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Family Caregiving for Seniors - SageCorner Blog

Unique and Purposeful Gift for Elderly Loved Ones

by Deah on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:18 PM

It goes without saying, the best gift is your time. Most elderly people do not want or need much. They are content as far as possessions - but are often lonely. My kids are asking me what they should get gram and pap for Christmas. My first answer is always the best gift you can give them is your time. Stop in for a visit, take them out to dinner, bake a pie, make extra for dinner some night and drop it off to them. If you live far away - just a phone call to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. Pap loves when they stop in to play some cards. Create homemade gift certificates for yard work, housecleaning, or decluttering which not only allow you to spend some time with them but also accomplishes a task that may be hard for them.

Don’t buy them something just to give them a present to open. They’re aware that their time on this side of Heaven is limited. They love you deeply, and they want to visit with you more often. My mother was eager to tell me on my last visit about my nephew who stopped in to see them. It means so much to them and I think the visitor receives a gift too.

With all that being said there are a few unique ideas that I have become aware of that may help if you still want to purchase something:

1. My mother loves her electric heated warming blanket. Her cuddle blanket keeps her warm and cozy. A little too much sometimes!

2. Another favorite of hers is “no-tie” shoelaces. She wishes all her shoes had these laces that are elastic and stretch as you push your foot into them without bending down.

3. If your loved one is lonely or suffers from dementia, a plush companion pet may be enjoyable. There are many of these on the market. Most of these companion pets are puppies and some of the ones I saw have puppy like movements and sound. They are designed to bring comfort, companionship and fun to aging loved ones. My grandfather loved his wind up dancing toys. He loved them so much that after his passing family members have kept them just for the memory.

4. For the gardener, try an indoor flower garden. Again, there are many versions of these that can be purchased but you can make your own too. Put some potting soil in some sort of container. Either give them the seeds or place them in soil yourself with instructions to give plenty of sunshine, water and love.

5. A unique gift that my dad would get a kick out of is one I found on amazon. It is a t-shirt that says, Been There. Done that. Can’t Remember. There are other t-shirts out there that have similar sayings that you may find more appropriate.

6. For the loved one who likes to read, there are numerous books that reveal senior moments that a senior would rather forget. The one that caught my attention was 365 Senior Moments You’d Rather Forget by Karen O’Conner. These light hearted books encourage laughter and encourages one to take life in stride. Even the non-reader would enjoy these.

For more ideas and inspiration see our previous article Heart-Felt Gifts for Elderly Relatives.

Blogs Parent Separator Deah Bowes
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Tips and ideas to help care for a senior loved one at home.


Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education.

Lori Paterno, M.Ed. Has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling From Penn State University.  She has over 20 years professional experience in Human Services, Counseling, and Education. 
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