Every year around this time, we’re all searching for the perfect gift to give that special senior in our life. Chances are they don’t need much. Material things mean very little to older people. So what do we give? We can all give the sweetest of gifts — our time!
If I could go back in time, I’d spend more effort to see my grandparents as much as I could. I’d call them more often and ask them about their lives, about when they were young. I’d listen more intensely and treasure each moment I had with them. I’d breathe in the air of my granny’s kitchen so I can remember it even better than I do today. I can’t do that. I am fortunate to still have my parents with me so I’m determined not to let this time slip away into regrets.
Finding Time for the Gift of Time
Most of us who are caregivers are stretched to the limit. We do what we can to make sure our older loved ones have all they need. What we forget is to take the time to sit and listen. They need that as much as food and air. They want to know their life made a difference to you. They want to feel appreciated for all they have done. Time is something they feel slipping away. They need to know now just how much you love them.
We all need to encourage our other family members to come and visit as often as they can. Tell them how important they are to you and their older family member. We’re all busy. It’s hard to find the time for things like that. But taking the time to spend with your loved one will never be regretted.
After the holidays is a low time for many seniors. They have had the chance to see loved ones they normally don’t get to see. After the tree is down and all the presents put away, it’s a relief to many a caregiver. It’s time to get back to normal and breathe again. It probably doesn’t feel that way to your older loved one. Winter sets in and people stop coming by to visit. Remember they need you all through the year. None of us has a guarantee that we’ll see another holiday season to enjoy our lives and our loved ones.
When I was young, I wrote letters to my grandparents and they wrote me back. Even if your children or grandchildren live far away, encourage them to write a letter to granny or great-grandpa. Tell them to send photos and lots of X’s and O’s. Hand them the phone and let them call. It will brighten the day of that dear senior and she’ll brag to anyone they see.
Not all of us have a lot of money to spend, but each and every one of us have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. How we use that time is up to us. What better way could we spend it than to reach out to someone who will truly appreciate it.