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Some gift ideas for seniors

November 29, 2007|By MARIE GILBERT

You're the first to admit it - shopping for a senior citizen on your holiday list can be tough. They either have more than they need or they have downsized and have no room at all.

It can be even more difficult for those who are in assisted living or nursing homes, where there is little space and not much privacy.

To make things easier, the U.S. Department on Aging offers these suggestions:

· Think of the person's lifestyle. What does he or she like to do? If the gift recipient is a reader, consider books or books on tape. A music lover? Consider CDs. Or maybe it's a hobby, like knitting or stamp collecting, where supplies would be appreciated.

· Consider their finances. If they are on a fixed income, gift certificates to grocery stores, hair salons or restaurants might be appreciated. You also might consider giving them the gift of cash to help with utility bills.

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· Give the gift of homemade. Maybe the elderly person on your list doesn't cook or bake favorite foods anymore. Fill a basket with their favorite cookies or breads. Or prepare a special meal for them and invite them for dinner.

· Give the gift of your company. Senior citizens who can't get around anymore are often lonely. Invite that person to lunch or dinner. Take them to a movie. Or stop by and visit. You also might offer to take them to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day church services.

· Volunteer to lend a helping hand. During the holidays, offer to take them shopping, help them wrap their presents or clean their homes. You also could help them with their Christmas cards.

· Give them homemade certificates for free trips to various destinations, such as medical appointments, the hair salon or the grocery store. If they are the type who feels uncomfortable asking for help, this gives them permission.

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