People in their late 70s, 80s, and 90s may have downsized their living spaces or may live in group homes with limited personal space. Many times, comfort, practicality, and improvement in the quality of life may outweigh novelty when picking a gift for an elderly person. In addition, gifts of time and companionship can be even more valuable than something tangible. Therefore,finding the perfect gift idea for an elderly family member or friend can be challenging.
Gifts of Food and Beverages
Food gifts are often welcome because it is often difficult for the elderly to shop and eat some health foods are good for them. Keep in mind any dietary restrictions that your recipient may have. Also, remember that if a food gift is perishable, a small quantity is best, unless the food will be shared immediately with family members, neighbors, or visitors.
Research has suggested that wine may be heart healthy for seniors if used in moderation. Consider a nice bottle of red wine for your favorite senior. Food and Wine lists some of the best wine shops available on the Internet. Not sure what kind of wine to get? The 2005 Hahn Estates Central Coast Cabernet Sauvignon is rated as one of Food and Wine’s best American red wines for under $15, and it rates on the Top 67 Best American Wines list as well.
Coffe or Tea
A selection of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, perhaps accompanied by cookies suitable for dunking is a great winter-time gift. Peets sells a nice selection of coffees and teas.They require special pods of coffee or tea; however, these single-cup coffee makers are especially convenient for senior living alone or when the senior don’t want to cook something.
Servey show that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking in the elderly, and it is available everywhere. A gift of fine chocolates or even some favorite candy bars are suitable for any occasion.
A gift of fresh seasonal fruit is a treat, especially for elderly people who eat institutional food, which tends to be canned or processed. An edible arrangement can be an especially nice surprise, and they offer a variety of arrangements for several different types of occasions.
Homemade cookies are a treat and bring back memories of home. Making cookies from an elder’s family recipe can bring back fond memories.
A homemade basket assembled from items purchased at a local supermarket or a gourmet grocery store is great because it can contain exactly what the recipient will love. In addition, it is often less expensive than a pre-packed basket. Snacks that keep well, such as cheese, instant hot chocolate mix, juice, and cookies are welcome additions.
Meals on Wheels Donation
If the elderly person receives Meals on Wheels, paying a month ahead in name for the suggested donation amount assures that she will not have to go out of pocket for the program and also assures these programs are well supported and continue to be available.
Restaurant Gift Cards
For an elderly person who is mobile, a gift card to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop is often welcome. The cost of eating out is often prohibitive for someone on a fixed income. Providing transportation to go with the gift card is a plus; you can drive your elderly friend yourself or arrange for cab fare. The Gift Card Mall provides gift cards for many popular restaurants in multiple denominations and for a variety of occasions, such as Christmas, birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Thoughtfulness as a Gift
Many elderly people are somewhat isolated because of their inability to drive or because of limited physical mobility. One of the best gifts for a loved one is a gift of time. Stopping in for a chat and bringing a token gift, such as a favorite magazine, a book of puzzles, a favorite candy bar, a paperback book, some homemade cookies, a small container of ice cream, or a milk shake, can be just as valuable as a more expensive or time-consuming gift. Taking an elderly relative or friend out for a simple lunch or bringing in a favorite ethnic meal to share may help vary the daily routine. It’s said that “variety is the spice of life,” and that is true for elderly people who may not be able to do things they did in the past without help.