Gifts for seniors
Gifts for seniors can be special if they 'really fit' the recipient's circumstances. You need to think about the person...and his or her situation.
Is money an issue in the life of the recipient? If so there are a number of Gifts for seniors that can be especially appreciated. Many elders find that money gets a bit tight several years after retirement. Inflation and unexpected expenditures eat away at what once was a comfortable income. Few seniors talk about their money concerns. But if you are attentive, you can often see small signs of 'cutting back' on clothing, entertainment and even money spent on gifts.
Here are several Gifts for seniors who might be finding money an issue:
Few seniors want to accept cash donations but there are some clever ways to add cash - especially on birthdays sd our Gifts for seniors.
EXAMPLE: The year my mother turned 68, I went to the bank and got 69 brand new dollar bills. (When we were growing up, she always put one extra candle on our birthday cake 'to grow on' and since Elizabeth was turning 68, having 69 dollars would give one 'to grow on'.
I wrapped the stack of brand new dollars in tissue paper, put them in a fancy box, added a 'thank you for being you' note in a birthday card. And then wrapped the box in Elizabeth's favorite colors and sent it off across the miles.
Some months later during a visit, my mother said that the gift gave and gave and gave so much pleasure. She said that she spent weeks playing with ideas about how she would spend her gift money. She never revealed just how she spent it but it was clear that this gift gave a good deal of pleasure. Far more than a $69 bouquet or gift certificate.
Having found a 'winner' I repeated the gift each year. Sometimes sending paper money; other times Sakejewa dollars or Susan B. Anthony dollars which the manager at the bank obtained for me. They did not cost anything extra but they looked 'special'.
This gift of a dollar for every year of life + one dollar to grow on became sort of a tradition. And Elizabeth said that she anticipation began to play a role. She said that began thinking about what she would do with her a gift for weeks before her birthday as well as after receiving the it? . Should she be practical this year or get something just for the fun of it?
Gift certificates and gift cards are also possibilities. But these can seem like 'unthinking gifts' unless you take some time to choose a store that 'fits' the persons wants or needs. And you give a little extra thought to wrapping or packaging it. Example: Slip the gift card into a small new purse or wallet. Tuck it into a plant..... or paste it on a CD of favorite songs.
Also, if you are giving a gift card, do check the to make sure that there is NO expiration date on the certificate or gift card! Too many seniors have taken out a gift card to pay for a purchase only to be told that 'I am sorry but this card expired last March'
Gifts for seniors - increasing companionship
Many seniors, especially those living alone need and want companionship. They want someone to talk to. The best Gift ideas seniors for such folks would be time with other people. And there are ways you can give that.
- If you live nearby, buy a ticket to the a theater performance or a baseball game or a nearby tourist attraction and then offering to be the companion. Such gifts offter two things: an opportunity to go out and see something new AND time with you.
If you do not live nearby or your life is so crowded that time is not something you have right now,there is another way to do this - buy 2 tickets so the senior can invite a friend and provide money for a cab and/or a restaurant after wards.
- Dancing. Many elders who live alone say that they would love to dance but there are no venues - everything is for the under 40 crowd. There is a way to give the joy of dancing. Dancing may be one of the best products for seniors. It is pleasurable.
It provides rhythmic movement and it is social. Who knows? A gift of dancing may lead to a new life activity. There are men and women who take up dancing in their late seventies and never stop. It gives happiness and often aidsfitness. Dancing could be one of the best Gift ideas senior citizens
How to know if dancing is a good possibility? Some time ask about dancing - just raise dancing in a conversation. If it sounds like there might be interest, get out the yellow pages. Call local dance studios. Ask if it would be possible to provide dance time or lessons. Pay for 2 -3 dance times. If need be, arrange transportation with a local cab company. You might even rent some of the better DVD's about dancing - try to get movies from the persons time period. But be sure to pick movies from the seniors prime years - some of the greatclassics such as Singing in the Rain, Shall we Dance might start you off - unless you want Latin dance.
Learning is forever - new Gifts ofr seniors
Research shows that those who continue to learn keep alert and build new brain cells as they age. You can give the gift of learning as one of your Gifts for seniors.
- Many communities have special programs for seniors. They offer day trips and weekends. There are also courses.And then of course there is Elderhostel. A gift certificate and some payment for transportation would often be welcome.
- Many colleges have special classes for seniors. Ask. If you are not in the same town and do not know what is offered, call the local Office of the Aging and ask where you can find out about local educational opportunities for seniors.
- Despite what some people think, we can continue to learn new things even into very old age. One of the fastest growing products for seniors is language learning. Is one of the best programs available. It is something that you can even do together - learn Chinese or Italian or .....
Fulfillment as Gifts for seniors
Fulfilling old wants and exploring new adventures makes for great Gifts for seniors Most people in their sixties and seventies have unfilled hopes and dreams. There were hobbies and hopes from their youth that were lost to adult responsibilities. A set of Lionel trains. Outdoor explorations. Learning about the stars with a microscope. Being out on the water.
Again, you need to find out what dreams or hobbies jsve been lost. You can bring the topic up in conversation by saying that you are finding that adult responsibilities have asked you to put some things on 'hold'. You can say that it is something you have just realized that many adults do. Ask the elder in your life if there were things they had hoped to do or hobbies they never got to explore. You may get some amazing ideas of Gifts for seniors.
- One daughter found out that her mother, who was in an adult care facility. always wanted to ride a motorcycle!She called the local motorcycle club and a group came over on her mother's birthday. They brought her outside soshe could see them. A couple cyclists helped her onto one of the machines. She sat there for a good 5 minutes.No, they did not take her for a ride. She was too frail. But after she got back in her wheel chair, the gunned themachines and gave her a farewell view of 'round the parking lot'. Half the nursing home residents were glued to the windows. Even staff took time to celebrate her good fortune. And yes, she has pictures of heron the motorcycle and sitting with the four drivers. A lifetime wish fulfilled
- When a grand daughter asked Katie Kane what she missed most, she said 'Sunday rides in the country' so her granddaughter arranged to pick her for a drive in the country. They stopped for some 'bathroom breaks', bought two vanilla ice cream cones and suddenly Katie announced she had enough and wanted to go back.
No one would have known that she wanted a Sunday ride in the country - except her granddaughter asked.
- But it is not just the old or frail who may want to do something different. Learning new skills, exploring new things is one of the great tasks of Elderhood. And it is a world wide phenomena. Even in Japan where old age was long considereda quiet and conservative time there is change. See: New activities and Gifts for seniors in Japan
A set of Nordic walking poles for outdoor enthusiast - AND lessons for using them. A kayak and some lessons (Kayaking is on the rise among the over 50 crowd. It is one of the gentlest and most pleasurable of outdoor activities.) A set of Lionel trains set up on a board in a spare room (Ah, wish fulfillment!)
Of course these kinds of products for seniors provide a lifetime of possibilities for future gifts - a new piece of equipment, a special hobby oriented holiday, books or DVDs on the subject. And what is lovelythat these sorts of Gifts senior citizens will provide real pleasure.
And then there are larger, lifetime gifts.
When Helen turned 70 her children all chipped in for a trip to Ireland. Now none of them really wanted togo with their mother. Time, other responsibilities and a concern about spending a whole week with her were somedrawbacks. But they knew it was something she would like.
Their solution? They decided instead to ask one of Helen's friends if she would like to accompany Helen. They paid for both airfares, B&B's. It worked out wonderfully. Helen was happy to have something that she wished for. Her friend was delighted. And the children had the satisfaction of knowing they provided the 'gift of a lifetime" to their mother.
Of course a week abroad may be too expensive but there are all sorts of variations to this theme from day trips to weekends. And, yes, providing the wherewith for a friend can make a trip more enjoyable for everyone - including those who stay home.
More special Gifts for seniors
There are other, no costs Gifts for seniors that may mean more to an elder than all the products for seniors you could find. Sometimes as we age we wonder 'if it was all worthwhile' or 'if I did a good enough job" or 'will anyone remember'.
A very special gift would be a memory book. Write your happy memories things the senior did or were in your life. Put them in a small book and present it saying, "If you ever wonder what we will remember" or "I/we just wanted you to know of some of our happy memories".
This sort of thing could be a family project. If you do not want to create a book, make a surprise blog. But be sure to send a clickable link to the blog in an email so the senior can go back and read it day after day after day....and even share the link with friends.
Bringing to mind good memories is one of the most thoughtful of Gifts for seniors. Such can often be the best of of products for seniors because they acknowledge the whole of the senior's life at a time when they may be feeling that few know all of them.
These are just a few ideas pf Gifts for Seniors. What counts is to get to know some of the unrealized hopes and dreams. Asking ifthere is any place they would really like to see, if there were hobbies they used to enjoy, if there are things they miss or wish they could do. It might even be a simple as paying for weekly taxi service for someone who does not drive much anymore...or a house cleaner ...or an old fashioned gardener or someone to do odd job...or in some cases a pet and paying for veterinarian care for a year.
What counts about thoughtful Gifts for seniors is that we ask what might be wanted, needed or longed for. Ask this week and ask again in a couple weeks if there are any more ideas. You may find yourself with one of the most creative lists of gifts but be sure to ask not "what would you like for your birthday" but If you had $XXXx for travel, where would you like to go? or have you ever wanted to (draw, paint, dance, ski....).
Give it some thought. There are thousands of Gifts for seniors but the best Gifts for seniors are theones that is really wanted.
You can read more about this topic at Gifts for Seniors