HOLIDAY GIFT-GIVING SEASON cranked into high gear over the Thanksgiving weekend, with bargain-hunters going online, shopping small businesses, and flocking to the malls. Organized shoppers carried lists of people to gift and crossed off names as purchases were made.
However, there’s always ONE person on the list that is impossible to buy for, causing the shopper to reach out to other family members via cellphone in the middle of Macy’s to ask:
“What are you getting Great Aunt Edna?!”
It’s hard to be a creative gift-giver to an elderly person who may be dealing with dietary issues, limited mobility, or vision or hearing impairment. Michigan weather can be an impediment for older people who normally enjoy restaurants, concerts or walks in the neighborhood — limiting their need for gift certificates, tickets and sporty gear.
“I bought her lotion last year. And slippers. We got her a robe the year before. With slippers. And didn’t we all go in on the fleece blanket with slippers the year before that?”
Great Aunt Edna appreciates your thoughtfulness, but she would really like to trade her slippers in for a pair of YakTrax®. These stretchy cleats fit over a pair of shoes or boots and enable people to walk securely over snow and ice — even if it’s just down a driveway or through a parking lot.
HELPING an elderly person (or someone recovering from a debilitating illness) safely gain back or extend their independence, is a terrific gift. People want to age in place at home; fall-proofing a relative’s house with grab-rails, banisters and better lighting is a perfect holiday present! Marisa’s Ultimate Home Safety Checklist is packed with ideas of other small home improvements you could make that would assist Great Aunt Edna on a daily basis.
HIRING home care help several hours a week for a relative struggling with housekeeping, laundry, pet-care or cooking could provide the support that keeps an older person at home instead of in assisted living. There are lots of holiday “What to Buy for the Elderly” lists on the internet right now, but the best present may be the lifeline you offer your own Great Aunt Edna — the gifts of safety and independence that demonstrate you understand, and care. ~