’Tis the season of joy and of course, you want to spoil your favourite senior! The question is… what can you give your loved one that they will cherish, without overwhelming them or adding clutter to their simplified living space?
You can never get enough precious moments together. Consider getting tickets to an event they would love, such as the symphony, the ballet, a music concert, a sporting event, or live theatre. Plan the gift of a special lunch out with friends, or an afternoon movie with grandkids. Take them to the zoo or take in a planetarium show at the Science Centre. Visit a museum of interest or an art gallery. If they are well enough for travel, consider a weekend away, or even just a special day exploring a nearby resort town. Just think about the hobbies and activities your senior has enjoyed in life and find an experience that would tickle their fancy!
Research shows music is therapeutic treatment for a multitude of conditions, including dementia. Load up an IPod (new or refurbished) with all your loved one’s favourite songs. Find music from their youth and all the different eras of their life. Add a comfy set of head phones and they will enjoy hours of soul-stirring entertainment.
Music can create astonishing connections to memory.
Offer the gift of your time to record and or write some of your loved one’s treasured stories. A legacy of captured life experiences can be deeply enriching for all concerned.
Purchase a digital photo frame and load it up with hundreds of family photos. Your loved one will never tire of seeing years of happy moments captured on film
Solicit loving sentiments from grandkids, friends and relatives and create a video featuring each person sharing their expression. If family members are far away perhaps create a poster featuring their sentiments or make a scrapbook of loving thoughts and pictures. Any creative expression of love makes a heartwarming gift.
You can’t go wrong with yummy treats! Make homemade goodies ranging from decadent sweets to savoury snacks and bring a tray for them to share with friends and visitors. Consider a fruit basket or non-perishables like nuts, cookies and crackers. Perhaps they love popcorn or chocolates! Their favourite edibles will satisfy cravings and quickly disappear!
Ultimately, it’s your love and your time that they will cherish the most. Finding time to visit and ways to include them in your life at every stage is the greatest gift of all.
Pat Fream is a wife, mother and 30-year writer with extensive experience in the human services industry. In all avenues of life, Pat seeks opportunities to hear and tell stories and finds joy in the magic of connecting people with shared experiences. An impassioned fan of seniors, Pat draws wisdom and inspiration from her aging parents and their friends, many of whom are living well in vibrant senior communities.