We're approaching holiday time again, and the seniors on my gift-giving list seem the hardest to shop for. Some are in nursing homes; others have houses filled with the accumulated gifts of years. Clothing is such a personal thing. Any new ideas?
Gifts for friends and family - of any age - are best when you give with real thought and knowledge. If your giving is like something in a grab-bag for a miscellaneous recipient, it won't be particularly special.
Think about the older people on your giving list. Consider each individual's economic situation. What is his or her current activity level - can they get out of the house easily? Do they have a hobby or passion that fills their time? The key is thought and knowing.
If you don't know them well enough to choose a special gift, perhaps you should make time between now and the holidays to get better acquainted.
Here are some ideas that might get you started thinking:
- Prepay their long-distance or cable service. (Or give them a prepaid long-distance calling card.)
- Offer a gift certificate for monthly hair appointments - or monthly housecleaning (done by you or a service).
- Make or buy a gift of their favorite food, something they would never get for themselves because it seems too expensive.
- Provide a ticket for two (you and them) to a movie, museum, play or other favored activity.
- Take them on a drive to see the holiday lights and finish with coffee and dessert at a favorite place.
- Create a current family photo collage.
- Give a bird feeder, and promise to supply sunflowers or other seeds monthly.
- Create an updated recording of music from their youth.
- Provide a subscription to the daily newspaper or a magazine you know they'd enjoy.
- Give them an invitation to a monthly afternoon (or evening) out - to the movie, library, museum or park.
- Give videotapes or books about places they've been or have always wanted to go.
- If you have a question or comment for "Sense for Seniors," write to Betty Gibb, Kansas Senior Press Service, 11875 S. Sunset, Suite 200, Olathe 66061. Or call (913) 477-8103 or send
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.