The best or worst Christmas gift exchange I was a part of was _________.
What do you get Grandma this year? A new blanket . . . again? How about a pair of slippers? While those gifts could satisfy the needs or desires of a senior loved one, why not choose a present that is even more meaningful: a gift from the heart. While you may not be able to add the following 10 gift ideas to a shopping list, you can bet they’re on your loved one’s wish list.
- . Whether a trip to the mall or an online shopping spree, make it a special day. Be sure to tune into your loved one’s limitations and don’t overdo.
- Carry on the holiday cooking traditions, asking your senior loved one to help where he or she can. Or, ask everyone to bring a favorite dish.
- Arthritis can make wrapping those holiday presents a challenge. Schedule a gift-wrapping afternoon, complete with hot chocolate, cookies and plenty of family stories.
- Bending, lifting and reaching to get those holiday decorations in place isn’t always possible for an older adult. Enlist the help of the grandkids and make decorating a fun multi-generational activity.
- Offer to spend an afternoon helping your loved one address and send holiday cards, either by mail or as online photo greetings.
- Get a group of your senior loved one’s friends together to serenade other older adults in an assisted living facility or nursing home.
- Attend a religious program with your senior loved one. Be flexible with service times if necessary.
- Get your senior loved one and the entire family involved in gathering supplies for a homeless shelter or serving a holiday meal.
- Help an older adult connect with loved ones far away, whether over the phone or through a video-calling service like Skype.
Sometimes all an older adult wants is companionship. Show that you care by making room in your schedule to spend time together.