The holiday season is fast approaching. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other family tradition, you will likely be thinking of gift-giving over the next month or so.
While choosing just the right gift can be a challenge, selecting something appropriate for elderly loved ones is often especially tricky. By the time they reach their golden years, many seniors already have everything they need. Others, especially those in assisted living facilities, may be short on space and find that there is little that they want for.
If you are looking for a unique and meaningful gift, there are lots of ideas to delight an aging loved one. Cooks might enjoy a 45-second omelet maker. Craft lovers are likely to appreciate paint-by-numbers, scrapbooking, or other arts and crafts kits. A selection of herbal teas could be just the thing to warm up cold winter afternoons.
Older folks may have trouble getting out during the cold winter months. Gift cards to have groceries or prepared meals delivered can ensure that they are well-fed on snowy, wintry days. Pre-paying for housekeeping services, snow removal, ride sharing services or handyman hours can also help alleviate some of the burdens and challenges of independent living.
But if you’re looking to provide your loved one with something truly meaningful, consider the gift of yourself. Giving of your time, your conversation, a tin of pastries and stories of your life’s journey is sure to be cherished. What the elderly often lack is company, someone with whom to share memories or just sit companionably together. While it may be more convenient to order a suggested item on Amazon, a few hours of companionship are far more meaningful and memorable.
So, this holiday season, think about resisting the compulsion to add an item to your cart and instead, allocate a few hours to spend with someone who will appreciate your company. Share a snack, tell some stories, and dust off the old photo albums. The value of this time will be a gift not just for your loved one, but for yourself as well.