Any person still here on Earth after 90 years, deserves a special birthday gift--or at least something that is both useful and beautiful. Birthday gift ideas for a 90 year old woman range from very simple, functional gifts to more decorative items, and many of them are easy to make yourself, lending an extra special something to the gift.
Many older people are often cold due to decreased circulatory functioning and so gifts that will help keep an older woman warm are usually much appreciated. Blankets with sleeves are an increasingly popular gift choice. These are fairly easy to make yourself if you prefer a more unique gift. Making it yourself allows you to choose the fleece thickness and pattern. Many 90 year old women also use wheelchairs, so lap quilts or lap afghans are also a good option. If the woman is bedridden, a full-size quilt in a pretty, colourful pattern to spread over her bed can brighten up her room and bring a little cheer.
Of course, cardigan sweaters or thin fleece cardigans will most likely get a lot of use to help keep older women warm, as will shawls. And while you may not hear of them much anymore, a muff is easy to make and will help to keep hands warm, or you can find soft hand warmers that will fit in a sweater pocket. If the older woman is a family member or someone you know well, consider a warm nightgown or pyjamas. If you don't know her well, gift a pair of thick socks or comfy slippers--but make sure they have non-skid soles to prevent falls.
Consider giving a potted plant, particularly one that will bloom often like a begonia. Even if the older woman lives in a nursing home plants are always welcome and the staff will help to keep the plant watered. Hanging plants are also popular, especially if they are in a decorative hanger. Or you could give a nice bouquet of flowers in a decorative vase, and then have flowers delivered every month or two.
A unique gift would be to find old newspapers or magazines from the day the woman was born and collect these in a scrapbook. Or make a personalised decorative scrapbook with photos from the woman's life--chronicling her life from childhood to the present--and be sure to include a page for a picture taken on her 90th birthday.
Books in the woman's interest areas, special teas and a beautiful teapot, or gift basket centred around a favourite hobby--either past or present--can also be very special. A person's favourite music will always lift their mood and make the world a little brighter for them, but if you gift the older woman a CD then make sure she has something to play it on.
Many older women live in nursing homes or retirement communities. They may have limited ability to leave their homes, particularly if they live alone. Many are on very small fixed incomes. Favourite candies or treats, special soaps and lotions or any other luxury that they may not normally be able to get makes a great gift.
Along the same lines, you could make a "coupon" book for special things, like "lunch with granddaughter Katie." Remember to be sensitive to the older woman's dignity and instead of phrasing things like "one trip to the grocery store," consider "afternoon grocery store shopping with daughter Ann." This lends a more personal feel to things and highlights the fact that it is the time spent that is most important.
- "The Language of Gifts: The Essential Guide to Meaningful Gift Giving"; Deanna Washington; 2002.