Shopping for our elderly loved ones is not as hard as some of us may think, according to senior citizens at a local nursing home.
Knowing what to give senior citizens and soon-to-be seniors in Lycoming County can be an easy task and require little or no money.
"I cherish when somebody has spent time and effort to show their love. Not that they've spent a lot of money but if they've done something, such as a chore or a gift of their time," said Peggy Redka, 59.
Visits to elderly relatives is appreciated the most, according to senior citizens from the Williamsport Home, along Ravine Road.
Anything involving love and family is much appreciated, such as "casseroles, homemade food or fruit, or a trip to the hair salon," said Bette Folmar, 72.
One gift family members can give to their loved ones is to "offer rides and take us to doctor appointments," said Ervene Vitacolanna, 70.
"Cameras would be terrific, so you can take pictures of family and scenery," Muriel Hilkert, 82, said. "And a certificate to a grocery store."
Traveling is a treat for anyone, but considering one's physical condition is vital.
For example, Bob Folmar, 78, and his wife, Bette, received a vacation through the Rocky Mountains by train from their children for their 50th wedding anniversary.
Elsie Step, 85, however, does not have the physical endurance for such trips.
"Sometimes we aren't physically able to travel. It's too long of a day," Step said. "Some of us enjoy concerts. I like to go to the concerts at the Scottish Rite."
"Tickets to movies and going to the Community Arts Center are good gifts," Vitacolanna said. "They have an arts show coming up."
With limited space in nursing homes and depending on what you want to buy, Bette advised people to consider "the differences between people living outside and living inside (nursing homes)."
"Subscriptions to magazines or newspapers are good," Bette said.
Not only is considering a person's living space vital, but knowing how many people they live also with is necessary.
"One of the things to see is when someone gives a bouquet of flowers and candy and they can share. It's good for someone who lives alone," Bob said.
For people who are about to become senior citizens, "trips to the hospital or to the Lycoming County Office of Aging is a good gift," said Elsie Bross, 87, because "most of the people who are going to be senior citizens don't know what is available."
Many seniors agree that clothing is not a good gift.
"Clothes are usually the wrong color and size," Bette said.
"When I get a sweater, it's usually too shaggy," Bob said. "You can't turn around, and say 'why did you get me that?' because you know they put a lot of time in it. You can't say no," Bob said.
Two things to know when thinking about gift ideas for the elderly, according to the Williamsport Home seniors, are "health and weather."
"For example, if someone is blind, you can't give them a book," Bob and Bette said. "And if someone is in a wheelchair or the weather is bad, you can't travel as well."
According to Vitacolanna, some popular magazine subscriptions that seniors might enjoy are the Good Old Days and National Geographic.
All of the seniors recently interviewed at the Williamsport Home agree that family is No. 1, and that just having more visits is the best gift of all.