Need a Holiday Gift Idea for Seniors?

bpw-christmas-gift-tags-wrapped-webWhat do you give a senior family member who has downsized or is living in a senior community with limited space?   Finding a thoughtful Christmas gift can be difficult.

Here are some ideas that should bring hugs and smiles! But don’t forget your gift of time is the best gift of all.


  • A Kindle or a Tablet. A really thoughtful gift might be loading a Kindle or iPad with books, movies, family photos and magazines they would like.  Spend an afternoon showing them how to use it, send emails to their grandkids and show them how to surf the internet. Audio books might also be an option for those with trouble with eyesight.
  • Subscription to a magazine or newspaper. Many magazines targeted to an older demographic offer large print subscriptions and are ideal for those who have trouble reading regular-sized print. Some may welcome a daily newspaper from their hometown, if they have moved away.
  • Hobby Basket. Hobbies are important to seniors. Creating a basket with items that they can use to pursue a hobby is an original idea. A craft basket might have everything they need for scrapbooks. Adult coloring books and colored pencils are enjoyed by young and old alike. A reader might like a reading light, bookmark, a new book and a couple of crossword puzzle books.
  • TV Listening Device and a large button TV remote. Television and movies are a popular pastime but for older people who live with others, it can be difficult to negotiate a volume that works for everyone. A great gift for people with hearing loss to listen at their own volume without disturbing anyone else is a TV listening device. There are a number of TV listening devices on the market that can help an elderly person hear the TV better, but the best options available today are the wireless radio frequency systems. And a large button TV remote is welcome for those that can’t use the small number remotes that come with some televisions.
  • Tickets to a movie or show. While many seniors love going to the movies or out to see a play, the expense may be out of the question for many who are on a fixed income. Tickets to a movie or special show make for a great gift and a special outing.
  • An automatic card shuffler. For the card player, an automatic card shuffler is a welcome gift for someone with arthritis in their hands.

Food Gifts

  • Homemade meal or cookies. Receiving a favorite food is a thoughtful gift for any senior. Bringing your family member their favorite cake or cookies brings back memories of holidays and allows them to share with friends. You could even use their own recipe to surprise them. If your favorite senior is still living alone, you could think about preparing several of their favorite meals and freezing them in portions so they can take them out easily and only have to re-heat them.
  • Fresh Fruit. A basket of fresh seasonal fruit or a fruit-of-the-month club makes a special treat and provides good nutrition.
  • Tea or Coffee. A selection of coffee, tea or hot chocolate makes for a warm tasty holiday gift. If budget allows, a single-serve coffee maker by Keurig is especially convenient for someone living alone or in a small space.
  • Restaurant Gift Cards. A gift card for a favorite restaurant or coffee shop is ideal for mobile seniors. If getting around is difficult, make this gift even more special by providing transportation and dine with them.

Personal Gifts/Services/Assistance Gifts

  • Manicure, massage or spa treatment.  Whether it is massage, a manicure/pedicure or a welcome haircut, these personal treats boost well-being.
  • A new personal phone book. A new phone/address book with needed numbers for family, friends, physicians, church, pharmacy and others can be welcome.
  • A car wash or cleaning service. Think about what chores you could take off their list if they live alone – like a car wash or oil change, a house cleaning service, or yard work.
  • Uber or Lyft App. Senior use of Uber has increased over the past few years giving them newfound independence. Showing your senior how to download and use Uber might help with making doctor’s appointments or activities with friends.
  • Easy to use Mobile Phones. Many smartphones of today offer large buttons, photo speed dial, visual rings and more. There are also landline phones that can be adjusted for volume.
  • Easy Grip tools and pens.  For those with arthritis or grip problems, there are many padded grip tools like the OXO Good Grips kitchen tools and soft pencils.
  • Lap Desk.  A beanbag lap desk, some note cards and stamps would make a great gift.  A portable lap desk can be used for crafts, eating and reading.
  • Batteries. It is always a good idea to have extra batteries on hand.  Many need batteries for hearing aids, watches and maybe a favorite electronic device.
  • Donations to a favorite cause or charity of your relative or friend. A friend of mine asked her family to provide a piano for their church.  She can attend weekly and enjoy her “present”.

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