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Before You Before You Buy Gifts for Seniors - Buying Tips for Seniors Gifts

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How to Find a Great Gift for Seniors On Your List

The term seniors covers a wide range of ages, from younger baby-boomers to those who have lived close to a century and beyond. As physical limitations and interests vary widely among the senior age groups, these buying considerations can ensure your purchase is not only suitable for them, but is appreciated and enjoyed.

Design & Suitability

First of all, is the senior capable of using this purchase? Weight of the product is an important consideration for many seniors. Young seniors may still be able to handle heavy cooking implements, but as they get older, they may want quality cookware that is lighter as opposed to heavier. A filled 40 lb cast iron bean pot or a fully-clad turkey roaster may be too heavy for a 70 year old to safely manage. An 8-10 cup coffeemaker may be more suitable than a 12 cup model for a senior couple, and a 5 qt stockpot may be more practical than a 12 qt. And a lightweight vacuum that's easy to maneuver is a must for elderly seniors.
Read review of Electrolux Ergorapido Vacuum

Physical Challenges & Limitations

Special consideration should be given to physical challenges which dictate appliance preferences. Someone in a wheelchair may prefer a cordless opener that can be kept conveniently in a drawer, as opposed to a cabinet or wall mountable model. Persons with visual limitations may need specially designed kitchenware with larger and clearer quantity markings. Arthritis sufferers and those with problem hands need soft-grip and easy-on-hands kitchenware. Product weight may also be a consideration for arthritis sufferers.

Adaptability to New Technology & Cooking Strategies

We've all heard the old saying: "If it's not broken don't fix it!". This holds true for a lot of folks. They would rather stick with the 'tried and true', than brave the challenge of convection cooking or silicone bakeware. It may be better to introduce new technology on a small scale at first, such as with silicone spatulas which can lead to their desire to try more. Digital settings and displays, although beautiful to behold, can totally overwhelm an elder and keep them from trying it out. Ensure displays are backlit, and take time to demonstrate all the great features and how they work.

Storing & Installation Limitations

Some seniors live in residences or apartments and have counter and storage limitations. For those in their own homes, downsizing to smaller living quarters may be on the horizon. Compact or multi-use appliances may be more suitable for these seniors. Those in a seniors complex may have rules regarding electrical appliances - you can confirm this with their administration office.

Lifestyle Preferences - What Do They Like to Do?

Some of our seniors are very active, participate in social events, enjoy hobbies and help out in the community. They may truly enjoy housewares that they can take out to pot-lucks and socials, such as crockpots, covered bakeware, new oven mitts and cool serving utensils. Others may like to use their own equipment to help out at the local food kitchen, such as a good stockpot, grill or pie taker. For those who love to travel, a compact travel appliance may be very welcomed.

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Quality Versus Quantity

Seniors appreciate and recognize product quality. After all, they have years of experience with housewares. In many cases, seniors have long sacrificed product quality for the needs of their family. Now it's time to have the housewares they've always wanted, quality products that will, meet their needs, be a delight to use, be easy to maintain and operate, and that will serve them well in the future.

Other Tips When Giving to Seniors

  • Be prepared to give a 'training' session on the new appliance. If it doesn't come out of the box on that special day, it may just get stored away and be forgotten.
  • Be careful not to offend with your well-chosen gift, a subtle approach is sometimes best. An example would be a kitchen clock with extra large dominating numbers when large would suffice. The need may be there but they may not always want to admit it.
Sometimes seniors feel they need nothing and do not want nick-nacks or complicated appliances and a custom gift basket may be the best gift. You can either build your gift basket using a common theme or insert things you know they really need and will use - or eat. A gift basket is a lot of fun to make and receive. Gift cards are also quite popular; it allows seniors to chose a suitable gift.

Be Prepared to Return & Exchange the Item

You want your gift to be enjoyed, so be prepared to exchange it if need be. If you notice after giving it that they are not using it, offer to replace it for something more to their liking. It's not that some seniors tend to be picky, they just know what they want or will use. They may have had their heart set on a particular model and you may not have known it. Be gracious and offer to return it. Always keep the receipt filed for future reference. Older seniors may also need help to register their new product.

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