If you’re looking for special gifts to give to people you love or care about this holiday season, give them something they might not expect—even if you are a nurse—a healthy gift.

Teri Dreher, RN, iRNPA, CCM, a Board Certified Patient Advocate and founder of Seniors Alone Guardianship & Advocacy Services and NShore Patient Advocates, came up with a ton of great ideas for health-related gifts that she shared with us.

As for figuring out how to give healthy gifts, Dreher says, “Think in terms of gifts that support a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being or that emphasize relationships over material things. Such gifts come in all shapes and price points. With a little thought, you can find such gifts for everyone on your list—from your nearest and dearest to your children’s teachers and your neighbors.”

 

 

1. A fitness track or smart watch.

For the person who wants to start up or increase their fitness program. “These irresistible gadgets can be highly motivational,” says Dreher.


 

2. A health club membership or session with a personal trainer.

These are great for someone who has been told to start a fitness program, but needs motivation. (We add that you should make sure this will be received well. Some folks might get upset if they wouldn’t want it.)


 

3. A getaway for two.

“People who take vacations live longer. Surprise your honey or your bestie with a long weekend somewhere warm and fun.”


 

4. A massage gift card.

“Who is the most stressed-out friend you have? Gift them with a soothing massage—a gentle reminder to slow down and take care of themselves.”


 

5. A pet.

“People would get out to walk a dog, thereby getting exercise as well as living longer and healthier. This is a personal gift, though, and should be wanted/needed and come with an offer to sit when the loved older person needs a break. Also think about the lifespan of each party. An older rescue dog who is housebroken may be ideal for a lonely senior. It gives them a reason to get up and care for someone else and is a source of unconditional love and affection. A mild-mannered rescue cat would be a wonderful gift. An older cat would be calmer and sleep on the lap of an older person, providing comfort for both of them.”


 

6. A gift card for a bookstore or books that will encourage learning or mental, physical, and spiritual growth.

“[Put them] in a basket with coffee/tea, a special mug, a warming neck wrap for sore muscles, etc. Wrap everything in love, not hints to control of change the person. Play on their interests.”


 

7. A season of snowplowing.

“The link between heart attacks and snow shoveling is real. A winter of snow-clearing services make a great gift for an older family member.”


 

8. An air fryer, hot pot, or sparkling water maker.

“These kitchen appliances encourage easy, healthful food prep. Pair with a cookbook and starter supplies.”


 

9. Nuts, dried fruit, or a fruit basket.

“A healthier alternative to cookies or candy. You’ll be surprised how many people will love this.”


 

10. A little of your time.

Don’t forget senior orphans—elderly people who are alone. “Not only do they have no one to exchange gifts with this holiday season, they may be silently struggling to get by. Bringing over an occasional meal and offering a little company allows you to keep an eye on them. And if at some point you see that they need help, contact your local senior organization or social service agency. Don’t let them fall through the cracks,” says Dreher.


 

Michele Wojciechowski

Michele Wojciechowski is an award-winning writer and author of the humor book Next Time I Move, They’ll Carry Me Out in a Box.
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