What do you get Grandma this year? A new blanket…again? How about a pair of slippers? While those gifts could satisfy the needs or desires of a senior loved one, why not choose a present that is even more meaningful: a gift from the heart. While you may not be able to add the following gift ideas to a shopping list, you can bet they’re on your loved one’s wish list.
Here are some ideas about heartfelt gifts that seniors will likely not ask for or expect to receive:
- Take your loved one shopping. Whether a trip to the mall or an online shopping spree, make it a special day. Be sure to tune into your loved one’s limitations and don’t overdo.
- Lend a hand.Carry on the holiday cooking traditions, asking your senior loved one to help where he or she can. Or, ask everyone to bring a favorite dish.
- Wrap and send packages. Arthritis can make wrapping those holiday presents a challenge. Schedule a gift-wrapping afternoon, complete with hot chocolate, cookies and plenty of family stories.
- Deck the halls. Bending, lifting, and reaching to get those holiday decorations in place aren’t always possible for an older adult. Enlist the help of the grandkids and make decorating a fun multi-generational activity.
- Send holiday greetings. Offer to spend an afternoon helping your loved one address and send holiday cards, either by mail or as online photo greetings.
- Plan a fun event. Get a group of your senior loved one’s friends together to serenade other older adults in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
- Celebrate the reason for the season. Attend a religious program with your senior loved one. Be flexible with service times if necessary.
- Focus on others. Get your senior loved one and the entire family involved in gathering supplies for a homeless shelter or serving a holiday meal.
- Stay connected. Help an older adult connect with loved ones far away, whether over the phone or through a video-calling service like Skype.
- Give the gift of time. Sometimes all an older adult wants is companionship. Show that you care by making room in your schedule to spend time together.