It is not easy to find a gift for elderly friends and relatives. I give them stationary, a ball point pen and stamps.
By Jean Sterling
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So many of the elderly get cookies or chocolates and candy for gifts. I think that the stationary and pen and stamps is a wonderful idea. A friend of mine loves to send thankyou cards and still corresponds by letters with many people.
Thanks from me too. What a great idea
I have a large cleaning business and much of it is for elderly people. They don't really need me to "clean" as they are so neat, rarely cook, but what I am actually hired for is to help them with stuff their TOO BUSY kids (neices, nephews grand children) can't or dont want to find time to do like change a light bulb, flip a mattress, move a piece of furniture, rearrange or clean a pantry. The list goes on and on for these people and I ask many of them, "Why don't any of your adult children just come here once a month and do some of these things?
Knickknacks, dusting powder, candy (they usually are on some type of diet restriction) more clothing - don't bother.
2 items that elderly people really appreciate receiving are:
1) a gift certificate to a supermarket (hey, we all have to eat)
2) a book of stamps
Another great gift idea for the elderly is to give them coupons for things they need done. Yard work, grocery shopping, lunch and things like this are great coupon ideas and they love it. They usually don't need another knick nack around the house.
A handmade book of certificates is always welcome by the elderly. Accompany a person to the store, take them out for a simple lunch, or coffee.. help with household chores or yardwork. I work with the elderly and the thing they want most is our time and a friend.
A gift I think many will use and appreciate is a "Grabber" or "Gripper". I bought one for my mother-in-law and after "test driving" it with her I went back and bought her another one... plus two for me! It's a gadget about 30 inches long with a handle you squeeze to activate the pinchers. The pincher tips have small rubber suction cups that grip. They are wonderful for retrieving things that fall behind the couch......or under the bed...or in the back of the closet.
I also "clean" for an elderly man and the last time I was there I had asked him what his favorite meal was. "Lamb chops with mint jelly, potatoes and peas", was his answer.
When my grandmother was still alive, she enjoyed puzzle books... find-a-word type. One year I brought her a few puzzle books and a smileyface pen that she could wear around her neck or hang from a hook/knob. There are also coloring books for adults. Sometimes fighting boredom is a challenge.
Another year I made a crochet afghan for her. She proudly showed it off to the other residents in the nursing home and to the staff... she'd tell them "My granddaughter made this for me"!
But what about the ones who can't? Who can't write any more. Who can't read any more. Who don't like to eat much any more. Who are in a nursing home, far, far away and can hardly remember any more. I write letters and send cards. When I go there, I bring bright things for the walls and go on field trips.
I have just found a book that fits the old and young on my list- The Experts' Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do. I bought mine a month ago after hearing the author speak on NPR and the book is a treasure. It is 100 chapters of advice from leading experts like Larry King who writes "How to listen" and Letitia Baldrige on "How to shake hands" it is so much fun and i am learning too. I plan to give it to my mother and my brother-in-law.
Editor's Note Here is a link to that book on Amazon.
If your elderly friend cant do much you should think about getting them ssomething like a hands free faucet or a voice activated switch. This site always has a few of the best gifts and they keep it updated
if they have a cd player try a CD lots of the elderly like their music if not look for a book about something interesting that has happened in their lifetime!
I print a calendar with the families birthdays and anniversaries on the dates. I use my geneology program.
I guess I could get the cards and address them too, but I am not that industrious.
There is a great magazine by Readers Digest called Reminisce. My elderly in laws raved about it when we gave them a subscription.
I am getting my grandfather a head-lamp this christmas. He won't have to try and handle a walker, oxygen tank and flashlight if the power goes out. And knowing my Grandpa, he is going to love using it just for fun!!
My grandma is 80 in a few weeks so i am getting her one of those weird pillows that are like minature beanbags. Anyone can use those!
I like the idea about the "Gripper" arm. I am short and I use mine all the time. I think my 89 yr old father in law will like one as well. I'm going out to buy one now! Thanks!
I found a great idea for my elderly father 90 years old!). He loves watching nature and misses being out in it. I set up a beautiful bird feeder (actually several) outside his window and he spends hours watching the birds come to feed. The jays love the peanuts and other birds come for the seed. He gets squirrels robbing the jays peanut stashes and gets a big kick out of that.
I also bought him a motion sensor parakeet for Father's Day. It sits on a perch, sings and moves. He can hold it on his finger too, if he wants to. No mess, just a little company and fun. I also got that through the same website as above under Breezy Singers.
I live 1000 km from my 83 year old mother, who is blind and an invalid. So I knitted her a pair of bedsocks, a scarf (in her favourite autumn colours!) and a dishcloth for her birthday I know she won't be using the dishcloth, but it's something she can hold and think of me! Hand lotions and creams, special soap and pretty linen will also be appreciated.
I used to get Christmas Cards for my Grandmother and have her name imprinted on them and the envelope. I would put stamps on all of the envelopes and even address as many as I could for her. She loved it and looked forward to them every year.
Great ideas above, thanks for all. For Mother's Day 5 years ago, we got my grandmother-in-law a pair of Parakeets. They were something for her to focus on and take care of. She felt so useless and these birds infused a purpose to her day. (I strongly recommend checking with the potential recipient before buying any live animal gifts though).
My elderly parents don't need any more "stuff." I've always looked for gift certificates for services. I gave my mother a gift certificate to a beauty salon and she loved it! Women's hair styling is far more expensive than a man's and can be cost prohibitive on a fixed income.
Every year I didn't know what to get my elderly grandmother. She's in her late 70's. Then one year I asked her enough and she told me to get her a cheesecake from HEB. I brought her it and she ate every bit of it with a smile on her face. When all her neighbors came over they also claimed how they wish their granddaughter could bring them a cheesecake!
The best idea is Paulette's , speaking as one of "those Elderly folks" it would be wonderful to have someone do little odd jobs that my hubby & I find hard these days, like climbing to clean the top of cupboards & cabinets, pulling out heavy furniture to clean behind etc, even cutting the lawn & shoveling snow once in a while would be such a blessing, & if the man is sick & the lady doesn't drive you can't imagine how totally grateful we are to be offered a ride to the grocery store, as we can't carry all we need when having to take the bus. Bless all of you out there that are willing to help the elderly. What goes around comes around.
Certainly a cheap gift and easy to buy. Check out the Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Seniors for 2010
There are things like electric blankets, personal aids, medicine reminders and other useful gifts.
I love shopping for old folks. So much fun! The key is to be practical and useful when buying something for old people. Don't buy them stuff that will just gather dust. Get your elderly friends things that they will actually use. You don't have to spend a fortune, just be thoughtful and you'll be fine.
I like the idea of gift certificates. Then they can buy whatever they need or want. If you type "things for old people" you'll find tons of gifts ideas for the elderly.
I have been put into assisted living and I would rather have the cookies and candy!
I did a little video about what old people (like me) want for Christmas, and I hope it helps to illustrate that the best gifts are often not the gifts.
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