Recently my Grandma Patty turned 98 years old. She had a party to celebrate her big day and feasted on angel food cake, soup and breadsticks. She was, and I quote, “tickled” by the whole day and the great party turnout. She kept saying to our family, “Can you believe I am 98 years old?!”
Nope Grandma, we don’t.
My grandma is almost an entire century old, but she still gets dressed up like she’s headed to church, is mindful of what she eats and avoids sugary sweets, gets her hair done once a week and still gets as giddy as a five-year-old when she sees a present headed her way.
As far as gift-giving goes, buying gifts for Grandma Patty can be tricky. There’s nothing she needs per se, yet there are things she would like to have, but space is a bit limited in her downsized living space.
When it comes to holiday gifts for seniors it’s all about finding the right balance, according to Debbie Elson, LPN, and a long-term care nurse of 37 years.
“Seniors want practical and fun gifts,” said Elson. “They would like things they actually need and will actually use.”
Seniors would prefer not to receive overly extravagant or pricey gifts, she adds. They are also not huge fans of one of the most common and stocking stuffer-y gifts of them all: gift cards. “Absolutely, no gift cards!” said Elson.
Something seniors do have plenty of room in their homes and in their hearts is a nice surprise from their families. Seniors love a little touch of the unexpected and love it when their families go the extra mile during the holidays. Elson has seen some of the families of her seniors unveil holiday gifts with a pop-up card, with a visit from Santa, a drop-by from the family pet or with a surprise visit from older grandchildren and/or great grandchildren.
Another fun and special touch to help roll in the holiday season for your seniors is to bring the holiday spirit right to their very door, shared Elson. “Bring the supplies to decorate their room or home for holidays,” she suggests.