OMAHA, Neb. (Nov. 21, 2011) –
It seems like the same story every holiday. What does an older loved one who seems to have everything want for Christmas? Consider that a senior could be missing something that may be difficult to put a bow on: companionship.
“Many seniors, including those in care communities, may have no one to visit them during the holidays this year as families cut travel expenses and treasured family time,” said President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jeff Huber of Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network of independently owned and operated franchise offices. “Loneliness could be a big problem. So the most valuable gift that a senior could get would be that of companionship.”
That’s why the Home Instead Senior Care network has developed a gift guide of presents that can strengthen family bonds. The following are ideas that can truly make for a memorable holiday gift for that senior on your list:
- A family pass to a water or amusement park – Seniors love activities with their children. Even if they can no longer be a part of water activities or rides, they will enjoy treating their grandchildren to an afternoon of fun.
- Pet walking – Create a gift certificate for pet walking services. Encourage a senior to join the walk if he or she is able.
- A newspaper subscription – Some of a senior’s fondest memories could revolve around life at the dinner table discussing the day’s events. A subscription to a daily newspaper can help that senior continue that tradition with family.
- DVD player and favorite DVDs – A DVD player will help an older adult enjoy his or her favorite old movies. Bring the popcorn and make a night of it.
- Large-button phone – Seniors with families who live a long distance will want to communicate with them through the ease of a phone call. Look for phones with large buttons and loud ringers.
- Folding table and chairs – Seniors love to work on puzzles. Join a loved one on that special project with the gift of a folding table and chairs.
- A computer and the training to go with it – Many seniors have discovered the wonder of the Internet, emailing families across the country and even joining Facebook. A gift of a computer can help them do that, but remember that they will need to be trained if they are not computer savvy.
- Materials for a scrapbook – What better activity for a rainy afternoon than to help a senior create a scrapbook of pictures and stories that can be passed down the generations.
- Membership to a local forest, nature center or museum – A membership to a museum, forest or nature center can help families continue to make great memories.
- Gift certificates to a favorite restaurant – Buy a gift certificate that a senior can use for lunch out at his or her favorite restaurant with a family member or close friend. If families can’t be there with an older loved one, remember that the next best thing is the gift of companionship services.
“Think creatively and try to come up with ideas that will help seniors make the most of family time,” Huber said. “Remember that older adults will likely value a gift that keeps them connected to the people they love the most.”