The 10 Best Gifts For Grandparents
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in March of 2015. Grandma and Grandpa have done so much for you — they're always loving and supportive, they brag about you endlessly, and, most importantly, they say "Yes" when Mom and Dad say "No." That's why it's appropriate to give them something they might actually want from time to time. Our selections represent the best gifts a grandparent could hope for (and ensure that you'll stay in the will). When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
July 24, 2019:
Smart gifting for one's grandparents may once have required that you steer clear of technology, but with the advent of the internet and smart devices retreating into the rear view mirror, tech gifts are slowly becoming better bets for older recipients. Still, it's not worth risking over a grand on a new iPad that might intimidate them a bit. That's why we included the Kindle Paperwhite as our new number one. It's a nice gift that lets them interact with a piece of tech that works in may ways like a book. It's also lighter and smaller than many other tablets, so it won't pose a problem for those with limited mobility.
We updated the old Wilson golf set that was on our previous list to a much more contemporary collection of clubs, and we added a few special honors from the luxury sector that anyone of any age should be happy to get, but that have a little extra benefit to older customers. That tabletop magnifier by L'Objet is actually very similar to a model my Nana used daily for decades, though this one is admittedly finer with its star-studded gold exterior.
Levine Panama Hat To help keep sun damage at bay, there's nothing like a good hat, and these will provide the elders in your life with something much more stylish than a simple baseball cap. They're ideal for travel and sunny retirement locales, and the subtle differences among the company's lineup ensure there's something for everyone. levinehat.com
L'Objet Stars Magnifying Glass Plated in 24k gold, this magnifier might actually make it harder to read what you put beneath it, simply because you won't be able to take your eyes off its elegant design. Its exterior features Swarovski crystals laid out to look like twinkling stars, and its glass provides 7x magnification. l-objet.com
Mark Cross Rear Window Overnight If your grandmother was a fan of Alfred Hitchcock or Grace Kelly, there's no way that she won't immediately recognize this impeccably well-designed bag. It's a very expensive present, but its combination of form, function, and fame make it something she'll cherish for the rest of her life. markcross.com
Caring For The Eldest Among Us
The realization will come over you only in the tiniest moments at first.
No one wants to confront the fact that they, too, will someday get old. The realization will come over you only in the tiniest moments at first. A young child refers to you as a man or woman, even though you may only be in your late teens. Then, people start calling you sir or ma'am. They think it’s polite, but they’re really just deepening the wound. At a certain point, it becomes terribly suspicious for you to be too friendly with the children of strangers.
Then, the grey hairs come. And the wrinkles. They cascade in from out of nowhere, riding an ever-strengthening wave of destruction, tearing down the image of your youthful exuberance and replacing it with a face you can scarcely recognize in the mirror.
The next thing you know, you’re getting discounts at movie theaters and ordering off the 55-plus menu at Denny’s. From there, it’s a short trip to retirement community. You tell yourself your mind will stay intact, and it does. It’s not your fault you have a hard time recognizing your family members; they barely come to see you.
This is all a long way off in the future, to be sure, but the thought of it should fill you with enough empathy for the elderly that you might take your gift selection process more seriously for the seniors in your life. That might actually make finding the perfect gift for grandma of grandpa even easier than otherwise, and it might also prevent you from committing the all-too-common faux pas of buying an ageist present for your loved ones.
80 Is The New 20
If you thought that the drab, lonesome picture of senior living drawn above was a little too depressing, you’re onto a bit of truth. It is true that Americans have had a problem with their elder care systems — and largely with the way we regard the elderly — for some time. As a result, however, older people are more interested in being active than ever. Better nutrition and less stressful lifestyles, along with advancements in medicine and wellness, have given this generation of retirees more time to enjoy the fruits of their labor than their parents or grandparents before them.
If your grandparents are on the younger side, they're likely to have travel plans in their near future.
When shopping for a gift for your grandparents, you don’t need to think along the lines of special telephones or hearing aids. Now, you can empower the seniors in your life with gifts that reinforce their continuing activity.
If your grandparents are on the younger side, they're likely to have travel plans in their near future. A gift that they can take with them on the road and across some borders would be most welcome. Athletic gifts are also great ideas for your grandparents, as you want them to remain active for as long as possible. The longer a person can stay active, the longer and healthier a life they ought to lead.
Whatever their age or activity level, your grandparents have probably come to value comfort when they’re resting at home. That gives you an opportunity to get them a gift to maximize their comfort level. It can be something warm and toasty, or just something practical, as long as comfort is at the forefront.
Of course, there are situations in which your grandparents (or great grandparents) will reach an age where high levels of travel or activity are out of the question. These are the years when family is the most important thing. Any gift you can give that will remind them of the family they built, of the generations of happiness they created and will someday leave behind, will be a gift they will cherish.
An Untapped Treasure Trove Of Wisdom
We made brief mention above about a care deficit among the elderly citizens of the world. Perhaps, when we look into the eyes of an elderly person, we find ourselves confronted with a vision of our own inevitable decline, of our own mortality. But these are the people who have entire live’s worth of stories to tell, who’ve been to war and back, who’ve built homes and families, and who’ve had time to reflect upon it all.
If you have a grandparent to care for, to visit, to learn from, please do so, and do so often.
If you’re reading this, you probably have at least one grandparent left, or just a senior in your life who you think deserves a little something. Both of you are very lucky. Getting them a physical gift like one of the options from our list is a fantastic idea, but there’s something even more special you can bring with you when you present it to them: Your company.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of California San Francisco, 18 percent of seniors live alone, with 43 percent reporting feelings of loneliness on a regular basis. This loneliness, according to the same study, results in a 45 percent increase in the risk of death, as well as a 59 percent increase in physical and mental decline.
In a lot of cases, seniors don’t have grandchildren to visit them. They may not have had children of their own, or their children may not have reproduced. If you have a grandparent to care for, to visit, to learn from, please do so, and do so often. But don’t stop there. Reach out to other members of the senior community, as well. It isn’t hard to find a retirement facility that would welcome volunteers.
Go to the older people in your life with an open heart and an open mind, ready to absorb the wisdom and insight they have to offer. While you’re at it, bring them a little gift, and ask them to tell you some of their favorite jokes. Old people often have some knee-slappers hidden away for just the right audience.