Google+ House Revivals: {14} Awesome Gift Ideas for Seniors

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

{14} Awesome Gift Ideas for Seniors

With the holidays fast approaching, we're making lists and checking them twice, and feeling lots of angst about what to give.

We want our friends and loved ones and neighbors and teachers to know we cared enough to put thought into their gifts, but sometimes it's hard to know what some people can actually use -- especially the seniors in our lives.
It's usually best to avoid candies and sweet baked goods, as they many of our seniors have dietary restrictions. While the senior in your life will be flattered that you thought of him or her, you can bet that many of those treats you so lovingly handmade will be re-gifted to a neighbor or thrown away.

Here are some senior gift choices that might be better:

Movie tickets to a nearby cinema. Even better -- a movie date with you!

Forever stamps. Sometimes our seniors have mobility impairments that make it difficult to run out to buy stamps to mail that bill. They may not be computer savvy, so online ordering is not always an option.

Restaurant gift certificates.  Make sure the gift certificate is large enough for your senior to invite a friend along. Our seniors often have very limited incomes, and restaurant meals are a big luxury.

Gift cards to favorite businesses. Again, finances are often tight for our seniors, so gift cards are often greatly appreciated. This is a great alternative to tchochkes. Many of our senior friends have downsized and simply don't have room for lots of knick knacks.

Now, I'm about to contradict myself, when I say, any tchotchke handmade by your little one is an awesome gift! I don't know one single senior who won't make room for a handprint or drawing from a loved little one. This is a win win situation, as your senior will have a loving reminder of your little one, and your little one will have an opportunity to make a special gift for someone else.

Framed pictures of your kids. It can be challenging and expensive to frame photographs, so make it easy and send photos already framed. Small easel backed frames are often easier to work into decor than large portraits meant to hang on the wall, so ask before sending something that will take up wall real estate.  Many of my senior friends keep a single shelf in their home just for these little pictures.

Bus passes. If your senior lives in an area with great public transportation, a bus pass is a gift that they will be able to use all year long! It's more than a bus pass -- it's freedom for many who don't have cars or who no longer drive.

Notecards, good pens with a thicker barrel, and extra envelopes. Their are some great pens out there that are affordable and have a thick, easy grip barrel. Thin pen barrels that require lots of pressure can be difficult for stiff or arthritic hands to use.

Large print subscriptions. Vision can become an issue, as we age, so large print editions of favorite magazines can be a godsend.

Subcriptions to services, such as laundry services, housecleaning services, or yard services. Having help with some of the more strenuous household chores can allow your loved one to live independently in their homes longer.

Large print game books, such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.  It's important to challenge our brains with complicated tasks at all ages. Many experts believe that doing mental puzzles regularly can help delay the onset of cognitive disorders.

The gift of your time. Most of our seniors have all the "things" they want or need, but what they really want and need is your time. As people age, it gets harder and harder to get around, and people can become isolated and lonely. It doesn't need to cost anything to drop in and have a cup of tea, and chat for a while, but it will mean so much to your friend or loved one. Additionally, if your neighborhood gets hit by a snowstorm, you might organize a family snow shoveling party and make sure the seniors in your area have shoveled walks and that they are doing okay. Your caring will be much appreciated!

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