One of the best things about the winter months are the winter holidays. Whether it’s Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice, they give us reasons to celebrate the season with joy. And one of the greatest joys is giving gifts to the people that matter in your life.
Your aging parent probably has always been very involved in getting gifts for children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors. And while you’re his primary Caregiver now, there’s no reason your parent needs to stop providing joy for both himself and those he cares about by sharing in the tradition of giving gifts to those around him. It may look a little different now, maybe due to finances, mobility issues or even cognitive issues, but with your help and the help of good qualified home care professional, you can support your elderly parent through the holiday shopping experience by following some simple guidelines.
- Set a budget.
Most likely finances have changed in your elderly parent’s life these past few years. Sit down and review what is a healthy gift budget. Once you know how much your parent can spend, you can help him determine who he can purchase gifts for.
- Determine a recipient list.
Everyone is different. Some people like to give gifts to everyone they come in contact with, from the mail delivery person, to their caretakers (including a home care professional, or a doctor or pharmacist), to every person related by blood. Sit with your aging parent, with the budget in hand, and help your parent determine who he can realistically purchase gifts for and maybe who instead could get a simple thankful card. If your parent has a home care professional, she might be able to speak into who is involved in your parent’s life and might warrant a little extra gift during the holidays.
- Go shopping.
Nowadays, going shopping doesn’t have to mean crowding together with 1000s of other shoppers at the mall. It can mean sitting together in front of a laptop while shopping online. It can also mean visiting local small businesses to pick up unique and personalized gifts while supporting local businesses. If some shopping requires visiting larger shopping venues, consider having your home care professional bring your parent to and from the location so that finding a parking spot won’t be stressful (sometimes, even assigned handicap spots can all be filled during busy holiday seasons).
- Wrap it up!
A home care professional can help your parent get all of the gifts nicely wrapped and identified as to who they are for (and that way you won’t see which gift is yours!). Consider having the home care provider help your parent with a check off list as well so that your parent will know exactly who she has bought presents for and what those presents were.
Giving gifts to the people we love not only blesses the receiver but the giver. Having your elderly parent be an integral part of this process reinforces that he is a cherished part of your family and community. As it is often said, it’s not the gift that matters, but the thought behind it. By supporting and assisting your parent in this wonderful holiday tradition, the gifts all of you receive will be far greater than the actual presents given.