What do seniors want? Not surprisingly, there are probably as many answers to that question as there are types of people. But even though there is no magic answer, there are a number of ideas that can help you find the right gift for that special senior in your life.
First, a few guiding principles that should help point you in the right direction:
- Know your senior: What is their living situation (e.g. do they live independently, are they in assisted living or memory care?) Do they have any health issues to consider such as diabetes, impaired vision or hearing, mobility issues, etc.?
- Know their needs: Many older adults have been frugal all of their lives and may have worn out items that are often used. Linens such as bath towels, sheets and blankets, dish towels, etc. are good items to update and replace. Do they need anything new for the kitchen like utensils, pans, a coffee pot or a toaster? Other gifts that might be appreciated can be mundane things as socks, underwear, robes, slippers, and pajamas as well. A new shirt, sweater or piece of jewelry can help your loved one spruce up for the holidays and make them feel special.
- Know their likes: Do they have a favorite color, fragrance, author, music, etc. Do they have a hobby, use a computer, play a sport, like puzzles and games, go to movies, eat out, etc.? Gift cards to restaurants movie theaters, or stores where they tend to shop can also be welcome gifts and are especially good for the senior “who has everything.”
Many people are hesitant to tell you what they really want, so it is important to be observant and a little creative to come up with a gift that will be useful and meaningful. This is true at any age! It can be a little harder coming up with ideas for seniors, as many of them seem to have everything and if they want something many just go out and buy it. I’ve asked some of the seniors I know what they would recommend as gifts for seniors and here are a few of their ideas:
- Time with my children and/or grandchildren. One at a time, so we can spend some quality time together.
- An experience. This could be lots of things, depending on your budget such as tickets to a play or concert, sporting event, fishing outing, weekend getaway, etc.
- Gift cards to restaurants, movie theaters, favorite stores, beauty salon, massage, etc.
- A “certificate” to help with household chores and repairs.
- A “certificate” to shop for and prepare a special dinner for your special senior.
- Things that are consumable such as candy, fragrances, body lotion, special soaps, food items, a good bottle of wine, and chocolates to get your ideas started!
- Books, magazine and/or newspaper subscriptions.
- A calendar with family photos, framed photos of children, grandchildren, etc.
The thing is that when you start thinking about it, there are really a lot of good ideas you can come up with for your special senior. And I would suggest that this system can also work for seniors who need to buy gifts for their families and friends. So, if you are like me and haven’t finished your shopping yet, there is still time for coming up with great gifts for the special people in our life!
Holly Hansen, Senior Partner
Brilliant Moves – www.BrilliantMovesMN.com
EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org