Getting a gift for our senior loved ones should take more than a pair of warm socks, a new tie, or a heavy bathrobe. Why not shake things up this holiday? Gifts that involve active participation and learning new skills or hobbies are gifts with a lasting effect.

Technology

Learning new technology helps connects seniors with their families and loved ones. Grandmother can learn how to text, use a digital camera, or Skype with a grandson who is overseas. Why not teach the grandparents or your great-uncle how to install some health apps on their smart phones? A digital photo album could be a welcomed gift, too. Remember, learning new skills is always brain-healthy.

http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/learning-new-skills-keeps-an-aging-mind-sharp.html

Bird Watching and the Audubon Society

Inspiring seniors to observe or feed local birds nesting in the backyard, helps them get out and get some fresh air.  Buy a bird guide, a pair of binoculars, and install a new birdhouse in the backyard. Anno Domini is a company that makes birdhouse replicas of old homes, barns, lighthouses, and churches. Maybe they can build a replica of an ancestral home. http://adcustoms.com/gallery-of-replicas/  .

You may want to take your loved ones on short bird-watching trips to nearby parks. Contact your nearest Audubon organization and sign up for a guided tour of nearby bird sanctuaries or go for an annual bird count. This activity is beneficial because it involves physical activity and socialization. http://birds.audubon.org/

Music

Purchase CDs with some of your grandparent’s favorite music.  Be aware that certain music could bring sadness as well as happiness. You may want to even sit and listen to some old tunes with loved ones. Don’t be surprised if your grandfather starts singing and remembering some of the old lyrics. Celebrate these special moments.

Yoga Classes and More

Buy four to six weeks of Gentle Yoga classes for parents and able grandparents. This gift may bring a smile to some of us who are over 50. Check and see if your loved ones would be interested. Always ask a physician about limitations. Reputable yoga instructors will have students sign a release form. Find out about class requirements before purchasing a yoga mat and apparel. You will need to bring a bottle of water, comfortable clothes, a yoga mat, and a small pillow.

If you are interested in Gentle Yoga classes, for both men and women, Golden Frog Yoga at 338 North Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida offers small group classes for beginners. Their website is http://goldenfrogyoga.com/.

For other yoga classes, contact your local Central Florida YMCA. Help your senior loved one purchase a senior membership. For more information call YMCA Metro Office at 407-896-9220. For Central Florida locations please go to:  http://ymcacentralflorida.com/y-locations/ .

For more information about the benefits of yoga go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/body-on-yoga_n_4109595.html.

Thoughtful gifts that encourage change, a healthy lifestyle, and active participation are the best gifts. Our loved ones deserve the best!

Enjoy your holidays with your senior loved ones, and if you need any assistance in the next few weeks or months do not hesitate to call Senior Helpers of Orlando at 407-628-4357.

Ana PD Lane

Senior Helpers of Orlando Team Member

#seniorgifts   #brainhealthyactivities   #dementia   #senioractivities




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