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
These are all wonderful idea. I applaud you for the last one esp'. Coupons from the heart for things you can't afford to buy mean more anyway. PBP
RE: Christmas Gifts For Seniors
I would have given you two thumbs up if I could. All are good suggestions. And should give people something to think about.
Merry Christmas to Everyone. GG Vi
I started a website for feeding your neighbors especially for "shut ins" a few years ago. It's easy, make an extra plate and deliver it to one of your neighbors. This isn't just for the frail elderly, there are people of all ages that are recovering from surgery and are out of work for a month or so.
I'm sure your church or senior center can provide names. Don't forget to ask if they have a pet. Bring a can/bag of cat or dog food with you. Sometimes people will give their own food to their pet. http://www.feedyourneighbortoday.com/
You have some great ideas here, thanks! I've used many myself, but I never thought of gift cards to their pharmacy! Or paying for internet/cable! Thanks for the ideas & reminder!
When my former in-laws (whom remained my family) both retired & were on very limited incomes, they began to really pinch pennies at the grocery store & stopped buying the shrimp, oysters & steak they used to occasionally splurge on. So, I began giving them gift cards to their favorite grocery store, with the instruction that it was to be used to create an amazing meal from their favorite food! They liked that even better than restaurant coupons, because they'd rather cook at home, & their 'money' would go farther at the store :D
Other gift cards I've bought for senior family & friends are Home Depot, Starbucks, gas card from their favorite gas station, movie theatre(with enough extra for concession), book store.....anyplace I know they like, but don't frequent as much on a fixed income.
Despite claims that the economy has improved somewhat, it has worsened for those on fixed incomes and on social services. Cash gifts go uncounted unless tied to some traceable source.
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.
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.
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...
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 !