Gifts of Companionship, Time, and Love Are the Essence of the Holidays
RESEDA, Calif., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A preeminent senior expert from the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is offering 25 imaginative tips for ensuring that the country's elderly are treated with thoughtful gifts during the Holiday season.
CEO-President Molly Forrest of the Los Angeles Jewish Home says that frequently in later life, the connections the older person has to others have been broken, and the holidays can be a painful reminder of this. In many cases, seniors live far from their adult children and other family members. This separation from others also contributes to feelings of depression, loneliness and isolation.
"Everyone primarily focuses on the needs of children at this time of year. However, it's particularly important that attention, and not simply objects, is given to older parents, relatives and acquaintances," says Forrest.
Forrest offers her "Top 25 Holiday Gifts" for seniors:
- A 'coupon' redeemable for you to run errands for them a few times a month
- Tickets for 2 or a season pass to the theatre, a play, a movie, a concert or a museum (including transportation!)
- Arrangements to take them to weekly religious activities
- Pre-paid cab or bus 'tickets' for rides when they want them
- Help with a special project (Clean out the attic? Organize the closets?)
- Offer to arrange all their family photos into an album
- A large print magazine subscription, large print books, and/or books on tape
- Low vision products such as a large TV remote, magnifiers, large print calendars, large face playing cards, or large button telephone
- Install devices or home modifications to help prevent falls or accidents such as hand rails, non-slip stair pads, and automatic light sensors
- Gift certificates to grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacy, manicurist or hair salon
- Gift certificate for monthly house cleaning
- Offer to rake leaves, shovel snow, or mow the lawn on regular basis
- Prepay their utility bill (electric, cable, oil, telephone)
- A gas card or prepaid phone calling card
- Calendar with family birthdays marked, stamped and addressed cards
- Cook extra meals and place in individual freezable containers
- Wash their windows; get their homes ready for winter
- Write a letter telling them how you feel about them and memories you have shared with them
- Subscription to a local newspaper
- A month's enrollment in an Adult Day Program
- A monthly lunch date
- Offer yourself as a willing, cheerful helper for the day to do chores (change light bulbs, put battery in smoke detector, etc)
- Give them your frequent flyer miles
- Deliver a fresh basket of seasonal fruit in person once a month
- Basket of craft projects they can do with a grandchild
"These types of gifts are more desirable than one more afghan, or another knick knack to display, or one more bottle of hand lotion," says Forrest. "Gifts from the heart demonstrate our companionship, our love, friendship and our day-to-day-help. Isn't that really what the holidays are about?"
Founded in 1912, the world-renowned Los Angeles Jewish Home is one of the foremost continuing senior living facilities in the United States and is the largest single-source provider of senior housing in Los Angeles. In total the Home annually serves more than 1,700 seniors through an extraordinary continuum of services. Each year, more than 1,200 senior women and men are supported through in-residence housing on two village campuses (spanning 16 acres), with services featuring independent living "Neighborhood Home" accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. Another 500 seniors are served through the Home's community-based programs which include Skirball Hospice, home health care and community clinics. Healthcare professionals from around the world consult with the Jewish Home in an effort to improve eldercare in their home countries. The Home is a nonprofit organization that relies upon donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to continue its remarkable work. Further information regarding the Home can be found online at www.jha.org or by calling 818-757-4407.
SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home