As family members and friends get older, they tend to want less material things as gifts. People have years of accumulated things and are starting to downsize their possessions and living space. This is a guide about gift ideas for seniors.
We all have someone on our gift list who is hard to shop for because they already have it all, or have limited space, such as someone in a nursing home or assisted living home. Most often, without being too nosy, you usually have an idea of their income as well. Here are a few gift ideas (many can be used year around, not just at Christmas time), of items they will really appreciate, want, use, and that won't take up a lot of space.
For someone on food stamps or a very limited fixed income, this is a real blessing. You might also include in that box a couple of Rubbermaid food storage type containers.
Also add coupons for services they might use, such as washing their car, cleaning their carpets, windows, and mini blinds for them, mowing their lawn, working in the garden, painting, etc. Be creative; just look around and see what needs to be done, that due to finances or physical labor needs to be done and do it for them.
By April from Plattsburg, MO
Despite claims that the economy has improved somewhat, it has worsened for those on fixed incomes and on social services. For every penny their traceable income goes up, their services drop by a penny, BUT for every $2-300.00 their income drops, their services (food stamps) only go up by a few dollars. It's not the same calculation allowance both ways. Cash gifts go uncounted unless tied to some traceable source.
These are people already living on the edge and being pushed further off it every day. Have mercy, tell you representatives to use calculations that go both ways, tell them to use lower spenddowns and higher income allowance calculations. Tell them to put a stop to the law that says food stamps (SNAP) cannot take medically necessary diet costs into account in their calculations. Those on such, as many seniors, disabled and limited-income recipients often pay up to FIVE times more for the food they must eat to survive; a fact conveniently ignored by our well-fed officials. AND, tell them to leave COLA alone.
Every January COLA enriches the system rather than those who are awarded them when, for these recipients. So much of it goes back into the system to increased Medicare costs, decreased food stamps (dollar for dollar), higher spenddowns, skewed allowable income calculations, and increased private insurance costs that they end up even further in the hole. A fifteen dollar COLA can put one $25.00 further in the hole, given the systems calculation sleight of hand where what one hand gives the other takes away. Smoke and mirrors obscuring the systemic cheating of those most in need.
For years (going back to when Paul Wellstone was in office), I have written articles and letters and made calls to bring this to the attention of media and to many of our representatives, both State and Federal, about this, only to be ignored in that. This is crucial! Please care enough to demand an end to this most cruel practice and deceit. And, hand them some cash in private, some ones, fives and even some tens and twenties if you can. Trust me, it will be well-spent and so deeply appreciated.
My sister-cousins and I make gifts bags for the Senior nursing home every Christmas and the seniors love these. We use items from freebies and small items we collect on sale, off-season, or after a holiday.
I live in Senior Housing/low income housing. I do not have a car nor do a lot of the people that live here. Although we have a marvelous Council On Aging that has a bus for different trips there are still places that we are unable to go.
I have to buy to presents for the senior citizen part, one for a male and one for a female. I don't know what to get. I need help, but I really don't have a clue what to get.
Why not make something, Dolly? The personal touch is always appreciated and the Internet is full of ideas no matter what your budget. I'd recommend consumables, something they'd use and enjoy.
It is simple, buy something you would really like to get if you were to receive it. If you like it others will to.
Both good ideas. Why not give them some nice frames. Seniors have tons of photos they love to show off and admire. It's a start!
I agree. I work with a lot of seniors, something thoughtful as well as usefully! The easier to use the better.create a crackers and cheese snack basket, or make a lap throw blanket...
It is not easy to find a gift for elderly friends and relatives. I give them stationary, a ball point pen and stamps. By Jean Sterling
When buying an appliance such as a coffee maker for a senior citizen, make sure it has an automatic shut off in case they forget to turn it off.
My grandpa just lost his wife (my grandma) three months ago. I don't know what to get him for Christmas now. When my grandma was alive I usually got them a gift card to go out to dinner somewhere nice. Any ideas of what to get him would be appreciated. Thank you.
April from Henderson
As soon as I read your letter, I thought just do what you always do, but now you be his date. When someone close to us dies, we just want things to be "normal" again. The same gift you always gave would be nice...I'm sure that a date with such a considerate granddaughter would be something he would love. He may cry, but it will be a good cry and I bet it will be a time you will both treasure and not soon forget. Be ready with a lot of stories of your memories of your grandmother. Our memories keep loved ones alive. Talk about the happy times you remember, the times you laughed together. This way your grandmother will be with you too.
i was with my mom when she passed as was my dad. she did everything for him. he didn't even know where the toilet paper or paper towels were!
i would suggest you spending more time with him and help familrize himself where your grandma kept everything. i remember my dad calling me all the time to ask me if he had pot or pan to make something or where something was. then he slowly started calling less putting things that were comfortable for him. but never ever lose touch with him that is what will break his heart.
robin from nebraska
Have lost my father I know what you mean for gift ideas and I want to share one with you... I do genealogy and one of the best things to do for someone is a memory book of their childhood to adult life with wife kids and grandkids and greats if there are any... memories are precious and the forever kind of stuff...
Im a native West Virginian and doing genealogy has helped me with the loss of my Grandmother my Father and my Husband
Give him the same gift card and make a cute note saying you will be his date when he uses it. He will be thrilled, I imagine.
I am looking for directions or patterns for sewing for elderly shut-ins. Such things as bags for walkers and wheelchairs. Also, lap robes or anything else you might think would be useful to them. I would appreciate your imput.
Judy from Birmingham, AL
Hi You should try http://www.craftbits.com they have a therapy disabled crafts section for elderly people.
good luck (07/21/2006)
Dear Judy, Go to this link and download for free this computer software. It gives you all kinds of patterns for bags, shawls, hats, and slippers that are super for anyone. The link is: http://www.wildginger.com/products/wildthings.htm
I've used their software for sewing my daughter's wedding dress and I can tell you, It's a life saver! Hope this helps! CaseyT6 (07/26/2006)
This is more like an aid rather than a craft. If your elderly friend or family want to garden but the seeds are too small for them to see or pick up, the seed can be rolled into a more handy sized ball in dryer lint with a little glue and allowed to dry. Then they still can participate in the beloved gardening but with less eye strain or pain.
If that isn't enough - there was a post awhile back about using strips of toilet paper that seeds are glued onto with a dot of glue spaced as directions suggest and laid in the ground and covered ! That would make for a LOT less bending !