Gift-giving season is either the best time of the year (if you love shopping and always have tons of ideas for everyone on your list) or the thing you dread most about winter (if, once again, you can't think of a thing for anyone on your list). The challenges of gift giving are often increased when shopping for seniors. While some seniors still delight in receiving gifts, others are in a stage of getting rid of, rather than acquiring, things.
We've pulled together some ideas for from-the-heart, non-space-taking, useful gifts for both seniors who still love opening presents and seniors who beg you not to get them anything at all:
Gifts that can be eaten or used (and don't need to be stored) are often a great bet for seniors. Some ideas that keep the principles of healthy diet found in the Balanced Care Method™ in mind are:
- Filet of smoked salmon (with rye or pumpernickel bread and whipped cream cheese for the full effect)
- Selection of green and herbal teas, with a few tea biscuits and whole-grain cookies
- Membership to a CSA (community supported agriculture) or produce delivery service for regular supplies of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables
- Basket with an assortment of whole grain pastas, canned tomatoes, jarred anchovies, high quality olive oil, flavored vinegars, marinated artichokes, olives, capers, or dried porcini mushrooms
Gift certificates for special items that a senior wouldn't normally treat himself to can be a great present. While gift certificates to places or for services they normally use can be useful, and may be more appropriate for some people, bumping it up just a notch can add an element of fun for the giver and the receiver.
- Gift certificate to a specialty store, deli, or take-out counter
- Credit to spend at the hairdresser's or a nail salon. Homebound seniors appreciate a traveling professional – many salons offer home treatments.
- Spa services such as massage or facials. Again, many spas offer home service for an additional fee.
- Membership to a museum, which provides a year's worth of free visits and outings.
- Tickets or subscriptions to the theater or symphony (along with a ride there and back!)
- Movie passes
- Subscription to audio books or credit on an iTunes account
Special outings, household chores, favorite meals – they all make great "gifts" when written down as a personalized gift certificate someone can redeem later in the year. Try to think of things that really are special, that either you don't usually do or that you know the person wishes you would do significantly more often. Some examples:
- Major yard work like trimming hedges or mulching gardens
- Major housework tasks such as painting a room, cleaning gutters, or organizing a closet
- Chauffeur services, either a 10-pack for short trips or one big journey, perhaps to visit a friend or family member the person doesn't get to see very often
- A visit to a favorite restaurant together or a home-cooked meal of the person's choice
Home Care Assistance certified caregivers are available 24/7 to provide experienced, trustworthy caregivers to help with meal preparation, companionship, activities, transportation, socialization, and specific Alzheimer’s care services. Visit Home Care Assistance Prescott for more information.