I was thinking on what to write this week, and my friend, Tilly, proposed, “Why don’t you write about what we can give to the elderly, who really don’t care about all the trappings and things anymore?”
I loved her idea, so I polled my friends on Facebook. Bless them. They always rally to my aid.
“What do you give to the older crowd?” I asked them. Here’s some superb ideas from the Facebook crowd.
“Dinner at favorite restaurant.”
“Stamps with little note cards so they can communicate with others (the old-fashioned way).”
Food. “I do some driving for the Senior Citizen Center and you would be amazed at how many people need food. Also, companionship. Some are very lonely!”
“Warm socks, lap quilt or throw, house shoes, lotions, Readers Digest, stamps, cards to send, scented lotions, powder, small Christmas tree, books, color books and colors, paper, pencils, cosmetics, nail polish, etc.”
Gert answered this: “I know what not to buy the elderly (me), anything Tech! My son James makes me a big batch of gingerbread cookies. Love his creativity! Look forward to them every year.”
“A photo frame that shuffles through any photos that friends or family send is a wonderful way to keep up with all happenings. Pricey though. It’s larger than a phone screen (6 by 8), so easy for old eyes.”
“Gift cards where they can purchase food, gas or other basics.”
“If they live in bigger cities, gift cards for Door Dash, Grubhub.”
“Time. Give them your time. Stop by for a cup of coffee and conversation. Take them for a drive. My mother loved for us girls to take her for a ride. Go get ice cream. A phone call once a week. Clean house for them or have it done. Get their hair done.”
“Pedicures and manicures.”
“If they like gardening or flowers, a poinsettia or amaryllis always brighten the holiday.”
“Newspaper subscriptions or add on to their current ones so they do not have to buy. I make photo calendars with family, kid photos so they can see us all year!”
“Things to keep the mind sharp like crossword puzzles, coloring books, of course clothing, gift cards so they can buy what they want and need.”
“Gift cards to restaurants, beauty shops and electric bills.”
“If they are still at home, take them homemade soups, stews, etc., in microwave dishes along with homemade sweets (fruit tarts, muffins, brownies, etc.”
“IOU’S, especially from the grandkids. But they’re nice from your children also. Make cards and depending on each situation, IOU a Saturday afternoon of shopping; or cleaning; or playing Scrabble. No matter what you can think of, something to do to give them your time.”
A big thank you to all of you for these contributions. It gave me an alert, a heads up, a “pay attention” and I am going to use these ideas. Hope you can use them too.
Judi Tabler lives in Pawnee County and is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.