Counting down the days until the holiday shopping frenzy begins? Checking your list twice, three times, then checking your budget four times? And now comes the ‘I don’t know what to give Grandma/Grandpa/auntie/neighbor because they don’t need more things’. Here are a few ideas to get your imagination revved up.
The #1 request on many seniors ‘wish list’ is the gift of your time. Stopping by for a cup of coffee, inviting them for a meal, reading to them, a mini-manicure at home, an evening drive to look at holiday lights, or simply sitting down for a chat will provide happiness that money cannot buy. Bonus – it is easy on your wallet! If your loved one is enrolled in hospice care, they might not be ‘doing’ anything. Your time will be the best gift.
Make life a bit easier. A jar opener, magnifying glass, clock with a big face, arm rest organizer, a gel seat cushion are some options.
How about some memories? A photo album/calendar/blanket can give your loved one hours of enjoyment. If your special person has dementia or Alzheimers, photos can be a way to connect with them. Record some of their favorite music; oldies are especially good for those with Alzheimers.
Thinking safety? How about a medical alert device to provide peace of mind for both of you? Non-skid slippers for those colder nights. A video doorbell with a speaker so your senior won’t have to get up to answer the door (make sure you install it or have someone do it for your senior).
A weighted blanket can feel like a gigantic hug and might even decrease anxiety and improve sleep. Weighted blankets would not be recommended for those with chronic respiratory or circulatory issues, Type 2 diabetes, asthma, low blood pressure, or claustrophobia (www.sleepfoundation.org).
A little pampering can go a long way. Do you know of a hairdresser who will make a house call? Cook a few meals for the freezer (include directions for re-heating), or have a meal-delivery service do the cooking as a special treat.
Audiobooks are available for almost every interest possible. Jumbo playing cards. Puzzles (swap with some friends), coloring books or art supplies, or if they are still writing, a journal or letter-writing supplies and stamps.
Our seniors don’t want more ‘stuff’, but they might enjoy the suspense of a gift to unwrap. Remember, your time is still the most precious gift you can share.