Image courtesy of Kampus Production on Pexels 

Introduction – Season’s Greetings 

The holidays are a special time for everyone. Winter starts to set in, bringing beautiful snowfall. Christmas trees begin to be set up, lights and ornaments decorating their visage.  Those who are a part of the Jewish faith participate in the week-long Hanukkah festivities. Heck, even Santa Claus himself prepares for his once-a-year trek across the globe, delivering gifts to those on his nice list.  

It’s funny that we mention gifts, because there’s nothing more important than choosing the right one for their recipients—seniors included! Now, we here at IVY Marketing have compiled a short list of presents that you can gift to your senior family members for the holidays, and we wish to share them with you.  

1 – Hanukkah: A Menorah 

The first Hanukkah gift that we’ll discuss is one that has major significance for the Jewish people: the menorah. 

As detailed by Dani Rhys of Symbol Sage, the menorah is a six-branched, seven lamped candle holder, and is one of Judaism’s most defining symbols. There are two types of menorahs: the Temple Menorah, the original, seven-lamped holder that was housed in the Temple of Jerusalem, and the Chanukkah / Hanukkah Menorah, which is a newer model created to be lit within family homes. Unlike its predecessor, this menorah is eight-branched, and contains nine lamps. The Chanukkah / Hanukkah Menorah is typically used during the titular holiday, with each lamp lit during each night. 

If your senior family member is Jewish and/or practices Judaism, a menorah would be a beautiful gift. Menorahs can come in all shapes and sizes, so it is possible to get—or perhaps even craft—one that “fits” your family member to a tee. (This gift can have a powerful emotional significance as well, if your senior has recently begun practicing Judaism or has been receiving menorahs since they were a child, as the website Jewish Senior Life points out.) 

2 – Christmas: A Medical Alert System 

In an article she wrote for Forbes Health, contributor Angela Haupt included a quote from healthy aging expert Anthony Cirillo; the quote essentially said that when looking for gifts for seniors, it’s best to be practical. So, the first Christmas gift that we’ll discuss is a medical alert system—which Haupt also suggested from her article. 

Sadly, seniors are at great risk of medical emergencies, whether they are at home or at a retirement community. Having an alert system on their person—such as the highly recommended Medical Guardian—can be instrumental in helping to prevent said emergencies from becoming worse. (Additionally, Haupt’s article has a contribution from Jonathan Marsh, the owner of a Floridian senior care company called Home Helpers of Bradenton. Marsh believes that these alert systems “gives [seniors] independence” in the sense that they are in the ones in control of calling for their own help, and not having to rely on other parties, such as caregivers.) 

3 – Hanukkah: A Kosher Gift Basket 

Not every Hanukkah gift has to have a significant religious and/or symbolic significance, but care and attention should be present in each one. Therefore, the second and last Hanukkah gift that we’ll discuss is one where those two concepts are exercised: a kosher gift basket. 

Much like with menorahs, gift baskets can be tailor-made to your senior family member, including a plethora of items such as photos, knick-knacks, miniature board games, et cetera! However, with Hanukkah comes the presence of kosher, which—for those unaware—is defined by the OU Kosher Certification Service as food made “as fit and proper as pertains to Jewish dietary law.” So, in the process of adding kosher foods to your senior’s gift basket, please be mindful of the dietary law, so that you don’t accidentally add the incorrect food to it.  

4 – Christmas: A Photo Album 

Now, while Anthony Cirillo feels that senior gifts should be practical—and they can be—there’s nothing wrong with opting for something more thoughtful. So, the second and last Christmas gift that we’ll discuss is a sentimental one: a photo album. 

Photo albums act as “emotional compendiums”: large—or even small—scrapbooks filled with memories that have been collected over the years. Whenever you find an old album that you haven’t seen in a long time, and you find yourself simply skimming through it, don’t you feel the emotions coming back to you? Times with friends and family suddenly flooding your brain? The nostalgia acting as a dopamine boost? Well, imagine being able to provide those same, wondrous feelings to your senior family member! 

You can add a whole assortment of photos to the album, ranging from baby pictures to wedding pictures. It would be a pleasant experience for your family member to see all of what they’ve achieved over their lives. 

These are just some suggestions that we here at Ivy Marketing have whipped up for you. You can try these, come up with your own—perhaps do both—or even use the gift ideas from the references list down below. Happy gift-hunting! 

The details present in this blog article were comprised of information gathered from the sources listed below. I want to give credit where credit is due. 


Elderly Man Holding a Gift Beside a Woman · Free Stock Photo ( 

Menorah: The Deep Meanings of the 7-Branched Lamp ( 

Hanukkah Gift Ideas – Jewish Senior Life of MI ( 

15 Best Gifts For Seniors For Healthy Living – Forbes Health 

4 Best Medical Alert Systems of 32 Tested (2023) ( 

Medical Alert Systems & Devices For Seniors | Medical Guardian 

Bradenton Senior Care | Caregiver Services ( 

What is Kosher Food? What Does Kosher Mean? OU Kosher Rules & Definition 

8 Things to Know about Celebrating Hanukkah with a Senior – Caring Professionals Home Care & CDPAP 

Gift-Giving Guide for Hanukkah | UnboxMe | Unboxme 

It’s addicting!  The fast-paced, ever changing world of public relations and marketing captures your interest and keeps you charged up to learn more everyday.  I love to find the best ways to tell our client’s stories and man, they have awesome stories!

It’s my job to discover our client’s goals and then match the best processes to achieve them, within their budgets, of course.  I get to explore traditional, digital and every manner of communication to determine which tactics, whether it is direct mail or TV advertising, a new website or PPC (to name just a few) will efficiently and effectively capture the attention of prospects. 

I also get to work with great people at IVY – they’re creative, fun, caring and super smart.  We’ve all been around the industry a while so there is not a novice among us.  Our clients are very cool too and totally passionate about the services they offer.  We’ve been working with most of them for years so we know they truly care about being innovative and responsible to the markets they service.  I have great admiration for all of them and look forward to every day. 

It’s true what “they” say, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day of your life!


IVY was established in 1990 with a basic premise to offer professional, ethical and highly creative marketing, advertising and public relations services. We have successfully maintained our core values and have been part of many amazing projects, client growth and changes in the world of marketing that continue to happen at lightening speed. Most of our clients serve older adults in some capacity so we keep abreast of the opportunities and challenges they face.   Each day, we keep it real and fun and consistently deliver positive results to our clients and their markets.


As a hybrid graphic and digital designer/web developer with over 17 years of experience, I am always on the lookout for innovative digital and print visual communications. IVY Marketing Group’s broad range of projects keeps my job challenging and rewarding, as each campaign is a new and exciting opportunity to effectively communicate our clients’ messages and help them achieve their goals. It’s my passion!

My body of work encompasses a diverse design style and wide base of clients, ranging from national associations, small businesses and big name brands like Hyatt and LiftMaster. I firmly believe that form follows function and highly value the communicative power of simplicity. 

Areas of professional expertise include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Word Press, Responsive Design, CSS3, and HTML5. The industries I’ve served include senior living, health care, hospitality and finance.


All my life, I have loved writing. As a child, I could often be found in my room “writing a book.” While “novelist” is not (yet) on my resume, I am a storyteller. I believe that everyone and everything has a great story, and it is my joy to find that story and share it with the world.

After earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism and completing my master’s studies in the same field, I joined a small advertising agency with powerhouse clients in the hospitality industry, such as Hyatt, Hilton International and Carnival Cruise Lines. I began as a proofreader and achieved the position of senior copy writer within a year.

After my first son was born, followed by two more, I started a freelance writing business that included (among several others) such clients as Advocate Health Care and Coldwell-Banker Realty. Clients in the education arena included DeVry University’s Becker CPA and Stalla CFA Reviews, DePaul University, and Naperville School District 203, for which I won two state public relations awards.

For nine years, I was employed as Communications Director for a large faith community, where I managed all aspects of internal and external communications. I was writer, editor, designer, web master, and content manager.

As such, I am experienced and comfortable writing multimedia for a broad variety of industries, products and services.

I joined IVY Marketing Group in 2013, when I began writing client press releases on a freelance basis. I loved the work—and my teammates—so much, I was thrilled when I was invited to come on board in a greater capacity.

I have immensely enjoyed getting to know our valued clients in the senior housing industry, the people they serve, and telling the many wonderful stories that come out of content marketing done right—with the love and care our IVY teams puts into everything we do.


It all starts with one idea. Working with the Ivy creative team for over two decades has always meant taking one great idea and bringing it to life to help our clients meet their goals. We enjoy the challenges offered with every creative opportunity and try to make the design process itself enjoyable for our clients.


Making certain that the projects IVY produces are word- and picture-perfect is my specialty. But I also love implementing marketing campaigns and programs that bring our clients success. Details are my thing, so it is a pleasure to have worked with IVY twice now, first after college four years ago and, recently, for the past two years.

The IVY Group is a terrific team of creative, positive and talented professionals that I love working with and, judging from the length of stay of our clients, I think they love our team, too!


Rock-climbing, training for an 80-floor stair climb event, running a 5K…This is just a tiny peek into what people 20 and even 30 years older than I am, are doing on a fairly regular basis at some of the retirement communities that IVY represents.

I’m of the generation that still has reoccurring nightmares about what the next step looked like when my grandmother could no longer live by herself. The very best option at that time was living at a “facility” and  included eating rubbery chicken and playing an occasional game of BINGO. Period. That’s why my parent’s generation begged us not to ever put them into “one of those places.”

I am so proud that IVY’s clients are at the very forefront of an industry that creates opportunities, challenges, and most of all freedom for seniors, allowing them to explore hobbies, interests, passions…the next chapter of their very full lives.

I feel reassured for my own future. Even more, I feel honored to be able to share the impactful stories about this paradigm shift in the world of senior housing. What we hear and see at our clients’ communities is fascinating and inspiring!


Keeping up to date on new public relations strategies, online engagement tactics, and promotional tools is my passion.

With my hospitality background in marketing top Chicago restaurants and hotels, I was eager to bring fresh concepts and communication strategies to our clients and have really enjoyed learning various industries.

Our clients have such exciting and unique events and programs, which really makes it motivating for me to make the most of their content.  Results like increased sales leads, website visits and social media connections make everyday rewarding and interesting.


I oversee, plan and implement projects and processes at IVY.  Often,  I am the conduit between our writers and designers, with printers, and other vendors to fulfill the marketing needs for our clients. I also manage media buys and coordinate production of advertisements.

Working for a flexible and fluid company that is constantly growing, changing and evolving is fun and rewarding. There is always something new to learn.


My bio has a big blank in the beginning—Mom and Dad rescued me in Wisconsin, and no one really knows my origins. They were probably ruff. What matters though is where I am now, running IVY Marketing Group. There are humans here who think they’re in charge. In truth, they do actually have amazing experience in content marketing and public relations, but I’m super important and the center of attention. I mean, look at this face. Right? And I know I’m the top dog because honestly, I’m the only one allowed to sleep through staff meetings and eat things that people drop on the floor.

The fact is though that I truly love staying awake at staff meetings. Everyone talks and laughs and they’re always excited. That surprises me a little because it’s not like anyone has thrown a ball to play fetch or anything. But I guess what gets my pack of peoples’ tails wagging is their work and their clients. I don’t know what a website or a blog is, but I do know that my pack must be good at them because they’ve earned all sorts of awards for these and other things. My bed had to be moved because the framed certificates were taking up so much room. Despite the inconvenience, I’m proud of these awards!

I serve several important purposes at IVY. I always let Mom (and the world) know when the mailman is here. When people come into the office, just one (usually) quick non-invasive (usually) sniff, allows me to determine important characteristics…like if they had anything good for breakfast, own any pets (pet owners are the best!) or if they stepped in anything on the way in. (It’s sort of like me conducting a first job interview.) I generously share my tummy because I know people like to give it a good scratch. I always give kisses, whether one is feeling lonely or not. And I’m always happy to share someone’s meal, especially if they’re trying to lose weight. My pack describes me as being engaging, amusing, and entertaining. (When I hear a siren, I “sing” along and it makes them laugh.) NPR talks about the benefits of having a pet at the workplace. Studies show pets lower stress hormones and improve morale and productivity. I wholeheartedly agree that a dog in the workplace is the best thing since rawhide bones.

As for my pack of people at IVY…they are amazing and always make my tail wag!


I could not be more thrilled to work alongside the IVY team.

For over 25 years, I have been employed in top executive positions across the Chicago area and have consistently built profitable businesses, generated sales, and developed and launched new product lines.

Strategically positioning companies and commodities for growth is a strong suit I’m eager to bring to ResponderHub™, IVY’s new crisis communications solution. I’m also excited to help expand IVY’s reach in the senior marketing industry.

I believe people are more open than ever to thinking outside the box and looking at new ways to reach their customer base, while at the same time reducing their cost of sale. The senior industry is exploding, and IVY is perfectly positioned to respond to the need for innovative, quality content marketing services and effective crisis communications.


I love being able to use my skills to help improve other people’s lives, and with a growing elderly population, it’s important to create meaningful and user-friendly digital solutions to aid the senior living industry.I have a wide range of technology and design skills with a deep interest in Human-Computer Interaction– helping IVY provide outstanding web design and print design services. IVY has a long-proven track record of excellence, and I’m proud to be able to help carry on that tradition.