+64 9 522 1050
NZ: +64 9 522 1050
AUS: 1300 001 259
Around this age, and especially by the age of 90, most people will likely be in a care facility with limited space. So what do you give as a birthday gift?
For an 80th or 90th birthday, you might want to celebrate with an extra special gift, as this is a very special major milestone. A family can always pool money together, to get one big extra special gift from the family as a group.
Framed family photos or canvas to hang on the wall, or a smaller frame to sit on a shelf are always great birthday options for older people. Have a professional photographer take outstanding quality family portraits.
Why not arrange for all the grandchildren to have a professional photo with Grandma or Grandpa (the birthday recipient). Then gift them the framed photo. They will treasure it (and so will you!) for years to come.
This should be done few years, because children change and grow so quickly, and new grandchildren and great-grandchildren come along. In this digital world, we don’t print photos like we used to.
You can get those digital photo frames (need to be plugged into power), that show a revolving slide show of family photos from a USB stick in the back, but set the timer to the slowest change speed.
Older people can feel the cold a lot, so a lovely lightweight but warm mohair throw makes a wonderful gift for both men and women. There are lots of colours available on the market, so choose a colour that the gift recipient will love. It doesn't need to be a safe colour, give them their favourite colour!
The mohair throws aren’t just for the bed, older people spend a lot of time sitting in armchairs, so a knee throw over their legs helps keep them warm, especially if their circulation is not great. These throws make a thoughtful 80th or 90th birthday gift.
Another way to beat the cold, especially if you take your elderly mum or dad on an outing, is possum merino clothing or accessories like a comfortable wool jacket for women or men, wool wraps, finger-less gloves or hand-warmers and wool socks which make useful gifts.
The hand-warmers are perfect because they are easy for older ladies with arthritic hands to pull on and off, without having to worry about getting their fingers in the right place.
My grandmother loved her fingerless gloves, but go up one size so that they aren’t too tight over arthritic hands. The fingerless gloves are unisex.
Flowers make a lovely gift, especially for Grandma, but they don’t last long, especially when the room is very warm or it they are placed in full sun. Staff in retirement villages often do not have time to change the water in a vase of flowers.
If you do choose to give flowers buy something that will last a while, at least a week or two like Lilies, Hydrangeas (drinks a lot of water) or Proteas. How about dried or high-quality artificial flowers? Some look very real.
Picking flowers from your own garden is a lovely idea, but they probably won’t last very long in a warm room, and the water will need to be topped up daily or even better changed every few days. To make flowers last longer re-cut the stems and put them into cool fresh water straight away.
Remove any foliage from the bottom of the stems that will be submerged in the water. If the flowers came from a florist they will probably have some flower food to add to the water.
Adding a few drops of bleach will help keep the water clear and will kill microorganisms that make the water go slimy and the flowers wilt quickly.
Spring flowers with a fragrance like freesias or daffodils will bring back memories of childhood for the elderly, our sense of smell is the strongest sense for memory recall.
If there is room and if the facility allows, try a potted plant like a small orchid or succulents like the Jade plant, which don’t need much care and are a great pot plant option.
There are also some extremely good artificial flowers available, that are so realistic looking you can hardly tell they are not real.
Bake them their favourite cakes (cut into smaller pieces), slices, or soft biscuits from their childhood (you will need to subtly ask them what they like best in advance). Use a family recipe!
Get the grandkids involved with the baking. Avoid biscuits that are too hard for their teeth like ginger nuts. My mum’s favourite is Louise Slice.
Find a pretty air-tight container or decorated tin to keep them fresh, but make sure the lid is easy to open.
Older people don’t eat much, but they can share freshly baked goodies with their care staff if they can’t eat it all. Chocolates or softer licorice, like Licorice Allsorts, is another great idea.
As well as a more permanent gift like a digital photo frame or mohair throw, adding in flowers, chocolates or home-baked goodies will make their day feel very special.
And of course, spend quality time with them. A visit from family or friends is one of the best things you can give them.
Visit Gorgeous Creatures while in the Hawkes Bay
8 Otatara Rd, Taradale, Napier 4112 (by appointment please call or text first)
Kirsty Mason Ph 027 222 6230