‘Tis the season, but what an unusual season it is. The holidays are here, and for our loved ones who are elderly and often living alone, they can be full of sadness and longing for days gone by. This is particularly true this year as we continue to live amid the COVID-19 global pandemic. The idea of festive holiday gatherings and cheerful gift swaps has been replaced with concerns over social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. Contact us online or call us at (919) 436-1871 to learn more.
With safe, smart social distancing precautions in mind for the upcoming holiday season, you can still offer a bit of Christmas cheer to your aging parent or dear neighbor with a thoughtful gift sure to put a smile on their face.
Our team has put together 6 holiday gift ideas for seniors during COVID to help you share the love with your parents, grandparents, and or an elderly neighbor who might appreciate a kind word and thoughtful gift.
Knowing someone else is thinking of you always makes the heart warm, this year more than ever!
Find photos that represent special memories or special people – amazing vacations, a grand child’s birthday party, a family reunion. Print and frame the photos – or, if the photos are already printed, put them into an album so Grandma can flip through the photos easily. Most online photo services also allow you to create wonderful photo keepsakes like coffee mugs, cozy blankets, and canvas prints to hang in your home. Get creative!
2. Time together (COVID-style)
This may sound overly simplistic, but sometimes, the best gifts are the simplest. Many times, older folks don’t need much more than a listening ear and a welcoming home. Maybe you can invite them to join you on FaceTime as you trim the tree? Send them a basket of homemade Christmas cookies using their favorite family recipe or order a mini artificial Christmas tree from Amazon for their apartment, complete with lights and ornaments! Giving the gift of your time, even virtually, often means more to others than anything else you could find in the stores.
3. Find some fun games
If your loved one or elderly neighbor loved playing Bingo at their church every week, they’re probably missing the social interaction, camaraderie and fun that those outings brought to their weekly routine. A gift basket full of some fun games like Bingo (at home), UNO, and a deck of cards to play Solitaire might be a welcome way to pass the time and enjoy some small group gatherings within their apartment floor or assisted living community to do something fun together.
4. Gift card to a favorite restaurant
Do some research to find the best restaurants in the area that correspond to your loved one’s favorite eating places. Make sure they’re offering delivery or curbside pick-up services and get gift cards so your family member can enjoy a special meal during the holidays while you pick up the tab for them! Plus, you’re supporting local small businesses which is always a win.
5. Charitable donation
If you don’t have an elderly friend or family member with you anymore, the holidays can be difficult for you too. This time of year is full of nostalgia, and we all remember dear ones who are no longer with us. Why not make a charitable donation in the memory of your loved one to a local organization who helps seniors? A few great places to start might be the local food bank, Meals on Wheels, or your local veterans’ associations.
6. Online gym membership or fitness equipment
There are more ways than ever to keep our bodies fit and healthy, even when we don’t feel comfortable heading back to the gym. For seniors who may be more vulnerable to the virus, finding a way to workout at home is a good alternative! Gift them a new yoga mat, some hand weights, a comfortable workout sweatshirt for walks in the park, or a membership to an online fitness community like Aaptiv or FitON. It gives them the chance to exercise their bodies and their minds – and that’s a gift that keeps on giving!