You hear it every year. “There’s nothing I need. Don’t get me a gift.” You’ve watched your parents get you and your children presents for decades. You like the feeling it gives you. How do you shop for a parent who claims to have everything?
Make Something From the Heart
Purchase some foil casserole pans and make dinners that fit in your parents’ freezer. Make the meals and add a freezer label that has the item’s name and cooking instructions. On days they don’t want to cook, they can pull out the desired casserole and follow your instructions for reheating it.
If your parents have a slow cooker, you can use freezer bags to create dishes they just need to dump into the slow cooker in the morning. Soups, chili, and stews are perfect choices for meals that freeze well in Ziploc bags. Given basic instructions on whether to cook it on high or low and for how long.
You can also make soup mixes in quart jars. Your parents only have to add water and the mix from the jar. Again, make sure the cooking instructions are easy to follow. Dried beans and freeze-dried vegetables are perfect additions to add nutrients to these soup mixes.
Purchase Gift Cards
Get gift cards to grocery stores, your parents’ favorite restaurants, or movie streaming services like Google Play, Vudu, or Amazon Prime Video. All of this helps them save money and feel better about splurging on a night out or grocery item they usually avoid.
They’ll be less likely to avoid going out if they have extra money for meals available. They’ll also enjoy slashing their grocery bills during months when heating bills get added to the monthly expenses. When there is a movie they want to see, they have the money available.
Pay for Caregiver Services
One reason older adults give as a reason to avoid hiring caregivers is the cost. Pay for a few hours of elder care each week for a month or two. It gives you peace of mind that your parents have help without household chores, transportation, and meals. Your parents enjoy friendship and assistance with more challenging tasks.
If your parents find they like having companionship and help around the house, sit down and help them budget regular caregiver visits. Call the agency to discuss caregiver prices. Many families find elder care is obtainable when a budget is planned. You may be surprised by how affordable elder care services are.