Well, four weeks from today is Black Friday and the shopping begins…What to buy that senior?
Did you know that over 90% of retail stores finally see their profits between Thanksgiving and New Year's? That's why we don't call it "Red Friday". They are finally operating in the "black, a profit.So let's start thinking about the gifts that we want to buy seniors and those who care for seniors.I'll be sending out my list of practical gifts in the near future.
Can there be anything more difficult than to buy for a senior?
Well, the good news is there is something that both seniors and caregivers want more than anything else. It's time.They don’t need another wrap. They don’t need another pillow. Maybe not even a basket of fruit or a fruitcake (remember those?).Most seniors want to spend time with their family and friends.And most family members who care for seniors want a visit from you or a commitment that you will help them with their senior care.
Two stories I recently heard I would love to share with you.
A friend lives in a community where one woman is always negative. People don’t want to be around her because she picks apart everything she thinks is wrong with the community. She had lost her husband two years ago and continues to live alone. So this friend decided to go visit her and bring her a dish. The woman was thrilled to have the company. She then admitted to my friend that it was her anniversary on that very day and she was especially lonely. She shared how they lived and worked. She shared so much other history.
Needless to say, my friend saw her in a whole new light and was thrilled she had taken the time to visit.In the second story, another friend was talking to a coworker who was “off” her normal cheery self. My friend noticed that she seemed to be quieter with her other coworkers. So my friend went up to her, sat down next to her, and asked her if everything was OK. She noticed tears welling up in her eyes. My friend asked her if she needed a hug. The floodgates opened and as her coworker sobbed she told my friend her whole story and the weight she had been living under.
Sharing our lives with others face to face will bring us so many benefits.
In these examples, can you see the emotional connections that occur?
Whether it’s with family, friends, or a romantic partner, the connection provides a network of emotional support that goes beyond that one connection. Sharing with another reduces stress, and increases happiness, and when we do return to our own homes, we bring that sense of feeling good into our own homes. A sense of joy we might not have had before.
These examples also broaden our perspective of the world and make us question our own view of what we think is right or wrong with another person. As we hear the history of another, their opinions, their cultures, and the way they were brought up, or even their troubles, we increase our empathy, get a better understanding of this complex world, and again when we return home, we show more patience to those we love and live with.
Another benefit of sharing time with another is the memories we create as we relish in another's memories and stories. As we hear others share with us, we tend to remember our stories, our past successes and failures. We celebrate together and we each contribute to a richer and more meaningful life.
So, as we hurry into the next few weeks, buying gifts for one another, as we are wrapping that present, or sending it off, let’s not forget that the person we are giving the present to might love to hear our voice and share some time with us as well as the gift we give them.
Gift Giving Ideas for the Senior in Your Life
I have broken down the gifts I recommend into 7 Categories. Please go to "Recommended" at the top of the page and you will see a drop down menu of all the categories and when you click on the page, you will see some stories I have written about how the gift meant so much to me or a family member. I hope you can use these in your gift-giving this season.
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