For holidays and other special events, most of us want to give thoughtful and useful gifts. And as we age, we often have more than we need and start to value different types of gifts.  Many family members find stashes of gifts after a loved one passes away—often unused.  So instead of another purchase, consider the Gift of Time

A gift of time is a gift of yourself.   Beyond the time you may already be spending to help out as a caregiver, gifts of time focus on spending time just being together.  This can range from doing a household project or making a batch of favorite cookies together, to watching a movie or visiting a local park together.  The key is to spend time together in a positive way.

One idea is to create coupons for specific activities or projects—or even for a specific amount of time. Some coupon ideas include organizing old family photos; cleaning out a kitchen drawer, pantry or closet; making a favorite recipe; and visiting an art museum or other cultural site.

To help you get started, Microsoft Office offers free templates

Giving the gift of time can reap rewards in multiple ways.  On one level your senior becomes engaged and small tasks can get done without seeming like work.  On another level, spending time together in an enjoyable and productive way is good for you and your senior.  These will often be special times you will remember for years to come.

An added bonus of the gift of time is that you may spend the same amount of time together that you would have spent thinking about and shopping for a gift!