Gift Ideas for Seniors

Gift Ideas for Seniors

It’s the holiday gift-giving season! While there are a lot of ways that gift giving (and receiving) is exciting and beautiful, it can also be pretty stressful. Figuring out the right gift to give to all the important people in your life is never easy.

While this post won’t help you check all the people you care about off your holiday shopping list, it can help you come up with ideas for gifts for seniors you care about.

1. Framed Photos

Photos that can be easily displayed make a great gift for any loved one, especially for one that lives far away. Reminders of the people you love can make every day a little brighter.

2. Game Books (with large print)

Crossword challenges, Sudoku, and other puzzles can help keep the brain active and healthy. They’re also just a fun way to pass the time. Be sure to get one with large print if this gift is meant for a senior with weak eyes.

3. Puzzles

Ditto everything said about the game books, but with the chance to practice good dexterity and add a communal feature to the challenge thrown in. For a senior in an assisted living or retirement community, puzzles can become a fun group activity.

4. Magnifying Lamp

A magnifying lamp can make a senior’s life easier when reading, writing letters, or filling out forms. It’s a good, practical holiday gift that alleviates a daily challenge.

5. Back, Neck, or Leg Cushion

Isn’t it just the worst when you have a hard time getting comfortable? A good specialty cushion can help a senior you love sit more comfortably.

6. Comfortable Slippers

A holiday gift to keep the feet warm and cozy, a pair of comfortable slippers can make a senior’s day that much more pleasant.

7. Classic Movies or Albums

This one works best if you have a pretty good idea of the recipient’s favorites. Are there any great movies they love or artists they rave about? Do you know of any of those favorites that they never managed to buy on DVD or CD? You can cheat a little on finding a good pick if you can dig through their old VHS or cassette collection.

8. Personal Locator

This holiday gift is perfect for any senior with Alzheimer’s (or any one else with a tendency to get lost). The Breadcrumbs Personal Locator can be programmed to remember several key locations to help its owner get back home (or somewhere else safe) any time they get confused. There are also personal locators that work as GPS trackers to help loved ones find a senior who gets lots.

9. Wireless Headphones (for TV watching)

No more having to turn the TV up too loud for the neighbors’ comfort. These let your gift recipient enjoy the TV as loud as they need without bothering anyone else. These may be especially useful if they live in close quarters in a retirement home.

10. Coffee Maker or Tea Kettle

Depending on your recipient’s preference, a good appliance that makes it easier to enjoy that daily cup of coffee or tea is a good functional holiday gift.

11. Stationery (with a promise to write back!)

Many seniors (and non-seniors as well) do still prefer the actual written letter to an e-mail. Some stationery will be well appreciated, and a promise to respond to every letter they write to you even more so.

12. Electronic Pill Organizer

Keeping your pills organized and remembering when to take them can be a pain. An electronic pill organizer helps with both.

13. Photo-Adorned Items

Framed photos are nice, but what about putting a meaningful photo on that mug your loved one will use every day? Or a shirt they can wear to show off their grandkids around the nursing home? Shutterfly allows you to load your favorite images and put them on a number of different items that make great gifts for seniors.

14. Loc8tor

Losing stuff is a regular annoyance for all of us, but for seniors struggling with memory loss it’s a more constant annoyance. Loc8tor will let them track the items they most commonly need, so they can spend less time searching and more time doing.

15. Memberships or Subscriptions

There’s a lot that can potentially go under this category, but which works best for your loved one will depend on their habits. If they love reading, a subscription to a magazine or Kindle Unlimited could be the perfect holiday gift. For an art enthusiast, a membership at a local museum may be appreciated. For a senior that loves TV or movies, Netflix or Hulu could fit the bill.

The right gift can bring the seniors in your life joy for months or years to come. Hopefully this list can steer you in a good direction to make a senior’s holiday this year that much better. Got a great gift idea? Share it in the comments!

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for


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