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Holiday Gifts for Seniors 

Store shelves are stocked to the hilt, holiday flyers and catalogues arrive with your morning paper, and the annual quandary emerges once again: What to give Mom and Dad?

How do we show appreciation and caring when seniors say that they already have too much stuff?  Nor does it help the harried gift-giver when people say,  " Whatever you get me will be fine," or, "I don't need anything."

Here are some ways to put a great gift under the tree for your parents or other seniors in your life.

  • Talking tree ornament - have grandkids or other family members record a Christmas message.
  • Birthday newspaper - a framed display of headlines from the year your parent was born.
  • Birth- or landmark-year CD - these include top hits from the year of your parent's birth. Or pick another landmark date in their life: the year they married, or finished school.
  • Design your own coupons - for trips to the mall, snow shoveling, or other gifts of time.
  • Greeting cards or note paper, stamped and pre-addressed to family or friends. Make it  easier for your parent to write a note and send it off.
  • Prepaid phone cards or calling plan - many seniors still avoid long distance calls due to memories of high cost!

For older persons with physical limitations:

  • A large button remote or universal remote with lighted display
  • For diabetics, a healthy-eating gourmet cookbook (or prepared foods). Or give foot care supplies or certificates.
  • Treat arthritis sufferers to a hot wax treatment for their hands or feet, or buy them Good Grips® utensils
  • Pay for yard maintenance, housekeeping or companion help
  • Give taxi or other transportation vouchers or bus tickets.
  • Select assistive devices or mobility aids inside or outside the home. 

If your family plans to pool resources for a larger gift, consider:

  • The gift of travel - a plane ticket to visit a distant friend or relative, or a tour designed with older persons in mind.
  • Seasons' tickets or subscriptions
  • Computer or fax machine to share photos and messages
  • Larger-screen TV, to watch DVD's of classic movies and sports or art events
  • A digital frame, that plays a slide show of multiple digital photos
  • Cordless phone

With gifts of conveniences, experiences, or connectedness, you can please most of the people most of the time - even the person who "has everything". Happy gift-giving! 

Vol. 3, No. 24
© ElderWise Inc. 2007.

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