Fun Gifts for the Caretaker in Your Life

They’ve spent all year caring for you or a loved one, now it’s time to show them you care. Here, Whittier Glen Assisted Living takes a look at the best gifts to give your favorite caregiver this holiday season based on their personality.

For the fun-lover

You can spot a fun lover by the way they walk and talk. He or she may crack jokes to lighten up the mood or show up to your 4th of July barbeque wearing a Santa hat. Here’s what to get them:

Adult party games –  Exploding Kittens, Cards Against Humanity, and Family Feud After Hours are NSFW or kids but will put a smile on any fun lover’s face.

Funny socks – Hobbit feet, chicken legs, and other fancy foot warmers are a great gift for anyone. You can find fun socks online or at your local novelties store.

For the quiet type

The quiet people are often introverts with little use for others beyond their closest friends and family. Help them avoid the public with these gifts:

Adult coloring book – You can find everything from Harry Potter to exotic chickens to swear-word coloring books that will let your recipient turn their attention to not people, just the way they like it.

A virtual BFF – Even the least talkative folks need a listening ear from time to time. Consider a Google Assist or Amazon Echo.

For the foodie

You’ll know the foodie by the way he or she snubs McDonald’s and insists that coconut oil makes the best brownies. Satisfy their food love like this:

Food delivery subscription — You can’t give the foodie just any subscription, it has to be something unforgettable. Consider iGourmet, which offers a selection of mouthwatering meats, cheeses and accompaniments to please the pickiest palate. Blue Apron is also popular and comes packaged with ingredients and instructions.

Food thermometer – A food thermometer might not be at the top of your wish list, but those who love to cook also like to know their food is safe.  Travel+Leisure recommends the ThermaPro TP03A.

For the technologically impaired

If you’ve ever received a phone call at 10 PM asking how to change the input on the television, you’ve met the technologically impaired. Bring them up to the 21st century with these:

Big-button remote control – With buttons labeled for exactly what they want and no confusing language such as “input” or “on demand,” a big-button remote control  can help them channel surf without feeling overwhelmed.

Voice-activated vacuum cleaner – It doesn’t take a degree in software development to tell the  Ionvac Smartclean 2000 Robovac when and where to clean up. And you can tell it to pause by linking it to your Amazon Echo or Google Assist.

For the traveler

If your favorite caretaker indulges their wanderlust whenever they can, you want to give them something to enhance their travels.

Beach rental – A vacation rental situated on or near one of LA’s top beaches can provide the perfect retreat for your traveler who needs downtime. Somewhere in Santa Monica, Venice, near Playa Del Ray, for example, can put them in proximity to a beach as well as restaurants and shops.

Suitcase – If your travel lover’s suitcase has seen better days, give them a new one that matches up with their sense of adventure. Opt for a carry-on size from Eagle Creek that they can throw in the overhead bin or that can stand the pummeling of baggage hold.

For the homebody

A homebody may be anything but quiet, but they share many common traits with the introvert including a preference for staying home. Cater to their inner hermit with these gifts:

eReader – Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablet allows for full access to the Google Play store and features a 10-inch display for optimized reading. Other popular e-reader devices are the Amazon Kindle and the Kobo Clara.

Adult onesies – Fun adult pajamas are really a great gift for anyone on your list, but those who prefer sticking close to home may appreciate the comfort and coverage given by these blanket alternatives.

Regardless of their personal interests, everyone who spends their days caring for others needs to have the opportunity to focus on self-care. Whether it be reading, cooking, or simply zoning out with a set of colored pencils, remember to give your gifts based on your recipient’s interests. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and return the favor tenfold by providing the best care possible for you or your loved one.

Kindness Is Always in Season

Do you think you are kind? Although most of us act on kindness and service during the holidays, most don’t make kindness a priority beyond November and December. An NBC News poll showed 62 percent of us believe children aren’t as kind as they used to be. And 77 percent of us think parents are to blame for those declining figures. The poll results show that most parents believe teaching honesty (43 percent) is more important than teaching kindness (29 percent). But 52 percent of those polled believe kindness is an innate quality that doesn’t need to be taught. Although people may not agree on the process of being kind, there’s no doubt the world could use more of it, especially after the holidays are over.

Here are four ways to start practicing kindness and build a positive, happier life all year.

  1. Practice gratitude.

Like most worthwhile tasks, the act of gratitude takes practice. “It’s a practice to take a moment each day to take in natural beauty and reflect on positive events,” says Lori Chandler. “And like all practices, it takes stamina to stick to it.” Not only does showing gratitude improve the life situation for others as well as ourselves, but it’s also good for our health.

Related link: How to add meaning to the holiday season

“Research shows that when we think about what we appreciate, the parasympathetic or calming part of the nervous system is triggered, and that can have protective benefits on the body, including decreasing cortisol levels and perhaps increasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone involved in relationships that make us feel so good,” says Today Health and Wellness contributor Lauren Dunn. Simply identifying three things for which you are grateful will have a profound impact on kindness.

  1. Set new goals every month.

Rather than declaring this broad statement that your commitment to being more kind starts today and shall commence for the rest of your life, try taking smaller steps and reinforce this goal with new personal challenges every month. We come across new things to inspire us every day. And by allowing time to incorporate new things and change strategies when needed, we can continue to take charge of kindness all year.

Related link: 7 Ways seniors can make the new year happy

“We appreciate the efforts our staff makes every day to be patient and kind to those who need their help, saidDebra Koenig RN LNHA, executive director at Fort Dodge Health & Rehabilitation. “We recognize that this time of year can be overwhelming for both our staff and residents, so the kind service and support that they share with each other, regardless of their hectic personal lives, inspires me to be better and try harder all throughout the year.”

  1. Say “yes.”

The foundation for sharing kindness is loving ourselves. Inspired by the book, Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, written by television producer and creator Shonda Rhimes, saying yes to trying new things, playing instead of working, and placing our happiness as a priority can motivate people to share those positive feelings with others. “When you’re willing to do something uncomfortable, it inspires other people to take action themselves,” says Bernardo Carducci, professor of psychology and director of the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast. This act of paying it forward sets the stage for positive change.

  1. Commit to kindness every day.

It’s great to hear that the food bank shelves are filled in December, but what about March? People need to feel love and kindness every day of the year and not just during the holidays. “Kindness is not an ‘extra,” says Harriet Lerner, Ph.D, psychologist and author of Why Won’t You Apologize? “Kindness is at the heart of intimacy, connection, self-respect, and respect for others.”

The truth is the opportunities to be kind during the holidays present themselves all year. We just need to use the same eyes and ears that are so attuned to doing service during the holiday season and choose kindness every day.  “War, natural disasters, politics—you hit a point where you’re looking for positivity, but you don’t always know what to do or where to start,” says Kelsey Gryniewicz of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. “But that’s the power of kindness—it just takes one person, one act. You don’t need money or a ton of time.”

This article was previously published on 39 for Life and republished here with permission.