Saturday, December 18, 2010

What do I get Grandma for Christmas?

Buying gifts for elderly people is tough - they have health conditions that limit what we can give them.   They might want goodies but we should use caution given the rise in diabetes.    This year I'm giving Mom a lighted magnifying glass, some thick fleece socks to keep her feet toasty and a new hooded sweatshirt.    I'm also having her old watch reconditioned so she can wear it daily. No only is it useful, it's some thing very familiar that she had for years.  I hope it will provide her with some comfort.

I've surveyed some friends to find what they're doing for their parents and grand parents.  I hope you'll find some useful ideas here:
  • sets of blank cards,  "fat" pens and stamps so they can keep in touch with friends and family
  • a new address book - then help them transfer the names and addresses
  • photo albums with old and new photos - consider pictures of grand kids on the left page then a photo of  the same grand child as an adult or with their family.   This can help jog their memories too
  • Calendars with family photos.  You can easily up load photos to several services (Walmart, Kodak, Windows) layout the calendar and have it mailed to them.  It  takes all of 30-45 minutes!!  Thank Gawd for technology!!
  • Photos of them with friends and family - my Mom loves her photos with her and her great granddaughter
  • Calendars with their favorite flowers
  • If your elder is in a nursing home they;d probably appreciate anything that replicates the things they had at home - family photos, photos of pets or flowers.
  • People in nursing homes also need practical things:  lotion, socks, sweaters, undershirts, slippers, tissues to clean glasses, pens and paper, fanny packs or other bags that can easily strap on to walkers or wheel chairs
If you're still stumped call the nursing home and ask the social services or activities director if they have suggestions.   

what can I get my grandma grandpa for Christmas?  Grandma is in a nursing home what can i get for her.  gifts for nursing home residents. gifts for the elderly .

Sharing Christmas with Mom - what she really wants is time - my time now and her old times too..

The older Mom gets the harder it is to find meaningful gifts for her.  She is very content with so little and I usually buy things as I realize she needs them - new sweat pants, a hoodie, socks, etc.... I'm always stumped at Christmas time - it doesn't help that she insists she needs NOTHING and won't give me any ideas.  I did pick up on a couple of little things that might make her happy - her old large faced watch from home and a magnifying glass.   She always says she can't find the wall clocks throughout the nursing home and complains that reading the paper hurts her eyes. ( I am beginning to wonder if her vision is failing but that's another blog post...)

So - I found her old watch at home and I'll have it cleaned and the band repaired for her.   I'll give it to her at Christmas so she'll know the time.  I also found a light weight magnifying glass with a light.  I think it will help her read the paper and anything else she can find.   When I found it and realized how much it would help her, I bought 4.  I'll leave the extra three with the social services or activities office so that they can give them to the residents who need them most.  

The other thing I'll give Mom this Christmas is time at home.  We'll arrive in my home town on the 23rd and I'll go to get her the 24th.  We can cook together and then we'll sit down to eat together for Christmas Eve.   I hope she'll feel up to attending church that evening but we'll see.   The next day - we'll do it all again but we'll be at my nephews home. These plans mean a lot of work for us - we have to lift her in and out of the car, to the bathroom and wheel her around but we gladly do it all.    When I think of how she feels living away from home, I WANT to make her happy even though it's only for a few hours at a time.   I want to give her some normalcy - I want her to feel the way it was years ago when she cooked for a houseful of people and we all sat down together to eat and drink  and talk loud.   I miss those times too so if we can re-create them for a day or two, then all the lifting and wheeling is well worth it.