iving your senior parents slippers or a robe as a holiday or birthday gift is like giving children clothes or your husband a tie! If they really wanted or needed these items, they would have them. And yet, knowing what to buy—for either your finicky folks or elder loved ones who seemingly have everything—can be a challenge. I hope these ideas help!
When I worked with elderly women and men in an Adult Day Care Center and a nursing home, everyone would look forward to their birthdays, the December holidays, and the exchange of gifts. Invariably, they would share their disappointment afterward when the typical gift was a pair of slippers, a robe, an umbrella…you get the idea. These somewhat unimaginative gifts can send a message that either, ”I think you have everything you need,” or “What could you possibly need at your age?” Without intention, this is another example of ageism.
Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Seniors
Why not try to be a bit more creative this year by considering some of these gift suggestions for the senior woman or man in your life? With price options for any shopper, the gift ideas listed below range in cost from under $25 to over $100.
Don’t necessarily steer away from technology gifts for the aging, over 65 crowd. There are plenty of options that can be easy to use and greatly improve one’s quality of life—some specially designed as assistive devices or gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent.
- Power lift chair
- Video doorbell
- Jitterbug cell phone (with large buttons, louder speakers, easy features, and quick-connect emergency response system—Over 50 percent of all people over 65 own cell phones!)
- Alexa Show- or Google Assistant-enabled device (voice activated to tell time, remind to take meds, listen to favorite music, read a book…and so much more!)
- Captioned telephone (for the hearing impaired)
- Talking watch
- Motion sensors (for nighttime safety)
- Key finder tiles
Keepsakes to Make Them Smile
As we get older, the volume of personal belongings and “stuff” accumulated over a lifetime can start to feel overwhelming. No matter, there is always room and appreciation for a personalized, heartfelt memento of your most important memories and the people you love.
- Nixplay digital picture frame
- A family portrait with your loved one in it
- Personalized items like a family photo calendar, blanket, or picture frame
- Custom photo jigsaw puzzle
- Restoration of an old favorite photo
- StoryWorth subscription to record life memories
Relaxation Gifts Seniors Swear By
They may not be working nine to five anymore, but retirees still experience aches and pains and the stresses of change, uncertainty, and loss. Consider giving your loved one the gift of comfort, or a little time-out to refresh and renew.
- Electric paraffin wax spa (fabulous for comforting arthritic hands, wrists, and elbows)
- Heated throw blanket
- Raised window planter (for those who miss gardening)
- Mani/pedi gift certificate
- A set of new sheets (Mine are still from my trousseau!)
Special Gifts (for the Senior Who Has It All)
Sometimes good gifts for seniors aren’t something they needed, but a little extra they didn’t know they wanted. Think about how you could surprise your loved one with something that makes their life easier or more enjoyable.
- Oven-ready home delivered gourmet meal subscription, like Freshly, Home Bistro, or Magic Kitchen
- Rideshare account with Uber or Lyft
- Netflix subscription with a BIG BUTTON remote control
- Zipper puller
- Grab and reach tool
- At-home putting green game
- Restaurant or grocery home delivery gift certificate
- Grandparent Talk cards (conversation starters)
- A homemade gift basket with favorite treats, toiletries, photos, crossword puzzles, etc.
And the very best gift of all, that costs nothing—YOU and YOUR TIME! Visit often, plan to have lunch together (in or out of doors), and please do take them shopping for your gifts! Many elders have expressed to me how sad they are that they are no longer able to go gift shopping for their loved ones. It is not as fulfilling for them to give cash or a check. To help the seniors in your life feel more engaged in the joy of giving, visit with a picnic lunch and help them shop online for the gifts they would like to give their children, grandchildren, and friends.
Now, doesn’t that sound better than slippers?