As well-intentioned and organized as we may strive to be over the holidays, sometimes a change of plans or unexpected event can put us on the last minute hunt for a gift. Seniors, especially those living in long-term care, can be difficult to shop for during this season of giving.
Retirement and care homes can be limited on space so it is important to consider the size of a gift and if it will be a welcome addition or rather add clutter to an already confined room or apartment.
- Gift certificate for an activity – theater, museum, dinner or movie. Plan a time you can set aside to go for an outing.
- Photos of family or themselves in youth – framed or in a small album can be a great uplifting gift which will spark conversation
- Crossword or other brain game activity books can keep the mind active
- Familiar music – downloaded on an ipod or on CD can bring back memories even for those with dementia
- Light throw blankets are useful for elderly who may feel the cold more – many shops can transfer a photo onto a blanket
- Single serve coffee/tea makers are helpful for those living alone
- Plants are great but choose something small that requires minimal care and does not have a heavy scent
- If you are feeling flush – an iPad to use for Facetiming with family can be a wonderful gift for seniors
- Audio books and e-readers are also good for older adults with deteriorating eyesight
- Adult coloring books are popular and can be very calming
- Everyone likes a little treat over the holidays. Fill a small tin with a few cookies made with family recipes.
The best gift of all is time; try to visit when you have time for an unhurried chat and if possible, take your loved-one for a change of scenery. Check ahead to see what activities may be scheduled and try escorting your family or friend to hear carols or participate in a church service.