Best Holiday Gifts for Seniors

Advice For Caregivers, Featured Articles

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Updated: October 7, 2022

gifts for seniors

Searching for the right gift for your older family member is easier with our inspiration and ideas.

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, you might find yourself struggling to find the perfect gift for your older loved one. It can be difficult to find a present for someone who has everything already, and conditions like cognitive decline or limited mobility only increase the challenge. We have some ideas to inspire you as you head online or out to the store to do some shopping.


Best Gift Ideas for Seniors

The best gift ideas for older adults often aren’t lavish. In fact, the best gifts are often items that will boost their quality of life, help them meet their health goals, create new memories with loved ones or remind them to take good care of themselves. Before you begin your shopping, take time to pay close attention to items they use often, experiences they especially love, or complaints about a problem they haven’t found a way to solve. Then, use those observations to drive your creativity as you find a gift that will meet one of their needs.


Boost Quality of Life

Quality of life means something different to everyone, but you can enhance your loved one’s independence, self-esteem and quality of life by giving them a gift they will use and love. Here are a few ideas:


Consumer Cellular: GrandPad

Connecting with friends and family online can be a key strategy for enhancing quality of life. However, some older adults aren’t quite confident enough to jump online via their computer, tablet, or smartphone. That’s where the GrandPad comes in. Developed specifically for older adults, the GrandPad is easy to operate and navigate. It also takes steps to protect its user as well as keep family members in the loop about any suspicious activity.


Custom Photo Books and Calendars

Reminiscing about favorite events and memories can be a wonderful way to boost mental health and cognitive ability. Photos are a great tool for starting reminiscing sessions. Consider creating a custom photo book for your loved one based on a particular season or theme. For example, Family Vacations can be packed with favorite photos of trips while My Grandkids can be full of photos of grandkids. Sites like Shutterfly and Chatbooks are easy to use, produce beautiful books shipped right to your door, and even offer occasional coupon codes.


Reminder Rosie

If your loved one is frustrated because they can’t remember to do certain tasks throughout the day, you can meet that need by gifting them a Reminder Rosie alarm clock. You can record up to 25 daily reminders and program them to go off at specific times for your loved one. Try setting alarms for medication reminders, meal reminders, or reminders that say how much you love them.


A Digital Assistant

If your loved one could use more interaction than just a pre-programmed alarm clock, consider gifting them a digital assistant. An Alexa, for example, can play their favorite music, tell them the weather, and remind them to take medications at a specific time. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but an Alexa is easy to get the hang of quickly. As a bonus, Alexa Together is a new way to connect families with their aging loved ones and well worth looking into as a gift to the whole family. 


Personal Item Locator Devices

A daily source of frustration can be losing something important. If your loved one is always misplacing their remote, eyeglasses, or other items, gift them a locator device that is easy to use. Apple AirTags and Tile Mate are perhaps the most common type of devices you’ll find in the store. Your loved one can connect the tags to anything and then track them after syncing the device to their smartphone.


Help Meet Their Health Goals

Thoughtful gifts can sometimes be presents that help a senior meet their health goals. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.


An Electric Toothbrush

Dental health is a crucial part of overall wellness, but getting a good brushing in can decrease as we get older due to fine motor challenges. The right electric toothbrush can help. Ask your loved one’s dentist for recommendations.


Video Doorbells

If your loved one has limited mobility or is at an increased risk for falls, scrambling to get up out of the chair to answer the doorbell can be challenging, especially if the person at the doorbell is not worth the effort. A video doorbell can allow your loved one to see who is at the door and communicate with them without needing to hurry to answer it in person.


Medical ID Bracelet

When your loved one receives certain diagnoses, they want to be sure everyone on their medical team knows about it. But what happens if there is an emergency situation or if they cannot speak for themselves? Invest in a medical ID bracelet as a gift. You can find bracelets that meet all types of styles and preferences. You can also personalize the bracelets with a specific diagnosis, your loved one’s name, and even your contact information.


More Lighting

Falls at home can happen more often in darker rooms or areas. Help your loved one see where they are going by gifting them more light throughout their home. Consider getting nightlights for their bedroom, bathroom, and hallway or more lighting for their stairs. Lighting on any type of sensor can also be helpful as it will only turn on when they need it.


Create New Memories

gift certificate for seniors

A gift certificate paired with the promise to share a meal or experience together can be an ideal gift.

Sharing experiences with a family member can often be the best gift of all. Package up your experience into a gift box so your loved one has something to unwrap and then put the experience on their calendar so that they have something to look forward to.


Meals at Favorite Restaurants

Treat your loved one to a meal at their favorite restaurant once per month. You can even have different family members attend each month to catch up. Include a few gift certificates to favorite restaurants in the gift box as well as a calendar with the dinner dates already penciled in.


A Day in the Old Neighborhood

Reminisce and spend time together by spending a whole day or afternoon in a favorite old neighborhood. It could be where your loved one grew up or where they raised their family. Take time to drive by houses and businesses they remember as well as stop for coffee, food, and desserts in their favorite restaurants.


Learn a New Hobby

Try something new together, like a painting workshop, birdwatching walk, or tai chi class. Grab a gift certificate to include in the present you give and choose a date that works best for both of you to attend together.


Collect Letters

For a memory-making gift that doesn’t require getting out of the house, ask family members to write letters or cards, or make art projects, to tuck into a lovely box for your loved one they can put on their coffee table. They will love going through the items any time they want.


Digital Photo Frame

Digital photo frames have been in senior gift guides for years, and for good reason. They are a great way to remember favorite memories and anyone in the family with access can add new photos right from their cell phone.


Reminders to Take Good Care of Themselves

Finally, senior gifts can help them remember to take good care of themselves.

A Cozy Weighted Blanket

Help your loved one get better sleep by gifting them a soft and cozy weighted blanket. You can get large blankets for their bed or smaller ones for them to use on the couch.


Medical Alert Systems

Having peace of mind can go a long way in your loved one’s self-care plan. Consider purchasing a medical alert system that suits their needs and lifestyle. You can choose between an in-home system, ideal for an older adult who stays inside their home most of the day, or a cellular-based system, which is perfect for a senior who gets out and about to walk, garden, or run errands.

The Right Mobility Device

If your loved one needs an upgrade to their current mobility device or if they could use something new, gift it to them. While you can give them a stylish cane or a new rollator walker, you can also look for adaptive equipment they may need like weighted silverware to make eating easier or cardholders to make their weekly Bridge game easier on their hands. Need advice specific for devices for your loved one? Talk to their physician or physical therapist for recommendations.


When you are making your holiday list and checking it twice, resist the urge to give your older family member a gift basket full of snacks or soaps. Instead, give a gift that helps them solve a problem, create new memories, or support their overall health. They’ll love it and you’ll love knowing they are healthier because of your thoughtful gift.

Happy holidays and happy shopping!