What do you give a person who has everything? If you have an aging parent, or are a caregiver to a senior, this is a question that you probably struggle with a couple times of the year. There are usually not too many things that your senior wants, and may not even be too much that they need. Instead of spending your money on something that they will place on a shelf, give them a gift that will benefit them throughout the year.
Give Your Senior The Gift Of Your Time
Everyone is busy. There are not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Unfortunately, this is a very real situation for most people this day and time, but if you are honest with yourself, you will make time for the things that you want to do.
Carve out some time to spend with your senior. Put this in your schedule as an important appointment, and do everything in your power to keep it. Depending on how far away your senior is, some of this time may have to be spent on the phone, instead of in person, but when possible make the time face to face.
If your senior is local, find an activity in which you both can participate. This may be something as simple as a meal out, a movie, a craft, or reading the same book. Even a couple of hours running errands can be a great way to spend time together while getting other things done.
Not only with these social interactions be appreciated by your senior, but may actually improve their health.
- It will not only relieve their loneliness, but reduce their risk of depression.
- The interactions will help to reduce their risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
- Studies have shown that it can reduce problems such as high blood pressure.
The interactions will give you a way to evaluate their mental status. There are many physical conditions such as urinary tract infections, which can easily be addressed when caught early. These conditions in your senior will often present with a change in mental status.
Give Your Senior The Gift Of Safety
If your senior still lives independently, you probably have a fear that something may happen to cause your senior to fall. This is a very real possibility, since every year approximately one in three seniors, 65 and older, take a tumble. Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in this age group.
Take steps which will help to reduce or eliminate this risk.
- Fall proof your senior's home. Here are just a few things that you can do.
- Remove anything that could present a tripping hazard.
- Install anti-skid strips on any steps which may exist in and around the home.
- Improve the lighting inside, as well as outside, of their home.
- If they have any type of mobility issues, invest in a three leg cane, and encourage them to use it when they are outside, or on uneven ground.
- Install handrails, grab bars and other safety related devices throughout the home.
- Fall proof your senior's health.
- Go with your senior to the doctor, or speak to their pharmacist to ask about any type of prescriptions that may make your senior lightheaded, or dizzy.
- Take the child-proof lids off of their medications, or request that the pharmacy fill them without these caps in place.
- Make sure that their vision prescription is up to date, and is installed in the frames that they are wearing. Some seniors have a hard time getting used to the changes in their prescription, and will refuse to wear the new glasses.
- Look for other adaptive equipment which will assist them in getting in and out of a vehicle. Some of the adaptive car equipment on the market, are not only really handy, but they are pretty cool as well.
A Gift You Can Put Under The Tree
There is one gift that will not only help your senior stay safe from a fall, but will also assist them in maintaining their health and mobility. That is the gift of a lift chair. This chair, from a place like http://www.cornermedical.com, appears to be a regular recliner, but when your senior gets ready to stand all they have to do is push a button, and the chair will rise, assisting them to their feet. This will keep your senior from possibly tumbling forward when they are trying to stand up. Not only will this keep your senior from falling, it will help to keep them independent in performing this task longer.
As they begin to lose the skill to stand, the lift component in their chair will become a gift to you or their caregiver. With the chair assisting them to a standing position, the strain that would otherwise be placed on your back will be relieved.
There are many gifts that you can give your senior that come from your heart, but when you give a gift that will help keep them safe, you may ultimately be giving them the gift of additional time here on earth.