First thing this morning the emails started - study after study confirmed what I already instinctively knew: Americans plan to use the internet to research products and do price comparisons before heading out to the stores for Black Friday. Of course, next Monday - Cyber Monday it's called - will be a day of low office productivity as people pound away at keyboards pretenting to work when they're really ordering gifts.
Boomers are no exception. We'll not only hit the stores, but the keyboards as well trying to find that special something. If you're shopping for a senior this year, let me me save you a little time. My parents are in their 80s and my mother-in-law is almost 91, so I spend a good bit of time looking for specialty items that can rarely be found at a mall kiosk or in a big box store.
Here are some sites I can recommend:
The Arthritis Foundation has an entire section online for "ease of use products." These are products that have been lab tested and recommended for people with arthritis. (Full disclosure here - the AF is a client.)
Looking for clothing for a senior? This site - Buck and Buck - not only offers special items for men and women, you can look them up by condition, such as arthritis, parkinson's, alzheimers, etc.
EderLuxe offers a wide variety of gifts, from personal health items, to ergonomic kitchen utensils, to motorized bikes and more. You may even find something here for your boomer partner!
Senior Super Stores has a huge selection of items, searchable by type, such as safety, mobility, sleepwear, household gadgets and more.
The Parent Giving site concentrates more on personal care items for the elderly. You'll find a lot of great ideas, especially for older parents who require significant assistance.
If you're shopping for a senior who still lives independently, but could use a little help, check out Independent Care Products. I didn't even know some of these products existed, but I found several items that will help mom and dad do everything from dress themselves to safely work in the kitchen.
If you visit the Senior Emporium, your first reaction may be like mine was: "Whoa! What a busy, colorful site!" It looks like it could have been produced by a toy catalog company, but be patient and spend some time there. They offer many practical items for daily use. I got some great ideas from it.
Most of these sites also offer gift wrapping and shipping, making your job even easier. But if you're planning to do your own wrapping, really think about the person who will be opening it. For seniors, I find the less tape, the better. Gift bags are always appreciated. And don't sacrifice practicality for beauty - skip the cloth ribbons if your gift recipient has limited dexterity. Here's a video of a clever idea. While I think the package could certainly be more beautifully wrapped, I do like the string idea.
There are many, many more sites, of course and I'd welcome your input on some of your favorites. Please leave a comment for readers. Happy shopping!
P.S. In case you're wondering, I found all of these sites on my own. I am not paid to promote any of them and have accepted nothing from the sites for my endorsement.