Gift Ideas for Grandpa

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By the time a man reaches his senior citizen years, he may well be the "man who has everything." This can make purchasing a gift for Grandpa especially challenging. But a little insight into your relative's lifestyle and a quick look at your own budget should help you figure out a gift that will be truly appreciated.

Gifts for Grandpa
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If Grandpa is a CNN fan, consider giving him a subscription to a weekly news magazine. If he’s a collector, choose the magazine that matches his interest. Buy one copy of the magazine and wrap it up with a notice of the continuing subscription and a pair of “cheater” drugstore reading glasses. Or choose a few lively audio books in a genre he’ll enjoy and present them with a new personal CD player.

Reading Material
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For someone with a less active lifestyle, new comfort items can be a treat. Consider a plush, absorbent bathrobe or a pair of suede slip-on shoes that can be worn when he steps outside to get the mail.

Comfort Items
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If you’re handy, install sturdy “grab bars” near the tub, toilet or even sofa. Replace loose carpets with low-pile, glued-down carpet tiles. Install convenient light fixtures and remote-controlled window blinds.

Household Safety Items
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Create a photo album or scrapbook. A few emails to relatives might encourage them to contribute. Label the photos with names and dates, if possible. Leave space for a photo of the two of you together. If Grandpa is still active and computer savvy, a new digital camera with a vision-friendly 2-inch monitor screen can be a wonderful gift.

Photo album
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Gift certificates take the guesswork out of gift shopping, but many elderly people have trouble getting to a store. Consider a gift certificate from a major catalog outlet, or from a novelty or specialty outlet. Present the catalog and certificate together.

Catalog Shopping
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Your own time might be the most treasured thing you can give, especially if he lives in a nursing home. Spend a whole afternoon with Grandpa, and bring supplies: snacks, photos, and books, magazines or CDs you’d like to share. Take him on a daylong ride in the country (or even on a cruise, if budget allows). A 15-minute weekly visit to drop off a snack and give him a hug can mean the world to someone who lives in a nursing home.

Spend quality time
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Some Grandpas would really appreciate: Your cell phone and help calling a distant relative for a 15-minute chat. Use of your laptop on visits, with instructions on how to send and receive emails. A selection of birthday and condolence cards with postage stamps. A drive to the cemetery to put flowers on a loved one’s grave. A ride to participate in Veteran’s Day activities, or to see the July Fourth fireworks. A voice-activated digital tape recorder and encouragement to record some of his stories. A visit to the eye doctor and return trip to pick up new eyeglasses. Memory foam pillows and chair pads, especially if he uses a wheelchair.

Unusual Ideas
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