Category Archives: Holiday Shopping

LifeFone’s Caregiver Holiday Gift Ideas

gift boxWhether you’re a caregiver for your aging relatives or if you’re an adult in the Sandwich Generation who is taking care of both aging relatives and a growing family, chances are probably realize you don’t take good enough care of yourself.

If your family is asking, “What can we get you for the holidays?” here are some ideas that will bring a smile to your face:

  •  Pay for a three, six, nine, or twelve-month house cleaning service. This gift can provide a once monthly housekeeping and deep cleaning that will keep your house neat and tidy and ease your thoughts on your own housekeeping when you’re in the midst of cleaning your loved ones’ home.
  • A gift of a LifeFone Medical Alert System for your aging relatives is a gift of peace of mind for the caregiver. With this system, you can walk away from your duties as caregiver for a few hours or even a weekend and have the peace of mind that your loved ones will not be “alone” as long as they have, and wear, their personal medical device.
  • Do you like to keep in touch with relatives, but sometimes forget the birthday and anniversary dates? If you have friends and relatives to keep in touch with, it also becomes a task you add to your to-do list, but may not get around to – especially if it involves having to go to the store to buy cards. A subscription to a service that will automatically send cards to loved ones lets you keep in touch without the stress of trying to remember every date. Check out: americangreetings.com or sendoutcards.com. This is a handy time-saver that allows your family to keep in touch.
  • Do you have a lot of paperwork and clutter that you need to keep track of, both for yourself and your aging parents now? If that’s the case, you may want to request some organizational tools or bins to help tame the clutter. There are myriad options, ranging from desk organizers, purse organizers, craft bins, plastic totes to store off-season decorations or clothing. If you spend a lot of time in the car driving from your home to theirs, a car organizer might be ideal, especially if it is stocked with items you might need in the event of an emergency or a car breakdown. Check out http://www.thirtyonegifts.com/catalog/utility/ or check Amazon.com and search for car or desk organizers.
  • When you finally make it home after a long day, you might want to grab a glass of wine or a cup of hot tea and indulge and relax. Ask for some essential oils that can lead to a more relaxed state. Relax in a bathtub with some luxurious bubble bath and even a big, fluffy bath sheet or two. Add in some candles and high end lotions and viola you can be whisked away!
  • To truly add to an “indulgence” gift purchase ask for a gift certificate for a massage. Hint: In some parts of the country, you may be able to find a masseuse who will come to your home so you can enjoy that indulgence without having to leave the comfort of the house.
  • Gift certificates to restaurants or a movie theater could be something you’d crave, especially if you never think you have the money to indulge. Chances are, you love nights out on the town, but won’t spend the money without prompting – this thoughtful gift means you have no excuse! Look for certificates from sites like these where the caregiver can choose his or her favorite restaurant.com or http://www.giftcertificates.com.
  • Spend time with family members and gather up photos from the past and put together a photo album or scrap book. You can even do this on a digital photo frame. With that you scan in photos or documents or even tickets from events they’ve enjoyed and they run in rotation on the photo frame.

Never forget, though, that one of the best gifts you can offer your family is the gift of your time, love and the attention you pay to them when they want to share their memories. Those are times and gifts that you simply can’t put a price tag to.

Money Saving Tips For Holiday Meal Planning

The holidays are a time for family get-togethers and those times together typically mean you will be gathering for a meal. Regardless of whether you’re hosting a holiday meal or a birthday or any other gathering of friends and family, with pre-planning you can offer a holiday meal on a budget.

Here are our tips for doing just that:

  • Start early. If you plan ahead for upcoming gatherings you can put together a menu and start buying ingredients a little at a time. Chances are any meal you’re planning will consist of non-perishable items that can be purchased and stored. Check the supermarket ads and purchase items that are on sale. Don’t forget to check your pantry or freezer to make certain you don’t have items already there that could be a suitable substitute and then readjust your menu.
  • Did you know that frozen turkey or smoked ham cal last for up to nine months in your freezer? Because of this it makes sense to purchase these items when they’re on sale and that usually happens around the holidays. Stock up on canned goods when they go on sale, check the expiration dates and chances are you can keep them in reserve for your holiday gathering.
  • Check the produce section and buy in-season fruits and veggies to act as side dishes or even main course offerings.
  • You don’t have to be an extreme couponer to take advantage of coupon savings. Scour the Sunday newspapers and clip coupons for items you can use in your meal planning. Don’t forget to go online to check for in store coupons as well. Take advantage of store loyalty buying programs as they offer lower prices, money off other items, or in some cases the ability to save up the points and use them toward specific food items.
  • While it’s tempting to purchase extreme amounts of food, unless you are a) certain it will all get eaten or b) you will send plates of food home with the guests, buy what you think you will need for the meal so you don’t have to waste food.
  • Are there substitutions you can make for some of the ingredients you’re going to use in the meal? Don’t forget to check store brands and compare the prices and ingredients to that of the national brands, the money saving differences can be large while the difference in taste barely noticeable.

Start making that holiday menu now and save money on the meal planning budget.

Great Gift Ideas For The Seniors In Your Life

What do you buy for the “person who has everything”? That is the question faced by many holiday shoppers, whether it’s for Christmas or birthdays. There comes a point in most people’s lives when they either want for nothing or if they see something they want, they will purchase it themselves. If you are at that stage with your aging parents, here are some ideas from LifeFone that will surely be appreciated. gift box

  • Make phone calls a priority. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, phone calls get forgotten and pushed off to “another day.” Make it a habit of calling your relatives at least twice a week. Set aside a time when you can talk with them for at least 15 minutes. Touch base. Ask if they need anything. Just have a general conversation, even if it’s about the weather. This is truly a gift where it is the thought that counts.
  • If your relatives are tech savvy, make one of your weekly touch-base conversations via web cam or a web chat. There are many computers on the market that are easy to use and if you purchase one, set it up and have it ready at the touch of a button to accept a web call, that is a great way to not only touch base but to see each other face-to-face and that’s ideal for long-distance grandparents.
  • Offer a gift of housekeeping. Your parents may, at first, be adverse to a “stranger” coming into the home but if you can arrange for them to meet the potential cleaning crew prior to the first visit it may make them more comfortable. Offering to have their house cleaned weekly or even every other week will make them feel pampered and will also alleviate their desire to clean every nook and cranny even when it involves climbing on a step stool or crouching into a corner.
  • If your relatives are social and mobile, offer them a class at one of the local senior centers. Many centers offer adult ed classes aimed at seniors. Check with the local college campus as they also offer many senior-centered courses.
  • Does mom or dad have a hard time hearing the television and it has to be turned up at high volumes in order for them to hear, but those volumes are too loud for conversation or comfort of others? Look for wireless headphones; that will alleviate the problems of a too loud television for others in the house.
  • Put together a family history or a family tree or even write a family memoir. Talk with your parents and their siblings and pull out some family childhood memories. Look for photographs and put together a printed book. There are many stores and online sites that make this a very easy project.
  • If mom or dad are having any health issues or mobility issues, consider gifting them with a home medical alert system. For those times when you can’t be there, they wear a personal medical device and can have immediate access to emergency medical personnel in the event of a health crisis or a fall.
  • Does the house need a bit of a facelift? Ask mom or dad if they’d like to have their bedroom or living room spruced up with a new coat of paint or wallpaper as a holiday gift. If they spend a lot of time at home, this might be a very welcome change.
  • Spend some time age-proofing the house by installing grab bars in the shower, making sure all carpets and rugs are non skid, install motion sensitive lighting in hallways, bedrooms or bathrooms so they aren’t fumbling around in the dark.
  • Offer to cook a few meals a week for them or sign them up for a meals on wheels or other food delivery service which will alleviate the burden of them having to cook for themselves.

 

Talk to your aging relatives and see if you can pick up on any clues for items they may want but wouldn’t get for themselves and offer that as a gift to them. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated at the holidays and year ‘round.

Personal Safety Tips For Holiday Shopping Excursions

When it comes to the holidays, one of the greatest pleasures for many individuals is the time spent with friends and family on a shopping excursion. Even if the malls are crowded, spending time together and enjoying each others’ company is a great way to bond and gather up the necessary items for your holiday gatherings.

christmas shop

When you’re shopping – especially at this time of year – there are steps you need to take to assure your safety and security and here are a few of our favorite tips:

  • Always stay alert to your surroundings. Don’t walk alone into dark or empty parking garages.
  • Hold tightly to your purse and your belongings.
  • Don’t leave your purchases unattended.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash. At this time of year it’s best to use a debit card rather than carrying cash. If a debit or credit card is lost or stolen it is easily replaced whereas stolen cash is simply gone.
  • Shop with friends and family because there is proven safety in numbers.
  • Be aware that pickpockets are busy this time of year and being in a crowded area makes you an easy target. Carry your purchases close to your body, keep your purse in front of you and zippered closed, carry your wallet in a front pocket rather than a back pocket.
  • Make frequent trips to your car and stash the purchases out of sight. If you feel you’ve been followed or that there is too much traffic around your car and a lot of people have seen you put your purchases there, move your car to another location and use another entrance to get back into the store.
  • If you feel nervous going to your car alone, seek out mall security and ask for assistance.

Holiday shopping can be fun and almost stress-free when shared with family and friends. Make a day of it and plan to spend the day rather than thinking you have to rush.