Each month, we personalize a curated experience that includes 6-8 items along the themes listed below. Together, we can create and enhance these sentiments for your loved ones.
Humans are social creatures by nature. We need interaction, socialization, love, and connection to feel alive. And when we don’t have it, our will to do most anything is deflated. So how do we incorporate this into our box? Easy!! We take whatever facebook photos, selfies, snaps, instas, or whatever you want to send over, and we actually share it with your elder in a vehicle that resonates with them (ie. not on a screen). For the most part, those older than 70 years old aren’t checking in on their multi-generational families and friends via 15+ different social channels. They are old school. If you can manage to take 5 different photos of your brunch to then text to 10 different friends, then you can probably find the time to choose a handful of recent photos for us to include in a box to your loved one ;) Icing on the cake? Email us a short message to include (or give us permission to write one on your behalf), and we will make sure they get a handwritten note too! In a world where younger generations are finding it faster, easier, and more seamless to connect, we must remember to include and reach out to those who are not in this network.
At any age, we all benefit from laughter, joy, and surprise. Clinical studies have even demonstrated that creating levity in an environment that can be stressful or depressing is as impactful in improving the general state of those in that environment as is taking medication. We have all sorts of fun items for this category ranging from joke books to silly games to funny figurines or comics.
No one wants to feel forgotten or unimportant. And so many of our elders are left alone because they are recovering or have slowed down and we can't or don't always give them the patience they deserve. But after a lifetime of being important and/or doing important things personally and professionally, later life can be a nearly impossible time of transition, leaving an elder feeling isolated or forgotten. The very act of receiving this personalized gift creates a tremendous amount of “feel good”/ “we remember you because you are important to us”. But also, we have a host of other ideas and items that we plan to deploy to connect with elders in this way, but we are going to let those items be a surprise for both them and you. ;)
Change can be a great thing, but for many of our elders, change can oftentimes be associated with difficult challenges: whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, our elders are experiencing changing bodies, relationships, environments, memories, priorities, and perspectives. With so much change can come a feeling of uncertainty. Adding on top of this, many elders will have some neurochemical changes in their brains that make them even more likely to feel insecure or scared. Thus, we aim to provide them different items that inspire nostalgia, connect them with a higher power, or create comfort to ensure them that despite all of these changes, they can still experience the peace we all so desperately need to feel. Items related to this category include creature comfort items (socks, lotions, scarves), words of inspiration (prayer cards or nondenominational, inspirational cards), or nostalgic stories or photos (their own personal photos or stories provided by the family member, or newspapers or stories from the times when they were younger).
All too often, aging can be likened to a decaying process, and no matter how positive our attitude is, the aging mind can sometimes focus on things that can't be done anymore as opposed to things we can still go after. We are compassionate towards our elders who might have learned faster or grown stronger more easily many years ago. That can be very frustrating or discouraging for them, making them even less inclined to continue to move forward and maintain optimism. We handle this subject with sensitivity but also with a little bit of tough love. We include items and exercises that are geared towards gratitude; let’s be grateful for where we are, where we’ve been, and what we have. From there, let’s get real with stories of inspiration from those who chose to continue to grow, from those who chose to stay optimistic and grateful. From our experience, we’ve recognized that this combination of compassion and tough love can inspire a youthful burst of energy in even the most downtrodden elder. Items in this category range from stories of inspiration as well as books of poems, little known facts, hobbies, and other items.
A nearly universal issue amongst elders is a growing feeling of being a burden to those around them. Our elders are people who have lived a lifetime as leaders, teachers, parents, grandparents, champions, adventurers, etc. And now, because of physiological or mental wearing, their independence is waning and their dependence is skyrocketing. Inconveniencing family or asking for help can be the greatest source of stress for some elders. And “because we love them” or because of their limitations, we gladly make it work and support them as best as we can. BUT, what is often missing is an opportunity for our elders to contribute or give back in some way. They may not have the forethought or the innovation to recognize different opportunities to contribute to their community or their families, especially since the ways that they historically contributed may not be accessible. But there are plenty of ways, and this is a major component of each of our boxes. We include things as small as “here’s a blank thank you note; write a thank you to your favorite nurse”, or “we gave you two pair socks, one for you and one to give away. Find someone in your community to surprise with a fun gift much like you were surprised today”. This has honestly been one of the favorite components of our boxes, and we think you will love hearing and seeing more about them when next month’s box goes out.