Consummate Your Gift of Purpose
For those who enjoy giving tangible items this list is for you! Make sure your purpose is in concert with the message the gift sends. To some seniors an emergency necklace might be seen helpful, timely, signaling that you care; other seniors may take offense.
Many of us search for “just the right gift”, the one that seems to complete or consumm-ate a sense of purpose. This is Part Two of our Gifts for Seniors series: Time, Purpose, and Service.
Consumm-ate: (Verb or adjective, they both work here) Your Gift of Purpose
- Greeting Cards: A box filled with greeting cards for various occasions. Make sure to include birthday, thank you, sympathy, get-well, and blank cards. You may wish to also enclose stamps.
- Plants: (best to check with facilities on space and safety regulations).
- Soaps and lotions: For home or travel, for use or “for show”.
- Coffee Table Book: (hear us out on this…) While compiling this list we overheard a couple of Adult Children planning to get their dad books “with pictures of places he and Mom went”. It sounded as if Dad might reside in a memory unit and they were discussing his response to pictures of places they’d lived and traveled. We made sure to jot down some of their shopping destinations.
- Copy of a newspaper from the day the elder were born. This will be enjoyed by all ages. Show it off, start a conversation.
- Pre-made meals service: For someone who lives at home whom you will not be able to see during the holidays, consider arranging to send pre-made meals.
- Pharmacy gift card: Even with Medicare, not all medicines are 100% covered. A gift card covers a lot of incidentals.
- Tissues/decorative tissue holders: For the bath or travel-sized.
- Anything homemade: -especially from grandchildren (pictures, poems, crafts). Have some magnets, tape and pushpins with you on the day of giving.
- Sunglasses that fit over real glasses. (We all keep clip-ons from the dollar store in our respective autos, too).
- Restaurant gift certificates: to favorite dining venues. You may provide the transportation but Aunt Grace can still pick up the tab for a nice lunch!
- Large print or audio books: You may wish to cross reference this item with our first list entitled Time.
- Videos and DVDs: If your seniors use a VCR or DVD player, purchase old movies or favorite shows to watch.
- Easy ways to connect via email: For seniors who do not wish to master the computer, help them be in touch with younger family members. Arrange for assistance in emailing, or purchase a computer and lessons for someone who might enjoy learning.
- Bird or squirrel feeders: Folks love to see the wildlife up close! Good for home or facility, place outside your senior’s window or in a common area for all to view and enjoy.
- Socks: Diabetic socks, or socks with non-binding bands. Just last evening I stood in the returns line with a senior hoping to exchange trouser socks that were painful. A petite lady, she wanted the queen-sized socks for the band comfort. Know your recipient.
- Nightlights: (see the “s”?) Illuminate the way to the bathroom, and perhaps the kitchen.
- Flashlights: (“s”) For the nightstand, kitchen drawer, sitting area…let your thoughts now turn to batteries.
- Wheelchair and walker organizers: Organize, personalize. Here’s one source to get you started: www.jeanswalkerbags.com or a similar product.
- Travel size pillow, back cushion, neck cushion, pillowcases: A special or personalized (by the grandkids?) pillow case adds cheer to someone in the hospital, rehab or facility.
- Pens and paper: Expand this idea to include pen grips, specialized pens, easy glide-types, and stamps.
- Framed photos, figurines: (Commemor-ate is another “-ate word”, we love them so). Family, places, occasions, awards… you don’t need us to elabor-ate.
- Daily or local paper: Pay for a subscription and delivery. Even folks who have relocated enjoy keeping up with what is going on in their former town.
- Stamps: Roll or sheet of “Forever” Stamps.
- Pay the cable or internet bill. Offset this bill for a senior on a fixed budget.
- Lap quilt, shawl or bed jacket: I hope this entrepreneur reaps many rewards for her good works: http://www.homesewnbycarolyn.com “I have designed the “Lovie Lap Quilt” with pockets after visits with my grandmother in the nursing home. Her hands were always cold. There are two pockets, one pocket lined in flannel to keep your hands warm and a second pocket for items such as tissues and chapstick. The back of the quilt has flannel as well, making it soft and warm“.
- Supplies for a craft: Many seniors have a craft they enjoy but limited funds. Help out with materials.
- Adaptive clothing & footwear: There is clothing for every level of mobility. As always, consider the message this purposeful gift conveys.
- Bathrobe or housecoat, slippers: (Be aware of safety issues with slippers). Our mom only wanted a bathrobe that snapped. We kids then found our purpose as scavenger hunters year round.
- Auto swivel seat cushion or Handybar: For help with getting in and out of a car, stow one in your own auto for outings, or let it “travel” with your loved one on outing day. (Google “Handybar”. Do you know of this product? Amazing!).
- A nice set of sheets: It can be one of those luxury items that folks will enjoy but may not buy for themselves.
- Gift certificates to grocery stores or a specialty store may extend a fixed income.
- Ergonomic kitchen tools: “Grip” products, including can/jar openers. Kitchen sections and stores offer products to help those who struggle with arthritis or limited hand strength. I am especially indebted to those little rubber pads that enable me to open jars.
- Everyday items: Think of the simple things that make life a little bit nicer, like boxes of a preferred brand of tissues, lipstick, Vaseline, lotion and other toiletries.
- A holiday pin: (as in “My grandchildren gave me this”).
- Photo albums, framed pictures: You may even consider “talking” frames which allow you to record a personalized greeting for replay, or digital frames which allow you to send and update pictures electronically.
- Holiday decorations to personalize and brighten a room.
- Bright lamp for crafting or reading. Having the right light helps older eyes see better.
- Cordless phones: (see the “s” again) and installation. Locate with their bases (charging stations) in multiple locations including bedside, in the sitting area, the kitchen. Plenty of folks include a phone in the design of their bathroom, a place where many falls occur. If a loved one is experienced falls then really drill down on this: where might phones be located that could be accessible after a fall?
- Monthly membership: Ex: AARP. With membership comes a monthly magazine. Or, consider any other subscription that combines regular enjoyment and Mail Call.
- Playing Cards and Accessories: Oversized playing cards are a big help for card players with failing vision. An automatic card shuffler or card holders can relieve stress on arthritic fingers and hands.
- Large button or “Photo” Phone: These phones allow you to program memory buttons or use a photo to indicate each number. Set it up, provide some orientation, and have some fun while recording the message. Involve the family with ‘Project Headshot’ which may be more of a Time suggestion-
…Or a convenient segue into the next post: Service.
As in our first post (Time) we suggested that you be mindful of not only your good intentions but the message that the gift may carry to the senior recipient. Your heartfelt plan may serve as a reminder of what someone is unable to do, so know your recipient. That’s your purpose.
As we evaluate purposefuI gifts for others we are prone to try it on for size ourselves. To find out more about NAVIGATE NC’s services that will bring your senior (and likely you) peace of mind call us at (919)628-4428 or CONNECT WITH US to set up your free initial consultation.
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