Gift Ideas for Low Vision Friends and Family
Is there a VIP (Visually Impaired Person) on your holiday shopping list? Are you a VIP who is making out your ‘wish list’? I hope that you’ll get some ideas here.
Give your time
I’m putting this first because it’s not something that comes to mind for most people. It’s something where ‘one size fits all,’ doesn’t cost any money, and is much appreciated! There are so many things where you can offer your time:
You could make up ‘coupons’ by hand or you can find blank ones on the internet (you can search for 'DIY print time coupons'). You could write on them what they are for or leave them blank for the person to fill in what they need.
Every holiday season I see tons of ads for boxes or crates of oranges that you can have shipped to someone. A study published in 2018 in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition gave a large group of adults a special food-frequency questionnaire asking about what they ate. Fifteen years later, they assessed their incidence of AMD. The results were that those who ate an orange a day had reduced their risk of developing AMD 60% compared to those who didn’t. 1
Two big questions I've been asked:
- Is there a benefit to those who already have AMD? The article reference above does say that regularly eating oranges can affect the progression of AMD.
- Does orange juice work as well? The scientific study does say that oranges and orange juice are important.
With that in mind, you might send your VIP a box of oranges. If not a box, you might put some in a gift basket.
Gift box or basket
There are so many low vision aids that it’s hard to tell which might be the best for the person to whom you are giving the gift. To find gift ideas, you might search for ‘gifts low vision’ where you’ll find quite a lot of them. You might do the same on Maxiaids, Amazon and even Pinterest.
If you can identify a ‘theme’ based on the person’s interests, you could put multiple items in a basket or box. You might add a coupon or two. You might put in a large-print calendar. If you search for '2020 calendar large print,' you'll get quite a few options.
Let’s look at some examples of theme-based gift boxes.
Gifts for a VIP cook: A cookbook
There are cookbooks that are designed for those following an eye-healthy diet. With some of them, the proceeds go to a non-profit organization.
You may have noticed that I reference a lot of searches. Google is my favorite search engine for this type of search because there is an option for ‘shopping’ to see where you can get an item. Here are some titles that you can search for:
- "Visionary Kitchen"
- "EyeFoods: A A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes" or "EyeFoods: The Complete Eye Health and Nutrition Guide." There's also "Eyefoods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Eye Health"
- "AMDF Cookbook: Eat Right for Your Sight" - proceeds go to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation
- "Eating for Eye Health" - from the Macular Disease Foundation of Australia.
Gifts for a VIP cook: Kitchen gadgets
There are quite a few low vision aids for the kitchen such as large letter measuring cups and spoons, talking meat thermometers, liquid level indicators for filling things, labelers that ‘talk’ to put on pantry items, easy to see timers, and cutting boards with a dark-colored side and a light-colored side to provide contrast. You can also get what are called 'bump dots’ which are stickers with a raised circle to put on dials and common settings to make it easier for someone to find them.
Gifts of leisure items for a VIP
I like to emphasize that VIPs can find ways to enjoy their time and continue to do things that they’ve always done.
Gift box for a VIP Reader
What type of book you might give will depend on the vision that they have. For some, large print books work well. For others, they may need or prefer e-books or audiobooks. Do they have a device (e-book reader, tablet, smartphone) that they use for both e-books and audiobooks? Do they listen to audiobooks on CD? Here are some ways to give them one or more of these options:
- Gift certificate to Amazon for individual e-books or audio CDs.
- Gift subscription for regular downloadable audiobooks: Audible through Amazon or Audible.com.
- Gift certificate to Barnes & Noble: large print books, downloadable e-books and audiobooks for NOOK reader, NOOK app for Android, Apple IOS, and Windows 10.
- Apple iTunes for downloads of individual e-books and audiobooks for Apple devices.
- If you have a big budget, Amazon Paperwhite is highly recommended for those with low vision. One of the reasons is that the screen does not emit blue light which can lead to eye strain and sleep cycle interruptions.
Other leisure time gift boxes
There are so many options! If you are interested in any of them, you might search Google. Here are just some of the ideas:
- For the crafter, how about a headband magnifier with a light (like jewelers use) so they can work hands-free. Yes, they do call them ‘headband’ magnifiers.
- For those who sew, there are aids for threading needles, lights and magnifiers to add to a sewing machine, seam ripper with magnifier and more.
- For those who do needle crafts, there are lighted knitting needles and crochet hooks, floss threaders and other aids. This is another activity where a headband magnifier with a light would be helpful.
- For the game player, there are lots of games that have large print boards and instructions. The makers of Uno recently came out with a braille version. The cards are also for those with low vision with big numbers. Have you played Bananagrams? It’s like Scrabble, but there’s no board. You get wooden tiles in a banana-shaped bag that you dump out and use to make words. They have a large print version. There are many large print playing cards, too.
If you are someone with low vision, you might ‘hint’ about some of these gifts. Sometimes those in your circle don’t have a clue as to what to get you. If you are the giver, I hope that you find something that you think your VIP will like.
Whatever you do, have fun shopping!
How do you protect your eyes from the sun?