Holiday Gift Ideas for Older Adults


December 14, 2021

When it comes to caregivers, the best gifts often focus on experiences and services that help them lighten their burden, save time, or simply let them know you care. For care receivers, listen and observe what they do and don’t like, including what they have received and used or not used.

Here are several gift ideas that are sure to make both caregivers and your care receivers feel special:

Give something personal or homemade

  • Written Gifts – A Card with a personal message, Letters from grandchildren
  • Memory Gifts – Scrapbooks, family albums, framed photos
  • Hand-made gifts – Artwork from young children, home-made food
  • Wi-fi Digital Photo Frame – When you set up one of these Wi-Fi digital photo frames in your parents’ house, you can upload pictures from your phone directly to the frame without them having to do a thing. (Such frames make especially good gifts for elderly people in nursing homes.) Some models even include motion sensors that turn the frame on to display the most recent photos when someone enters the room.
  • Calendars – with photos of something that interests them

Food related gifts

  • Gift cards to favorite restaurants
  • Meal Delivery – Who wouldn’t love delicious, healthy meals that they don’t have to prepare themselves? Silver Cuisine offers over 150 alternating meal options that are designed by doctors and prepared by chefs. Specialty diet menus are available, including heart-healthy, gluten-free, low sodium, diabetic, vegetarian, and more.
  • Beverages – Special coffee or tea or a wine

Helpful gifts

  • Day Clock – Having a clock that displays the date, day of the week, and time of day along with the hour can be a great way for seniors dealing with dementia or memory issues to orient themselves. Most so-called “Alzheimer’s clock” models have extra-large displays for easy viewing, and some also allow you to adjust the dimness level.
  • TV Listening Device – Help your hard-of-hearing friends enjoy their favorite television programs in comfort with an individual device that allows them to hear the TV and control the volume without bothering the people around them. You can get devices that connect to either analog or digital TVs.
  • Weather Monitor – Many elderly parents appreciate knowing what the weather is like before going outside, so a device that displays the current conditions, as well as the forecast, can make a great gift. Wireless systems require the installation of an outdoor sensor, so you may want to take care of that yourself. Look for a monitor with a large display that’s easy to read.
  • Robot Vacuum – A robotic vacuum can be a smart and worthwhile investment for those who have difficulty keeping up with cleaning floors. Some models include Alexa device connectivity, allowing even more remote controlling options. Robotic vacuums tend to work best when the floor is uncluttered, so this may be worth taking into consideration depending on the senior’s living environment.
  • A Pill Organizer – These are usually plastic containers that are divided into different compartments for different days. Some have compartments for multiple times in a single day, such as morning, noon, evening, and night.
  • Housecleaning or yard-car service – You could arrange these services for them as a one-time deal or on an ongoing basis.
  • Automatic Jar Opener – Presents that make everyday tasks easier often make the best gifts. For someone with osteoarthritis, opening jars can be agony. A device that can do the task for him or her will be much appreciated.
  • Ergonomic tools – Zipper Puller, Ergonomic Pen, Extra Long Shoe Horn

Comforting & Fun Gifts

  • Massage Pillow – Nothing soothes an aching back or neck like a warm massage. A heated massage pillow can bring welcome relief to an elderly family member or friend who experiences the normal aches and pains that come with getting older.
  • Monthly Gift Box Delivery – Why not surprise them with a subscription service that delivers wine, gourmet chocolate, beer, cheese or flowers to their door each month? 
  • Light Therapy Lamp – The dark days of winter can be enough to drag anyone down, but a lamp that mimics natural outdoor light can help brighten your loved one’s day. Light therapy lamps can also be ideal for mobility-challenged seniors who find it hard to get outdoors.
  • Heated Mattress Pad – The importance of a good night’s rest cannot be overstated. A heated mattress pad can help your gift recipient truly relax and let him or her wake up each morning feeling nicely refreshed.
  • Fancy Toiletries – Bath gels, body lotion, aftershave, etc.
  • Flameless Candles – A flameless candle is a perfect alternative to a real candle, which could be dangerous when seniors are at home alone
  • Comforting clothing – Items you know they would appreciate and use. For example, comfortable and warm socks, pajamas, robes, slippers, sweaters, scarves, etc. 
  • Toys for Adults – Adult Coloring Books, Jigsaw Puzzles

Check out these posts for other ideas:

Edited by Zanda Hilger

We hope this information is helpful to you in the important work you do as a family caregiver.
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