Christmas, a birthday or any special occasion may find you scatching your head for the perfect gift for your Grandparents or any seniors in your life.
There are two types of gifts that are greatly appreciated by these seniors.
The first are presents that help them maintain or raise their quality of life.
The second are gifts for small luxuries they can't afford or would never treat themselves to.
Before shopping, it's a good idea to spend some time with the gift recipients and know how they live and what their interests are. Maybe they will even drop a hint or two.
There are no real right or wrong choices. Any gift will be appreciated, but a gift that shows thought and caring will be especially cherished.
Around the House
If the senior still lives in his her her home, considering hiring a weekly housekeepingg service. Vacuuming, washing walls and scrubbing floors become more difficult as a person ages so a break from those types of chores will be a relief. The gift also means that the senior can look forward to a weekly visit and possibly enjoy the company of a new friend.
Be sure to find an established, bonded and licensed service.
Hire a handyman to inspect the house and make minor repairs before they become major expenses. Get an initial evaluation and estimate, then decide which work you want done.
Again, make sure you do a background check on the individual.
Chances are there's a teenager in the area who'd like to make some extra money mowing or raking the lawn or shoveling the walks and driveway on a regular basis.
Many seniors feel uncomfortable having a stranger in their house so make sure you are there when your "contractor" makes his or her first visit.
You'll be able to tell pretty quickly if they're a good fit.
Make small small meals and freeze them. But sure to put them in containers that don't need to be returned. Label the containers well. If there is only the freezer in the fridge available, only bring a few meals, but make a committment to supply them on a regular basis.
If you know there is a special treat a senior likes (my Grandfather loved old fashioned Dutch licorice) package some up with a beautiful serving dish.
It can also be a fun time to experiment. A tea drinker might like a new teapot and a selection of herbal teas. There are dozens of varieties available and the gift gives the senior an opportunity to try out something different, and perhaps find a new favorite.
Find out which local grocery store the senior shops at, and see if they have gift cards. Many seniors prefer five $20 cards to one $100. If they've never used a gift card, go along for the first shopping trip.
Getting There and Looking Good
There are many cab companies that are "senior friendly' with plenty of space for walkers or wheelchairs.
Monthly bus passes may also be appreciated.
Find out where the recipient get his or hair done and surprise them with a gift certificate from their favorite salon or barber shop. Some even offer an in-home service.
Or, go all out and give them a day at the spa. It's the kind of pampering few seniors on a fixed income can afford, but it's a day they'll never forget.
The Gift of Music
There are plenty of inexpensive, easy to use CD players on the market. CDs are a better choice than digitally downloaded music.
They are more solid and tactile, and the cover makes music selection simple.
If you know the type of music enjoyed by the senior you're shopping for, pick up some CDs by their favorite artists.
If not, choose a selection of music that was popular during their teens, twenties and thirties. There are some great compilation CDs available from every era, and music can bring back wonderful memories.
CDs and a CD player are also good gift ideas for people in nursing homes or long term care facilities. Don't forget to include a set of comfortable headphones.
Other Gift Ideas
An easy to care for plant makes a great gift. It adds warmth to the decor and is a living reminder that you care. Grow a slip from a plant you already own for a personal touch.
If you feel a gift of cash may make the senior uncomfortable, package it in a unique way. How about a dollar of two for every year they've been alive stuffed into a fun card and envelope? Or purchase a new wallet or purse and stuff them full of cash.
Bring Memories to Life.
Digital picture frames, expecially one that continously rotate the pictures are a wonderful gift idea. Some models automatically turn on when they sense a person is nearby. The pictures are always in plain view and you can download many images on to a single unit.
My Two Most Popular Gifts
I live in a cold climate, so we put the electric blanket on the couch. Many seniors are thin and frail. They get cold easily and an electric blanket takes off the chill.
Microfleece sheets are as cozy as a hug. They get softer with each wash.
Your Time - The Greatest Gift of All
Offer to take him or her shopping, out to lunch, or to the movies.
A drive out in the country or to an old neighborhood is often appreciated, as is a trip to the cemetery to visit a loved one.
Sometimes, just sitting and talking is a great gift. It costs you nothing, but is often appreciated more than anything money can buy.
If you live far away, you may want to choose a gift that includes the senior's closest friend or relative.
Consider a pair of movie passes or tickets to a play with money thrown in for transportation and a nice dinner.
Even if you can't be there, you'll be thought of warmly.
These gift suggestions for seniors on a tight budget aren't just for Christmas or birthdays.
Any time of the year is a good time to show you care.