Are you running out of ideas for care packages and gifts for your loved ones this holiday season?
While most are happy with their retirement, some seniors may feel isolated or lonesome during these times.
And even if the restrictions are slowly being lifted, some still feel uneasy about hosting parties and events.
Care packages are a simple way for us to reach out and make them feel loved.
So here are some great ideas for care packages to give your aging parents.
Did you know that a care package is a registered trademark?
Care packages started as aid distributed by CARE in 1946.
CARE International is an organization created to support people affected by World War II. As an international NGO, it works to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice.
At the time, about 2.8 Million US Army surplus was stockpiled to prepare for Japan’s invasion. Instead of it going to waste, CARE’s leaders worked together with the US Army to send these food parcels to Europe.
Americans were given a chance to buy the parcels for $10 apiece and send them to family and friends in Europe.
President Harry Truman encouraged Americans to support the cause. The movement eventually saved the lives of millions in Europe.
CARE International also became a missing person service during the chaos after the war. Even if the sender didn’t know the address of the recipient, volunteers would go out of their way to find them.
Eventually, care packages started to include baby food, textiles, and other essentials.
As time went by, care packages have been adopted widely as a term used for parcels sent for relief or comfort.
Parents would include ready-to-eat food packages, toiletries, and other necessities for their kids going to college.
Companies would send care packages to employees as a token of appreciation.
Care packages are even used as housewarming gifts for newlyweds packed with housekeeping supplies.
While the options are endless, it can be tough to think about what to include in your care package.
The key is to have a good understanding of who you are gifting it to.
It’s important to take note of your aging parent’s health in choosing what to add to your parcel.
Most might choose food items like sweets and ready-to-eat options. But take note that these might cause more harm than good for our seniors.
Here are some unique finds and gifts that you can use for ideas for Christmas care packages.
Contrary to popular belief, gadgets need not be expensive to perform well. It also doesn’t need to be popular brands.
The great thing is, there are tons of gadgets available on Amazon and other online stores. And each gadget also serves a practical purpose to help seniors cope better.
The Tile Mate is a versatile tracker that can help your aging parents find important items they tend to misplace.
It’s easy to use and keeps track of items up to 250 feet away. It’s also water-resistant and works well with Apple and Android devices.
You can even use voice-assisted gadgets like Alexa, Google, and Siri to track and find it.
All you need to do is attach the tile to things like keys, phones, wallets, and bags and you’re good to go.
It’s so practical you might want to get one for yourself too.
Too many pills to take? The Medminder Medication Dispenser makes it much easier for your aging parents to get reminders for their meds.
It gives them the right meds at the right amount and the right time.
The Medminder also gives visual, audio, and phone alerts as reminders. And in case they miss a dose, you will also be notified about it.
Medminder comes with an advanced locking functionality that opens only one compartment at a time. It also has emergency medical alerts at no additional cost.
You can even record voice messages and personal images with their virtual photo album.
The set also comes with a bracelet and emergency call button for a quick-response emergency call center.
Do your aging parents love the movies? Then it would be a great time to add their favorites and prepare a movie night basket for Christmas eve.
You can add in a cozy blanket to curl up in for the movie. You could also throw in neck pillows for added comfort. And don’t forget the socks to warm up your feet.
Look for sugar-free treats that seniors can enjoy. Go for dried fruit and nut mixes or order sugar-free desserts they can enjoy.
If you’re coming over with the kids, then add treats that everyone will love. Add in cookies, chips, crackers, chocolate bars, and other healthier options for the seniors.
You can even add a mini-popcorn machine for that movie house feel.
Here are some movie night basket ideas you can find inspiration from.
It’s good to know that states are lifting restrictions brought by the pandemic. Despite this, not everyone feels comfortable about hosting parties or traveling.
It’s understandable to prioritize health and safety. And care packages are a great way for us to remind our aging parents that they are missed and loved.
So here are some of the best ideas for long-distance care packages for our loved ones.
Everyone craves a taste of home, especially for the elderly.
Food brings about memories and a sense of belongingness. Unfortunately, not all of our loved ones are still able to cook.
That’s why it’s also a good idea to send family favorites along with your care package.
It doesn’t always have to be gourmet or expensive. What matters is the nostalgia that comes along with it.
Nowadays there are lots of options to go about this. Improvements in packaging and food safety now make it possible to send delicacies without spoilage.
Online stores and specialty restaurants now prepare canned, bottled, and frozen delights.
Not a good cook? You can contact local stores to prepare and deliver it for you to save on costs.
All you need to know is where to find the treats that your elders loved.
Check out Snakk, a subscription box filled with authentic snacks you can’t find outside of Japan.
These boxes were carefully curated by a team of foodies from all over the Japanese region.
Most are even handcrafted by artisans in the country. And each box is carefully wrapped in a traditional Furoshiki wrapping cloth.
Do your parents love French food? Then try out Bon Appetit Box.
Each box contains gourmet delicacies straight from France. It contains a combination of sweet and savory treats inspired by cozy French winters.
Some of the boxes are inspired by destinations such as Provence and Paris. You can even choose from single-serve boxes to the Chef box that includes favorites from all over France.
Relaxation kits are the perfect gift packs for seniors who love pampering and self-care.
Most of the time, the elderly put the needs of others before theirs. And relaxation kits are a great way to remind them to sit back and relax.
So what are some good ideas for care packages for relaxation?
You can start with essential oils and a diffuser.
Here’s a disclaimer. I don’t have affiliate links for these brands. I just like the thought of simple, ready-made kits that make it easy to choose.
You can choose from a wide range of products they have. These can include body oils and other beauty products that your moms will love.
If you don’t know which one to pick, ask your wife or girlfriend for help.
You can also get lumbar pillows or therapeutic herbal pillows that they can heat in the microwave or chill in the freezer.
Add a mini-massager and you’re set up for a relaxing home spa experience.
What if your loved ones are in a nursing home? What are the best care package options you can give them?
The lack of space is a common challenge for seniors living in nursing homes. Most of them also have physical health issues and other concerns.
Because of this, you need to consider gift ideas that are practical to use. It is also best to give items that help them in their daily needs.
Check out these care package ideas for seniors in homes and assisted living.
Are your loved ones fond of the arts? Do they love to write stories?
Then a creatives kit would be a great gift to give.
Pack your baskets with art supplies like paint sets, brush holders, brush cleaners, and pens.
You can even add journals, notebooks, drawing pads, and other sketching materials.
There are also add non-conventional items such as coloring books for adults or books about their favorite artists.
Step it up a notch with art-inspired jewelry like this color wheel necklace.
Are they more of the journaling type?
Give them a journaling kit. Add in colorful pens with different textures, stickers, and other items they can add.
You can even include therapy doughs that they can use to shape and play with.
Uncommon Goods have this therapy dough that’s infused with essential oils to keep them calm and relaxed while playing.
Do your aging parents have green thumbs? Then an easy garden kit would be perfect for them.
Succulents are perfect for seniors to take care of even in nursing homes.
They tolerate dry indoor air well. Most of them are strong and green. And they also create beautiful blooms in bright colors.
Succulents are also great for cleaning up the air and improving air quality. They’re known for pulling contaminants and keeping air humidity to optimal levels.
And best of all, they don’t take up much space.
You can put them on window sills, bookshelves, and don’t require much attention.
Taking care of plants is also great for their well-being. Adding them to the room makes it more alive and homely.
It also helps them cope with loneliness especially during the holiday season.
Prepare comforting items in your care package for your loved ones in homes.
Go for fluffy bathrobes and non-skid socks or slippers to prevent them from slipping or falling.
Add in fidget quilts for seniors who are suffering from dementia. It can provide them with a helpful distraction and calm them down as well.
Bath and body items such as lotions, body sprays, and lip balm are always a great idea.
Towels and blankets are also a great addition.
Don’t forget to add homemade comfort food and snacks to nibble on.
Care packages are a great way to remind our elderly of how much we care for them.
So make sure you’re taking extra effort for them to feel it even if we’re miles away.
Take note of any dietary restrictions before adding any food items to your care box. Make sure nothing in the pack would spike up their sugar or blood pressure levels.
Don’t buy anything too expensive or bulky.
And also check with the nursing home for rules regarding packages. There’s been a lot of changes because of the pandemic. So take note of any items that they might not allow.
It’s also recommended to use the proper packaging for breakable stuff like glass. Or better yet, get ones that are not too fragile.
Make it look nice. If you’re not much of a designer, ask your wife or kids to help you with arranging it.
And most of all, make it count.
Ask family members to write notes and letters and put them in an envelope. Use bright colored envelopes so your elders can see them immediately.
If you’re buying a care package or a curated box from a subscription store, make sure to add even a simple note.
What we want is for them to feel how much they are valued and missed.
The holidays can be a lonely season for our elderly especially if they’re far away from their families.
While these ideas for care packages might help them feel the love, nothing beats the gift of presence.
If it’s still not possible to drop by or visit, make sure to call and check on them. I’m sure they’ll be delighted to hear from you.
What other ideas for care packages do you have? Share them with us below.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!