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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Location
    Flint Hill, Virginia
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    2,604

    Default Need Xmas ideas for 80 year old parents-of-beloved b.f.

    Talk about impossible to buy for.
    Dad = 80'ish year old retired Navy admiral. Formerly whip-smart, interesting, normal-fit. Now he's slightly dementia, all-but home-bound, sort of confused (about current things, totally crystal clear about long-ago things), a little ill-tempered, and, well, a former heavy drinker who's been forced to stop due to health problems.
    He doesn't read, really, and doesn't have any particular sports or interests. They have a nice house and little farmette (no animals or boarders/horses) in the pretty horse-ette country of Fairfax Station, Va.
    I'm at a loss what to get him.
    Mom = 80'ish year old Navy wife. Formerly whip-smart Navy wife, interesting, normal-fit. Now slightly dementia, all-but home-bound, sort of confused. Not at all ill-tempered (sweet, really), loves my dogs (I take them sometimes when we go visit.)
    She doesn't read, either, really, and doesn't seem to have any interests, either.
    I got them a window bird feeder and some seed. B.F. got her a pretty Xmas plant/flower.
    Otherwise, I'm totally drawing a blank.
    Not sure if food is the right thing - they have a lady who takes care of them most mornings/cooks/cleans/sets up meds. Not booze - no drinking. Not books - they have thousands plus I see no evidence that they read.
    Ideas?
    I hate that they are sort of seemingly just 'waiting' in that twilight place and I don't know what to do/what to get/how to help.
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Posts
    2,469

    Default

    How about a beautiful afghan for the chillier days. Or an assortment of teas or coffees. I love tea and always love another tea pot.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    Your BF is no help at all? Surely he knows something about his parent's interests at this point in their lives. Maybe interest in something they used to be interested in could be rekindled by an appropriate gift.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
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    2,966

    Default

    Why not food???

    Until my mom passed away last month & dad went into a nursing home, they LOVED getting food gifts. Of course I only sent things that just needed reheating; but that still left oodles of great options. "Impromptu Gourmet", "Chesapeake Bay Crabs", Burger's Smokehouse" (I gave them a year's monthly food gift from Burger's that they ADORED two years in a row.) Even a live-in aide could cook these foods since it was basically just reheating.

    I couldn't imagine giving my parents yet another throw blanket or afghan. That's almost an "you're old" announcement - lol!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Default

    Exotic food is a bad idea. At that age, they probably have a host of food allergies or ailments that could be exacerbated by consuming certain foods.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
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    3,126

    Default

    What about a basket of goodies. Maybe some crosswords, a puzzle, and a movie or two with their favorite snacks? Do they like pictures? Can you perhaps have your BF do some sleuthing and help you to put together a photo album of their life together?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
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    6,750

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    Creature comforts-my grandparents are nearly exactly as you describe and they get regional treats from their family that are far away. Since we're in MT we send huckleberry chocolates and treats. My grandma loves applets and cotlets so we send those... local honey. Food-it doesn't take up room, they can regift it if they want, they don't already have a ton of it... and it's considerate.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    7,832

    Default

    I am going to disagree with Lex-- the OP only mentioned "old age dementia", no other illnesses. Aging is an allergy! My mom loves food, at age 83, but can't eat a lot at any one time. A trip to a restaurant for lunch is a real treat (she's home-bound, too).

    OP--go with a food gift, something they might have enjoyed as younger folk. Careful with hard to chew, super crunchy (teeth issues) or super spicy, unless they are used to that.

    Do they watch movies? Maybe a selection of DVDs from "their era"? Can you ask them what they'd like to receive? Maybe make a donation in their name and then give them a lovely card and candy? Maybe a trip somewhere with you to sight see for an afternoon?
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
    Posts
    515

    Default

    Books on cd are popular among elders that I work with. Your BF should probably have an idea of topics they'd like. Military history or historical novels might be a good idea for his dad. I second the idea of afghans or snuggly sweaters. Zip ups are easier to get on/off for the possibly mobility limited. Teas or cocos might be nice too.

    I don't think new and different foods are a good plan. Many folks with dementia don't do change well, which I see as a concern with residents at work (I'm a nurse in a long term care facility). Baking up some well loved favorites might be nice too.
    Last edited by Traum; Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM. Reason: clarity


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2003
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    1,284

    Default

    As my next door neighbor got older, instead of getting a gift for her I would decorate her house for Christmas. I would get her a wreath and a little tabletop tree and some Christmas goodies.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2003
    Location
    Flint Hill, Virginia
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    Ahhh! Great ideas.
    I said no food just b/c they are sort of the canned-soup types, but maybe a gourmet basket would at least feel good to give if not be a delight (like it would to you/me!)
    No, b.f. is no help at all. He's the 'giving my teen nephews cash' b/c he's not creative enough (a little lazy, if you ask me!) to consider what would interest a teen boy. He's 'mad' at his parents for getting old (my take on it) so he's sort of 'lost' (his take on it) when its coming to getting them holiday gifts.
    I love some of these ideas. Thanks!
    * www.huntersrest.net -- Virginia hunt country's best Bed-and-Breakfast-and-Barn.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Pfft. Well, I say you talk to the caretaker. They are the only other source of information accessible to you apart from your BF or possibly any other surviving family.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 5, 2002
    Location
    way out west
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    My folks are in their 80's and I give them the Fruit of the Month lite club from Harry and David. They love it because they don't have to shop for fruit, and it comes every month and their quality is excellent.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
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    Everyone else beat me to it: Food! Things that are treats, that can be shared with friends or not. Adding DVDs, crossword puzzle books, board games or playing cards or watever little extra you think might appeal to them helps fill out a nice gift basket. I always put something like that together for my in-laws before they passed and they really liked it.

    My mother makes it easy - she lets me know exactly what to tell my siblings to get her should they ask. This year's list includes coffee mugs and a new blanket for her bed. She's 82 and I think she'd like an afghan, ezduzit.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 29, 2006
    Location
    Evansville, Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    OP--go with a food gift, something they might have enjoyed as younger folk. Careful with hard to chew, super crunchy (teeth issues) or super spicy, unless they are used to that.
    That's what I would probably do. I make currant jelly, and when I gift it to one of my older friends, she always reminisces about a neighbor she had when she was a child who used to share currants with her family.
    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
    -Edward Hoagland



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2000
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    Full time in Delhi, NY!
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    Music from their youth! Get something the caretaker can play (like an nano or other mp3 player) and load it with music from the 50's. If BF knows if they have a record player see if you can get vinyl records. Very often music will bring them back to that time.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


    1 members found this post helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2004
    Location
    California
    Posts
    479

    Default

    How about a fresh fruit basket from Harry & Davids?
    How about a small inside dog that is already house-broke & friendly to adults?
    How about a happy inside plant, like a violet or spiderplant, that could set on a living room table?

    My folds are 80 and 83, and yes, it is difficult to buy for them also...good luck with whatever you decide.
    J
    ‎"Luck favors the prepared, darling." ~~ Edna Mode



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    Music from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Maybe an easy to work CD player with several cd's. People with dementia, often have difficulty with recent memory, but old memories are still there. And listing to popular old songs from the era when they were dating/marrying age can bring back some wonderful memories.

    Along that line, get some of the old movie favorites..".Picnic", Same Time next yr, Casablanca, John wayne movies, old war movies like "Bridge over the River Quai", etc...

    Binoculars to bird watch.../spy on neighbors.

    Massaging slippers/chair back massager/electric blanket/large button remote for TV.
    Hillary Clinton - proven liar, cheat, traitor and defender of rapists! Anyone but Hillary 2016! https://www.facebook.com/AntiHillary2016



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2011
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jingo-ace View Post
    How about a small inside dog that is already house-broke & friendly to adults?
    Please, PLEASE do NOT purchase pets as Xmas presents!!! The only time that's an even REMOTELY sensible thing to do is if it's been researched & carefully planned for in advance, & the recipient fully knows about it & wants it. Even then it's advised that the pet not arrive home until after all the holiday hullabaloo is over.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Especially for old people. They get and dump pets like crazy.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



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