Presents and Presence

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When push comes to shove, we truly believe that -- in most families -- the people sitting around the table or the tree during the holiday season are much more important than what's on or underneath it.

For seniors, this is certainly often the case – which can be equal parts blessing and challenge. On the one hand, what a good feeling it is to know that someone we love has pretty much every material item they could possibly need or want and that they are satisfied. On the other, let's face it, we know we're going to give them something and it can be pretty hard to come up with the perfect present when so many gift ideas are ruled out due to age or impairment.

Here are some tips that might help:

  • Think back to childhood gift-giving: Remember the homemade coupon books you used to give your parents before you had money of your own? It may be the moment to resurrect that idea. This time around, instead of doling out IOUs for free hugs or taking out the garbage, upgrade to spending a special day or weekend together, or helping them tackle some household chores.
  • Consider a joint hobby: If your senior loved one is able and has a desire to take up power walking or golfing: great! These are enjoyable activities that may promote longevity for both of you. But if not, there are still plenty of ways you can spend companionable time together doing something you both enjoy. Choose a hobby that appeals, such as scrapbooking, woodworking or knitting, and wrap up a starter kit for your senior.
  • Bring back the mix tape: It might take different forms these days, but sharing music you think they'll love is still one of the best ways to show affection. For more low-tech seniors, the most user-friendly way to do this is probably just burning a cd. For those with smart phones, building personal play lists on a streaming app will provide hours of listening pleasure.
  • Become their ghost writer: Whether you think you know everything about your loved one, or there are some major question marks, it may be a good time to start getting some of their stories down for posterity. Consider setting aside a specific time each week or month to interview them and record their memories. Chances are, it will be a meaningful experience for both of you and you will be able to preserve some of your family history that might otherwise have been forgotten.​

For more information about caring for seniors and preserving their highest quality of life, please contact us!


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