10 Items to Donate to Seniors in Need

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The holidays mark a season to create joy. Giving to others can be the best gift many people receive all year. As we visit with our loved ones, many of us begin to think of what we can do to assist others in need.

During the holiday season and year-round, millions of seniors are suffering while trying to meet their basic needs. About 56 percent of seniors age 80+ reported a severe disability and 29 percent of the same population reported needing assistance.

With such a great need in the senior community, there are many everyday items we take for granted that can be donated to seniors. We have a compiled a list of ten useful items:

1. Blankets, Throws, or Shawls
According to a recent article on agingcare.com, seniors can become “dangerously chilled because they have less fat, slower circulation, and a more sluggish metabolism. A senior can even become hypothermic while indoors.” Receiving a blanket or shawl can warm the body and the heart.

2. Soaps and lotions
Be mindful of common allergens and care facility rules when you are donating

3. Disposable Undergarments

Recent statistics from the National Council on Aging suggest, “25 million or more Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure—living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. The federal poverty level is $29,425 per year for a single person.” Purchasing basic items like disposable undergarments may be a hardship. 

4. Diabetic Socks
1 in 4 seniors 65 or older have type 2 diabetes. Slip-resistant diabetic socks can keep the feet dry, decrease the risk of foot injury, and help with circulation.

5. Large print books
With nearly 1 in 3 seniors experiencing a vision-reducing health issue, large print books can help seniors enjoy popular best sellers of virtually every genre.

6. Games and Puzzles
Give a gift that can keep the mind active and provide hours of fun.

7. Towels
A set of comfortable towels may be a perfect touch of home or a kind luxury often overlooked for a senior in need.

8. Denture adhesive, cleanser, or holders
According to the dental experts featured in the Journal of International Oral Health, Loose painful teeth or ill-fitting dentures may result in a reduced desire or ability to eat contributing to poor eating habits. For seniors with health problems who are living on a fixed income, basics like these are a big need.

9. Senior Friendly Manicure Kits

Many older adults have nails that are hard to cut or reach. Donating a nail kit that works well for clipping for thick toenails, or is easy to use with hands that may not exert a strong grip can be particularly useful.

10. Fresh Fruit, snacks, or non-perishable food items
Be sure to check on dietary restrictions prior to donating these items.
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