This wonderful program helps provide Christmas gifts to more than 300 Ottawa-local seniors who are truly isolated and alone. In fact (can you believe this?), some of them have not received holiday gifts in decades.
Especially because of the many negative impacts that social isolation has on seniors, programs like this are so very important.
At a recent Pub Night and with other fundraising, the program has raised more than $9,000 for seniors’ gifts.
With those funds, we collected gifts, planned a “wrapping party” (that included many of our family members), and will soon hand-deliver the gifts to recipients.
In the meantime, that got us thinking…
What sorts of gifts do seniors like?
So we put out a call on our social media channels to source ideas.
In particular, we were looking for suggestions of things that help:
- Brighten seniors’ spirits
- Enhance their self-care (whether hygiene, home cleaning, diet or otherwise)
- Keep seniors physically healthy
- Keep them safe from damaging falls
- Amuse or entertain seniors
- Improve their memory or concentration
- Keep them mobile/moving and/or socializing
Here are a few gift suggestions we received:
- “Visit them with a therapy dog or cat. And spend time with them, bringing along some tea or coffee and some sweets.”—Trish Homsma-Spence
- “I buy them tickets to the theatre and then take them out to see the show—they love it!”—Ruth Sirman
- “Subscription boxes can be a big hit. I know my friend’s grandfather loved the beer one she got him.”—Lara Wellman
- “A big picture wall calendar to help them keep organized, translating into sociability, regular health care and less stress. Mark birthdays of friends and family, regular visiting days they can look forward to seeing you, happy events they can enjoy (Grey Cup, Oscars, whatever their interests are). A short list of important phone numbers on the back might be useful. A cheerful Post-it note from you on each month saying things like ‘I can’t wait to see the tulips with you this month!’ and/or ‘I’m grateful for all my happy Christmas memories, what’s your favourite?’”—MJ Ferrier
- “My new book covers all of the categories above. It’s called Move More, Your Life Depends On It: Practical Tips to Add More Movement to Your Day. It’s a light-hearted and humorous self-help book that will encourage them to get up and move for better health. And no need to sweat it out at the gym. It’s available on Amazon or locally from me or several local businesses.—Amanda Stercyzk
- “I came across a post where you can adopt a senior for Christmas. Think of how much a gift and a visit would mean to a person alone in the world.”—Joanne Cummings
It doesn’t take much to show you care
The holidays are a wonderful time to bring joy into the lives of your loved ones.
However, for seniors, this can be an incredibly emotional and lonely time of year.
As such, we hope the suggestions above will inspire you in finding the most special way to treat the senior(s) in your life.
Moreover, there are many other ways to boost seniors’ spirits at this time of year—so make sure to check out our most recent blog for ideas that cost nothing but your time.
From the Tea and Toast family to you and yours, we wish you the happiest holiday season!
Learn about Tea & Toast’s retirement living search service! We can find the perfect home for you or your loved one. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-698-1319.
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