It's not hard to buy gifts for an 83-year-old woman. Older people are not usually difficult to buy for because they are usually grateful for your thoughtfulness. Keep any disabilities in mind when you make your purchases -- you shouldn't buy a book for someone who can't see well, or buy note paper for someone who is crippled with arthritis. Just try to think "outside the box" and you can come up with some ideas to make her happy.
The best gift for older people is the gift of your time. An 83-year-old woman may love to go to a tea room. They are becoming more popular now, and they are often reminiscent of times gone by when people dressed up and went out for a nice afternoon of tea and cakes. Or take her to lunch or dinner. Give her a gift token to a place she likes, or make a gift token yourself from card stock paper stating she can pick the time and place for lunch or dinner. It's good for an older person's moral to get out of the house and spending time with friends and family is their favourite thing to do.
Make coupons for things you can do around her house. She would probably appreciate help with housework, yard work or odd jobs. It's usually difficult for ageing women to stoop, bend and do the jobs they once did around the house. You could make a coupon book for five house cleanings, five lawn cuttings and gutter cleaning in the fall. While you're there doing the work, sit and talk for a few minutes. The elderly are often lonely and enjoy telling stories. If she is a relative, you can get valuable information about your genealogy from her stories of her family.
Consider giving your senior citizen a gift card to a service she could use such as a manicure, pedicure, hair cut or house cleaning. Often seniors are on a strict budget and will appreciate gift tokens to their local grocery store. Another possibility is a gift card for a big box store. Usually an older woman has enough "stuff," but she might like clothes, DVDs of old shows she can watch, CDs of old music, books or an electric blanket. Take her shopping to pick something out after you give her the gift token or gift card.
Make a gift basket of goodies. Older women usually enjoy sweets such as candy, cookies and dried fruit. Avoid nuts since they are hard on the teeth. You could include cheese, crackers and fresh fruit. Alternately, you could make a floral arrangement. Another idea is to have an arrangement of "edible flowers," fruits arranged in the shape of flowers and made into centrepieces.
Older people usually enjoy reading. Try to get books and magazines with larger print, if possible. "Readers Digest" and a magazine called "Reminisce" are favourites with older women. Purchasing an electronic reading device that she can buy inexpensive books to read on is a good option because she can make the print large enough to read.
If her eyesight is not good enough to read, you could purchase her a CD player and books on CD. She might enjoy listening to books as a change from watching TV.
Purchase her a bird feeder and bird seed, and perhaps a bird book to help her identify breeds of birds. You could also buy binoculars to go with it. She may enjoy watching birds and looking them up in her book to see what kinds they are. You could include a journal for her to write down when she saw different varieties of birds.
Senior citizens love to reminisce. Make a pretty photo album with older pictures that you might be able to collect from her family members and more recent pictures of her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and any other children in the family. Have a family portrait taken with several generations, if possible. Try to get a photo of her with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. This would be a lasting memory she would treasure and something the younger generation can look back on to remember her in later years.