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Seniors Want Your Presence, Not your Presents this Holiday Season

If you have a senior on your gift list this holiday season, you know it can sometimes be a challenging assignment. Here's some advice from those in the know: the recipients.

If you have a senior on your gift list this holiday season, you know it can sometimes be a challenging assignment.  

Seniors with means generally buy what they need and want for themselves. Others do without and wouldn’t think of speaking up. Either way, family members and friends struggle with the dilemma of what to give their loved one to delight them.

In a survey conducted by a Salem, Oregon senior center, the leading preference was gift certificates for favorite restaurants. Other types of gift certificates were also popular, such as for events and travel like airline vouchers allowing a visit with family. Third in line: cash. Food gifts were welcome as long as the giver takes into account the recipient’s preferences and dietary needs.

But by a huge margin, seniors wished for time with children and grandchildren. Family photos were mentioned by nearly every person responding. Some also suggested certificates for the kind of “work projects” they found difficult from children and grandchildren.

What kind of gifts do seniors dread? Clothing, or health and beauty products. Everyone who’s ever been guilty of giving a robe and slippers or a bottle of perfume, you know who you are.

The results are clear. Seniors don’t really want your presents. They want your presence. They want company, conversation, and to feel a part of the extended family. They want to know their grandchildren better. There is truly nothing more precious and valuable than someone’s time.

So give up on the mall. Make a visit part of your holiday giving. Or send that ticket to your senior relatives and treat them to a trip to your home for the holidays. Create special memories and don’t forget to take plenty of photos that can go home with your family members. 

InTouch at Home is a Senior Resource Group, LLC (SRG) company. Serving the needs of seniors and their families for more than 20 years, SRG delivers on the promise of exceptional service and quality care each and every day through its 18 communities including La Vida Real (Rancho San Diego) and La Vida Del Mar. Now through InTouch at Home, this same outstanding care and service is available to you in your home, wherever it may be. For more information, call 858-522-9942 or visit InTouch-at-Home.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michelle Mowad December 19, 2012 at 06:50 PM
We received this message from Bea: "THANK YOU... the present of 'Presence' lasts Forever. It enriches the heart, warms the memory, and so healthy for a body. Thank you for not only thinking of Seniors, but speaking out for them and letting others know what is important to them too."
Ed Sorrels December 19, 2012 at 08:49 PM
If the trip is to far you can do what I do ask them, To donate what they would spend on a charity that I support, That way is does everyone some good !

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