June 09, 2014

Reader Question: Giving Gifts to Elderly Relatives

When I speak to groups, I often tell them to ask for gifts that won’t create clutter. Older adults, who have spent their lives accumulating and are now looking at downsizing, especially don’t need more stuff.

A reader recently asked how to avoid offending her children, who want to buy her gifts, although she has told them she doesn’t need anything.

I think the best way to handle this is to tell them what you dowant. Would you like theatre tickets or a museum membership? How about a cleaning service? Or, consider doing what a writer to Hints from Heloise did:

“I sent my children and their families an invitation to a birthday party. On the invitation I included a “Birthday Wish List” that started with “Help With” and listed chores that I could use help with doing.” After the family members pitched in, they enjoyed a meal and birthday cake.

If family members don’t live close by, you still could create a list of things that need to be done and they could pay for someone else to do the work instead of buying you another trinket you don’t need.

What do you think of this kind of gift for an older adult or someone who has everything?

Organized by Marcie TM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don't need and finding room for what you value
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