretty easy buying a Christmas gift for small children. Usually they're pretty easy to please.
John
Well, and, I mean, yeah, especially anybody under there bought a teenager…once they hit teenagers, just give them money.
Lisa
Yeah, just give them money and expensive stuff.
John
Right, absolutely.
Lisa
That's what they want. But, you know, what's always kind of difficult, as I got older and, you know, became more of a giver instead of the recipient…you know, I speak a little older…
Lisa
Technical difficulty.
John
Technical difficulty, yes.
Lisa
It was always difficult, I think, buying for the most senior members of my family. And, you know, those senior members, a lot of times they've got everything they use, and possibly me.
John
Yeah, and if they don't have it, they'll buy it for themselves so often.
Lisa
Yeah, or they'll buy it for themselves, or just do without, or they won't even tell you that there is something that has caught their eye or that they're interested in. So buying gifts for senior members of a family can sometimes be a little challenging. You know, my two-year-old niece, I got that. It's dolls or whatever, but my 82-year-old grandmother is a little more challenging.
John
Yeah, that can be somewhat difficult.
Lisa
So I thought today, since everybody's kinda…everybody has been inundated with the ideas of Black Friday, and shopping, and the Christmas coming up.
John
And Small Business Saturday.
Lisa
Small Business Saturday today. That's right, and then Cyber Monday on Monday.
John
Cyber Monday, absolutely.
Lisa
I think there's a conspiracy to make us all just shop and spend our money.
John
Well, I don't know that it's quite a conspiracy.
Lisa
Well, okay, cool.
John
But it's certainly…you know, they do watch, but, you know, people are generous, they want to do some buying, they want to find something that people both want, need, you know, something that fills all of those voids.
Lisa
So I thought today maybe we'll keep a little light and we'll talk about some things that you can purchase for senior members in your family, that we actually kinda figure…they're actually useful. I mean…
John
Yeah, absolutely.
Lisa
…not just a waste of money, not just something to wrap up and say you've got something for, you know, dad, or grandma.
John
Right, yeah. You know, and, like I said, there's lots of different parts to all of this and, you know, there's the little gifts, the little stocking stuffers, there's the big things, and we just wanted to throw out some of the stuff primarily there. You know, we just think we'd kind of impact a broad range of folks.
Lisa
So impact a broad range of gifts, a broad range of price points, just something for everybody, right?
John
Absolutely.
Lisa
So why don't you kick it off, John?
John
Well, you know, I think we'll start at kind of the bottom end, you know, kind of the cheap little things, the little stocking stuffers. You know, for the longest time as a child, I thought that Santa Claus only brought fruit in the stocking.
Lisa
So you had some old-fashioned stockings…
John
Fruit and some socks, fruit and socks. That's what went into a stocking. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that those were supposed to be toys and things.
Lisa
Well, no, I just think you…it sounds like your parents came from the old school where you got an orange, a peppermint stick, and some socks in your stocking.
John
Well, you know…and I think that's right. So, you know, we talk about, like, some little stocking stuff. There's just some little useful items, things like that, and one of them…you know, particularly if you're talking about filling the stocking for that senior, one of the things that becomes more and more difficult is just use of the hand.
Lisa
Yeah. You know, you get up in the morning and some…I know some of…heck, I even have this, some mornings, as the weather changes, it gets colder, you know, your fingers and your hands just don't…they're just not ready to start the day yet.
John
Yeah, no, that's exactly right.
Lisa
And so, you know…and I've certainly talked to a lot of people, if they get older, it seems to take longer and longer, and those fingers are a bit stiff, and, you know, maybe you have a little arthritis in there, and so sometimes some of the simplest things like just holding a pin can be a bit of a challenge, and it's just…I don't know, it can be difficult.
John
Yeah. So, you know, actually we kind of looked around, and sure enough, there is a large-grip pen out there that is actually recommended by the…

(Click here to see the pen we're telling you about!)
Lisa
Arthritis…
John
Arthritis…
Lisa
Foundation.
John
Foundation, or Research Center, or something, and it's the single number-one most-popular pen, big gel grip on it.
Lisa
Some of those kinda smushy gel grips you can get your hand around?
John
Yeah, those smushy gel grips on there. So you've got that sort of thing and it's supposed to be a great pen, cheap, you know, couple of bucks, you get a couple of them, throw 'em in the stocking.
Lisa
Yeah. Well, you know, I mean, I know when you get a good pen, you like to keep up with it.
John
Absolutely.
Lisa
I mean, I've certainly had…you know, we use a particular kind of gel pen at our office, and I've had seniors ask many, many times if they can take it with them. Yes, so a big-grip pen that is a little easier on the hands is a great stocking stuffer. And, like you said, a couple of bucks a pop, boy, you can just get a whole truckload of those. That way, you, your senior gift recipient always has a pen around.

(Click here to see the pen we're telling you about!)
John
That's right. And so, you know, for those of you who are following along on Facebook Live out there, you can go over to our Facebook page, "Ross & Shoalmire," take a look at the video there, and in the comments section, we're gonna have links to all of these. And so…and I'm not sure if these links are actually gonna work.
Lisa
Again, we're experimenting.
John
Yes, technology being what it is, but we're gonna play with it, so you should be able to go into the comments and click on the links, not sure if that's gonna work just yet, but we're trying.
Lisa
We're gonna try it.
John
Yeah, we're gonna keep going with it. So I think what we're gonna do is we're gonna take a quick break, and then when we come back, we're gonna talk about some others. And, you know, it's just gonna get more interesting and more expensive.
Lisa
Right. So it's like a Neiman Marcus catalog. You gotta stick around for the big-ticket item.
John
That's right, on the back end. All right, so stick around, we will be right back.
John
That's for them. We're still, of course, live for y'all, and while we're doing that, I'm going to see…because it doesn't appear that that link is clickable. Don't know here, so we're gonna play around with it and see what I can come up with. Let's see.
Lisa
Yeah, it's just one of those things, trying to make all that work.
John
No, no.
John
Did manage to go over and check out my friends over at Berridge Bikes and Boards. Again, you know that Small Business Saturday stuff? Sounded like they had a great Black Frida.
Lisa
Oh, good.
John
Yeah.
Lisa
Well, you know, always like supporting local businesses, and especially if they're kind of a specialty business that…like Berridge, they're kind of the only local bike shop. So, you know, you can buy a bike at one of the big box stores, and they can put it together, and sometimes they do a good job and sometimes they don't, but there's no service really after the sale if you're buying it from, you know, Walmart or something. So I do like that Berridge is right here in town, and, boy, they're gonna make you happy.
John
Absolutely.
Lisa
I will say that they're…you know, you might pay a little more than you would at Walmart, or Target, or Academy, but it's so worth it with the support you get.
John
No question about it. Like I said, we're trying to make this somewhat easier with the comments, just not sure that that's gonna work, but I'm playing with it now. We're gonna see if we can make this happen. I gotta re-find the pen.
Lisa
Yes. Yeah, we're buying for senior members of the family, it's just…because last thing you want to do is just get 'em another piece of junk that they don't need, they don't have any place in their house to put it. Here's the code. Can you just copy the HTML?
John
I don't think I can copy the HTML. Oh, we're gonna be back here in just a second.
Lisa
Yeah. It's about that time.
Lisa
Welcome back, everyone, to "Aging Insight." This is Lisa Shoalmire here live in the studio with John Ross, and you can see us live if you have a Facebook account and you go to Ross and Shoalmire's Facebook page, and you can…we should be up there. There we are.
John
Yes, there we are. We are.
Lisa
Okay. Well, today we're kind of…we're in the spirit. We're in the gift-buying spirit, so we thought about some things that particularly older members of our family can actually use. And, of course, some of these gifts, John, aren't just for older members, but, yeah, you can see where they're super useful for older members. So we talked about a stocking stuffer, the big-grip gel pen that makes a wonderful stocking stuffer, but, John, you know, one thing that a lot of my clients tell me about…and again, I'm starting to experience some of those things, is, you know, a lot of times, John, I just can hardly sleep through the night without having to get up and make my way to the restroom in the middle of the night, and…
John
You know, it seems like that happens more and more often these days.
Lisa
Yes. So, you know, a lot of times…I mean, I know where the restroom is, and all that, but, you know, I just find my way in the dark, but…
John
Well, and you do have somebody else in the house that maybe you don't want to bother. You don't want to flip on every light in the house.
Lisa
Right. And, of course, the other problem is I could have left a bunch of junk in the floor the way between the bedside and the bathroom, so I can be surprised by that junk in the middle of the night, in the dark. So one of the other gifts that…you know, modern technology is pretty wonderful. We've definitely come a long way, and there is a set of motion-activated lights. They're very reasonable, and essentially what you do is you just plug them in to the outlet.
John
Yeah, or in other cases, you can just throw a couple of batteries in there and stick 'em against a wall or a door frame, or whatever it is that you want to create some light when somebody walks past it.
Lisa
And so those motion-activated lights…it kind of reminds me of, if you've ever been on a plane and they talk about the case of an emergency landing, that the lights on the floor will guide you to the nearest emergency exit, well, same concept here with these motion-activated lights, that as they detect some motion in the room, even in the dark, they will turn on and then they'll automatically turn themselves back off, but can light your way right to the restroom or the kitchen, or whatever it is you are making your way, and then you can get back in bed and you don't have to worry about turning those lights off.
John
That's exactly right. And, you know, I mean, to me this is also a big safety issue. In fact, a couple other things that we're gonna be talking about today, in large part, it's one of the things where, you know, people want to be able to stay independent.
Lisa
Yeah, we talk about that all the time on "Aging Insight," you know, age and play, stay in your home, and sometimes you just got to make some concessions to some safety things, and one of those things could be some lights to make sure you don't fall, because, John, falls are the number-one reason that people end up having to leave their home, because a fall causes some…I don't know, sort of a snowball or a cascade of health issues as you recover from that fall, and sometimes you can't really stay in your home after that.
John
Well, I mean, we often talk about how essentially, you know, what we see with our crisis planning is people that have had a health crisis that becomes a housing crisis because they can't figure out where they're gonna live, which ultimately then ends in a financial crisis as they realize that the cost of having somebody to care for them in the home can be extreme that the cost of assisted living and nursing home care can also be extreme.
Lisa
So what you're saying is if a $20 set of motion-activated lights…that's a small …
John
It's a small price to pay, and, of course, while you're at it, if you're taking the time to kind of go ahead and do some of these sort of things, you know, you're thinking, "Well, you know what? I'm gonna get these for Mom, or I wanna get these for Dad, and she can open 'em up for Christmas," and then after that, while you're there visiting, you're gonna help install some of these things, while you're at it, you may check out a few other things like, for example, getting rid of the rugs.
Lisa
Yes, the rugs have been a tripping hazard, as are frankly the dachshund dogs.
John
Yes.
Lisa
But I don't know that mom will let you get rid of the dachshund.
John
No, probably not.
Lisa
The wiener dog stay.
John
Oh, yeah, the wiener dog stays, despite what a tripping hazard the wiener dog is. And bigger dogs don't make that a better problem.
Lisa
Yeah, no. In fact, I had a client just the other day. That's exactly what happened. She tripped over a big dog, but, whatever…but, yes, while you're installing and helping mom or dad put in some of these things like these motion-activated lights, good time to be able to gently have some discussions about safety issues.
John
Right. And, you know, actually in our first "Aging Insight" magazine, we had a whole article in there. I believe you wrote that.
Lisa
Yes, I did.
John
And, of course…
Lisa
And republished it a couple of times.
John
Yes. And all of our back issues of the "Aging Insight" magazine are available on the Aging Insight website.
Lisa
For free.
John
For free, absolutely. Go to www.aginginsight.com, and you can go on there, and down at the bottom of the page you'll see links to all of the prior magazines out there, and you can check those out and, you know, get information on things like that. That housing article is a good one.
Lisa
Yeah. So, John, I like the deal with these lights. You know, you may find that you may have other gifting opportunities after you visit with mom, dad about getting these lights installed, and just kind of sticking 'em, putting them up. Next thing you know there's some grab bars to go in the bathroom, and …
John
Oh, yeah, lots of good stuff. Well, and we've got a whole list of different items out there that we want to show you about or tell you about, and give you some links to if you're out there shopping or if you're gonna do some cyber shopping. These are all things that you can get online by…
Lisa
Delivered to your door.
John
That's right. So if you haven't already, get on Facebook, check that out, and that way you can see those links on there. In the meantime, we got to take a news break at the bottom of the hour, and…
Lisa
Yeah, but we'll be back because we've got lots of great stuff to cover on our list.
John
That's right. So stick around, we'll be right back. All right, and so we are back there. What I can't tell is whether or not our little…I don't think the links are actually active links, but I can't really tell either.
Lisa
Let me see if they can come up here.
John
But that's all right. One way or the other, you ought to at least be able to…
Lisa
Yeah, you'll get the idea.
John
You'll at least be able to maybe cut and paste those, even if they're not working directly. And, of course, if you're out there and you're watching, and you've got any questions, feel free to give us a shout or something, and, you know, if you're watching and you like the show, give us a like, share it with your friends. It looks like we've had several people who have shared the video or liked the video, so all good stuff. We appreciate everybody who's watching out there or checks us out. So it's always good to know that folks are interested in the information.

Click here to access part 2 of this 2 part series.
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