10 tips for holiday gifts to seniors

Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 07:20 PM.

• Make a special delivery. Arthritis can make wrapping holiday presents a challenge; so can shipping gifts to loved ones. Schedule a gift-wrapping afternoon, complete with hot chocolate, cookies and plenty of family stories.

• Deck the halls. Carting out holiday ornaments isn’t always possible for an older adult with a bad back or weak muscles — neither is stringing lights or hanging ornaments. Make it a multigenerational activity by sending over the grandkids or great-grandchildren.

• Send holiday greetings. The handwritten Christmas card is a tradition for this generation of seniors. Offer to spend an afternoon writing greetings. If that’s not possible, an online photo greeting card can be just as good (and save the cost of cards and stamps).

• Sing along. Caroling is a fun activity for almost any age. Get a group of your senior loved one’s friends together to serenade other older adults in an assisted living facility or nursing home.

• Celebrate the reason for the season. Faith and holiday programs can bring joy to older adults. Be flexible and change traditions if necessary. For instance, attend early Christmas Eve service, not midnight Mass.

• Focus on others. Volunteering to assist others can help seniors focus on someone else’s needs instead of their own. Get the entire family involved in gathering supplies for a homeless shelter or serving a holiday meal.

• Stay connected. The holidays can be a sad time for seniors separated from their families. Help an older adult connect with loved ones far away with the latest technology, such as Skype.

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