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Older Adults Savor Gift-Wrapped Companionship

Young man talking to his grandmother.
Here’s a gift that won’t cost you a dime and make the older loved ones in your family happy as well. Why not give the gift of time and companionship?

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The special gift of a person’s time might be the most precious present that a senior loved one can receive during the holidays.

Q. I’m a 22-year-old recent college graduate now living on my own who has several seniors to buy for this holiday, including my grandparents. When I was a kid, I often made little gifts and cards for them. But now that I’m grown, I haven’t a clue. What can you recommend?

I’m sure your grandparents and the other seniors in your life would still treasure a homemade gift. However, now that you are adult, you’re probably feeling that something more significant is in order. As a recent college graduate, you may well be on a tight budget. So here’s a gift that won’t cost you a dime and make the older loved ones in your family happy as well. Why not give the gift of time and companionship? If you think that won’t be a present that would be valued by your senior loved ones, you’re wrong.

Several years ago, the Home Instead® network did a nationwide holiday survey in which eight of 10 seniors (84 percent) participating said that time with family and friends would be the most special gift they could get for the holidays.

No doubt the older members of your family have watched you grow up and are missing the time they used to spend with you when you were still living at home. Think how thrilled they would be to have a day — or even a weekend — all to themselves with you!

Why don’t you make one of the cards that were popular with the seniors in your life when you were a child? Create a gift certificate that allows your loved one to redeem an afternoon with you, a special lunch at a favorite restaurant or a trip to a popular spot that you often enjoyed with that person.

Or, if the senior is still living at home, donate your time for a weekend to clean house, grocery shop or cook a meal. Your creativity will be worth the effort and go a long way toward making the holidays special for the older individuals in your life. You could also give a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Make your special outing or time at your loved one’s home a regular event, perhaps one Saturday a month or during another designated time.

If you’re looking for an economical gift, check out popular options for older adults.

Last revised: December 15, 2011

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