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Gifts for Old People


The Right Gift For Seniors

Gretchen Heuring | ElderThink | 10.12.10


When thinking about the right gift for an older adult, it's important to consider stage of life. A gift choice for an active senior might not be appropriate for someone who is slowing down or who has become unwell and frail.


Gifts For Active Older Adults

Keep in mind that the active stage of life for Seniors is never measured by a number of years. It's not like the "ages 5-8" that we use to measure childhood development. Today, the elderly are enjoying an active lifestyle well into their 90's and sometimes older than that. If you do the arithmetic you will see that this stage can last for thirty years or more.


Idea 1: Instead of choosing the gift, choose the place the gift comes from. Give a gift certificate for the movies, to support a hobby, or for a small luxury like a massage or a pet groomer.


Idea 2: Surprisingly, things wear out just like people do. Consider bed or bath linens, a new appliance, or even pots and pans.


Idea 3: Subscriptions to periodicals are wonderful gifts, especially if it becomes your gift to give and renew each year. Choose something that suits their interests and remember that people change when they become active seniors. If you ask, you may find they are interested in (and doing) things you would not even imagine.


Idea 4: Luxury consumables such as wines or chocolates or sauces will be truly appreciated.


Idea 5: A gift certificate for a nice dinner somewhere or concert tickets might really please your senior friends. If you know they plan to travel somewhere, tickets to an event in a destination city would be especially welcome.


Gifts For Elders Who Are Frail

Eventually, older people slow down. Sometimes they have a serious illness or injury and don't heal well; sometimes they experience a painful loss and don't completely recover; and sometimes their bodies and their internal clocks just slow down. They enjoy gifts just the same.


Idea 1: Slippers that are easy to slide into. Sometimes old people just can't pull on socks and they wear slippers often.


Idea 2: A smock with deep pockets for pens and tissues and calendars and even a spoon.


Idea 3: A phone or a clock or a TV remote with big buttons and numbers.


Idea 4: If they are still living independently, a periodic cleaning service would be welcome.


Idea 5: A Netflix subscription.


And don't forget yourself. Some of your time in person or by phone is the best gift you could ever give.


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