As Christmas approaches, are you stuck for ideas for the more elderly relatives in the family? With a little bit of thought, you can offer something much nicer than the standard bath smellies and socks. Here are some ideas for gifts which will make someone's day.
Staying Alert and Interested in Life
As we get older, its sometimes hard to keep the mind active, and boredom is a big problem for many elderly people.
Think about an interesting board game if your relative has someone to play it with regularly - perhaps one based on their favourite TV quiz show. Does your relative enjoy reading? A magazine subscription is a gift which will last through the year, and if it's for a weekly magazine, they will always have something new to read and to look forward to.
If your older relative is mobile and sociable, look around for a local course they might enjoy. Lots of community centres, garden centres and similar venues run day courses and workshops on everything from learning a new craft to a new language. See if you can buy vouchers which your relative can put towards a course of their choice.
Getting your parent to reminisce about his or her life is known to be a healthy, positive thing - these days you can buy ready made journals filled with thought provoking questions which your parent can fill in and then share with you.
Or get your kids to write questions on slips of paper, then fold them up and put them in a pretty jar - give the jar, together with a nice blank journal and pen and let your parent create their own life story to share with their grandchildren.
Keeping Memories Alive
How about creating a DVD filled with photographs, pictures and video clips from your parent's life, maybe accompanied by their favourite music? You could do this yourself, or you can get a production company to do it for you.
Many elderly parents are interested in genealogy but might not know where to start - a subscription to an online genealogy service might be a welcome gift, or perhaps some family tree software and a book to get them started.
For the Less Mobile
For older relatives who can't move around so much these days, a home made hamper of cakes, pies and home cooked meals would be a very thoughtful gift - make sure your cooked creations can be frozen, so that they can be enjoyed at leisure.
A bird table or bird feeding station and food makes a lovely gift for a less mobile elderly parent too - placed near the window, its a lovely way to while away the hours, watching the birds come and go, and can also be a form of company for a parent who lives alone.
Think outside the box when it comes to gifts for elderly parents, and give them something which will bring hours of enjoyment or help to keep minds fresh and alert.