Top Gift Ideas for Senior Citizens & Elderly Family

We’re nearing the season of gift-giving, so it’s a good time to start thinking about Christmas and the best gifts for the elderly people in your life. If you’re curious about what are good gifts for seniors, or if you’re looking for some gift inspiration, our list of gift ideas for seniors will be a good place to start.

We’ve put together gift ideas for the elderly to help you make smart, helpful choices for the older loved ones in your life. Christmas gifts for senior citizens don’t need to be difficult. Simply read through our list for some guidance on your holiday shopping list.

How to Choose the Best Gifts for Seniors

When choosing gifts for the elderly, it’s important to consider what your loved ones might need, what they’ll be able to use, and what will make them happy. Practical, realistic gifts are a great way to go when choosing gifts. Consider those that might help improve a senior’s day-to-day life, increase their healthy living habits, or help promote safety. Always keep in mind a senior’s cognitive level, mobility, and health restrictions.

Just because someone might be considered a “senior” or “elderly” doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t want a fun, new gift that could help keep them entertained. You can always talk to the senior in your life for more specific ideas about what they might want for the holidays. 

3 Technology-Related Gift Ideas for Seniors

The seniors in your life might seem hesitant to immerse themselves in technology, but there are still plenty of gifts for the elderly that depend on technology that your loved ones will enjoy. Technology is a great way to help seniors stay connected, safe, and entertained, especially if they live far from their families.

1. Smart Photo Frame

Photos are always a good gift, and a smart photo frame is a modern way to give more than just a handful. These picture frames allow you to upload a digital display of photos onto the screen frame, which then rotate on a timer.

Some smart photo frames have the capability for remote upload, meaning family members can add new photos from a distance and keep their older loved ones involved in their lives. Other smart photo frames have video calling capabilities, some of which include auto-answer modes that are perfect for seniors who might not be able to answer a phone on their own.

When selecting the screen size for your senior’s smart photo frame, consider their eyesight. If their vision is poor or beginning to decline, think about choosing a larger frame so they can see the photos properly.

2. Cover a Year of Entertainment Subscriptions

Movies, music, and books are great ways elderly citizens can stay entertained and happy. That means some great holiday or Christmas gifts for senior citizens would be to cover an entertainment subscription for a year. Whether the senior citizens in your life like Netflix. Hulu, Spotify, Audible, or another entertainment app, you can set up their account and give them a year on you.

If your older loved one has never used the app before, make sure to go the extra step to set up the account for them and show them how to use the site or app.

3. A Voice Assistant

An Amazon Alexa or a similar voice assistant device is a great way to add some convenience to a senior’s way of life. If you’re searching for gift ideas for seniors and aren’t sure what to try, consider something like an Amazon Echo.

There are different versions of these types of devices, so make sure to do some research on what capabilities or features would be most useful for your senior. Some of these devices can help with phone calls, video calls, home security systems, weather reports, music, and more.

3 Memory-Invoking Gifts for the Elderly

Depending on the health and cognitive state of your loved one, there are a lot of gifts that can help jog their memories and enhance their quality of life. Here are 3 great gift ideas that can help make their living space feel more like a home.

1. Custom Photo Calendar

Many seniors still rely on a physical calendar to stay up to date and keep their schedules in order. You could personalize this everyday item with photos of their favorite people, places, or activities. You can personalize a calendar through companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Shutterfly. Simply choose the photos you’d like and lay out the calendar online.

2. Customized Puzzles

Puzzles can be a great source of entertainment for seniors especially because they aren’t too active but they can still keep your loved ones occupied. Companies like Walmart and Shutterfly allow you to choose your own photo to personalize a puzzle with an image your senior will love.

3. A Photo Album

If your senior doesn’t seem like the type to enjoy or use a digital smart photo frame, then you can always go the traditional route and give them a photo album. Find a nice album and fill it with photos of family and friends that your senior will enjoy looking through again and again.

3 of the Best Gifts for Seniors

While material items can be good gift options that many will enjoy, some of the best gifts for seniors aren’t objects. Many senior citizens would enjoy an experience with their loved ones.

1. Take Them Out to a Meal

Socialization is so important for senior citizens. Plan a time where you can take them out to their favorite restaurant in person and enjoy a meal together.

2. Get Them a Massage, Hair Appointment, or Manicure

Many seniors may enjoy a personal service experience. Your senior may enjoy a gift certificate (or, if you can, go with them) to their favorite hair salon, spa, or nail salon. Do some research to find the best options and make sure the businesses can kindly serve senior citizens.

3. Buy Them a Class in Something They’re Interested In

If your senior citizen is up for it, consider purchasing a class for them in an area they’re interested in. If they used to paint, or if they’ve always wanted to try, pay for a series of painting lessons. You could also consider woodworking lessons, dance lessons, or any other area of interest your senior might have that they’re physically able to participate in. They may enjoy the opportunity to try something new.

Gifts You Might Want to Avoid Giving a Senior Citizen

We’re all trying to be thoughtful and considerate when choosing gifts for our loved ones, so it’s important not to make the mistake of giving gifts for the elderly unless you know for a fact your senior will enjoy them. Here are some it might be best to steer away from:

  • A gift that requires companionship, unless you’re planning on being there to use or implement the gift with them
  • Food or drink they can’t have due to health restrictions
  • The most updated technology, unless you’re planning to set it up for them, show them how to use it, and provide a means of troubleshooting if they get confused
  • Gifts that pressure them to make a change or point out mobility challenges such as a gym membership, a walker, or cognitive exercise games
  • A pet they aren’t able to care for
  • Anything that may become a common household hazard

If your senior citizen currently lives in some type of retirement community, consult with their friends, neighbors, and staff for ideas on what your loved one might like as well as anything that might be restricted within the community. 

Have Any Questions?

This list of gift ideas for seniors and a little bit of your own research should help you find the best gifts for seniors in your life. Gift giving is personal, and the holidays are meant to be a season everyone can enjoy, a time to share love and memories. If you have questions about caring for an elderly loved one, or what housing options might be best, feel free to reach out to New Perspective. We want to help enrich the lives of as many seniors as possible, as we know that goes beyond holiday gifts.