DBF organizes an annual food basket drive for the elderly shut-ins in our community. From various donors, he gets a canned ham and all the trimmings, plus a fruit basket. He also calls upon people to donate homemade cookies, which he divides up among the recipients and packages.
I thought it would be nice to see if I could get a few retail stores to kick in non-food items to go in the baskets. The only problem is, I have no idea what homebound seniors might want or need! The only items I came up with, off the top of my head, were vitamins, buffered aspirin, warm socks, and perhaps a book of crossword or similar puzzles.
I thought I'd have better luck if I asked the stores for specific items (or gave them a list of suggested items).
So ... what else?!
I dream of a better world, one where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned.
it's not practical but i'd guess what they want most is time. someone to come by and take them out to lunch. or change a lightbulb or fix a leaky faucet. or just someone to listen to their stories, even if they already heard them 15 times.
their needs will be as various as the individuals.
but on a more practical note... envelopes and books of stamps for paying bills. large print books. magnifying glass. those heated rice bags. gift cards to their favorite grocery store.
Along with envelopes and books of stamps, pretty stationery and books of stamps. Maybe some ergonomic pens, too.
And more stamps! (My Mom goes through them like crazy!) Also, if you know the people (names and addresses) then making up some address labels on the computer is easy, and great for someone who can't write well anymore, but likes to send cards.
One of my mom's favorite gifts we gave her was a box of greeting cards -- just a collection of cards for various occasions, birthdays, get well, anniversary, etc., generic cards that could be for anyone. So many times she wanted to send a card but it was hard to get out and pick one up. We didn't pick them from the card aisle -- Target sold it in a box. They might still carry it. If not, you can probably find good ones at Big Lots.
I used to do home health care for an older woman, and her favorite gift to receive was scented body powder. The kind that comes in a pretty box with the poof for dusting it on. Also, pet treats for those who have them, pharmacy gift cards, pretty hair things, glasses cleaner, etc. caite
One of my mom's favorite gifts we gave her was a box of greeting cards -- just a collection of cards for various occasions, birthdays, get well, anniversary, etc., generic cards that could be for anyone.
Large print crossword puzzle books. Jigsaw puzzles with larger pieces (easier to manipulate with sore hands). One of those universal remotes with the large buttons. Phones with large, easy to see and press buttons. If anyone around does handyman work, perhaps a gift certificate or coupons to use for repairs. A calling card they can use for long-distance calls to friends and family.
Mostly, they want time. Time to sit with them and visit. Time to go to lunch with them. Time to listen to their stories (as maddening as it can be to hear the same story for the 5th time in a day).
The women at our church make gift baskets for the shut ins, and one of the most popular items is dried fruit, either small pre packaged bags or sometimes we make up our own bags of it.
The dollar store often has small sewing kits, a couple needles, needle threader and a few spools of thread usually black and white.