Summary & Highlights
To prepare a successful care package for an aging loved one, here are three top things you need to know:
- Include meaningful or memorable items, such as personal photos, favorite books, and favorite food items.
- Choose items that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable, but they might not buy for themselves. Examples are warm clothing, home care products, electric blankets, or electronic devices.
- Deliver the package in person or send it via mail or courier but always send it with a heartfelt note.
A Christmas care package is a thoughtful and meaningful way to help elderly or senior loved ones during the holiday season.
These gift ideas for seniors are especially popular during the holidays, as it provides the perfect opportunity to remind the elderly that they are loved and not forgotten.
The beauty of a thoughtful care package is that you can tailor it to the individual. Fill it with items that are meaningful to your recipient or that will make their lives easier or more enjoyable.
Our Top Christmas Care Package Ideas for Older Adults
Here are some top themes and ideas for creating the perfect Christmas care package for older adults. Always include a handwritten or personalized note!
Create a Memory Box
Collect items that remind the older person of the good times they have shared with their family and friends. Include photographs, mementos, large print versions of their favorite books, and other meaningful items.
Then, package it in a crate or small container and deliver it to them in person.
Put Together a Baking Kit
Create an individualized baking kit with all the ingredients and tools needed to make a favorite recipe.
Include measuring spoons with large print, a rolling pin, and a favorite cookbook that’s easy to see and read. Package it in a large mixing bowl with some kitchen towels.
Make a Garden Care Package
Put together a care package of gardening supplies and seeds so the older adult can enjoy their time outside while tending to their garden.
Include grippy gardening gloves, ergonomic trowels, and packets of their favorite flower or vegetable seeds. Package it in a garden bucket, a gardening tote, or even a toolbox.
Prepare a Spa Day
Put together a care package of items an elderly person can use to give themselves a spa day. Better yet, bring it over and give them the complete spa treatment.
Include lotions, body wash, scented candles, easy-to-use clippers and grooming tools, and a soft, fluffy bathrobe. Then, package it all in a pretty gift basket or reusable tote bag.
Create a Puzzle Box
Put together a care package of puzzles, games, and activities to keep them occupied. Include a large-piece jigsaw puzzle, a large print crossword book, a deck of cards, and a bookmark. Package it in a wooden crate or tote bag.
Assemble a Craft Kit
Create a care package with all the essentials to enjoy their favorite crafting activity project. Include a selection of different fabrics, yarn, needles, books of knitting patterns, and craft kits. Package your items in a craft organizer or toolbox.
Put Together a Movie Night Kit
Gather items to make a movie night special. Include hull-less popcorn, a selection of candies, a DVD or streaming service subscription, and a warm blanket to snuggle with.
Package it in a festive tin bucket or small decorative trash can and tie it with a ribbon.
Make a Tea Party Care Package
Put together a care package with all the items needed for a tea party. Include a silver or ceramic tea set, a selection of teas, and some delicious biscuits or scones. Package it in a picnic basket or crate with some tea towels.
Create an Art Care Package
Put together all their favorite art supplies and materials, such as sketch pads, paints, brushes, colored pencils, and adult coloring books. Package it in a decorative wood crate, art case, or toolbox.
Gift Ideas You Should Include in a Care Package for an Older Adult
When putting together a care package for an older adult, it’s essential to consider what items will be most beneficial for them. Here is a list of items to consider when creating the perfect care package.
Food items are a great way to show that you care, so, send a basket filled with their favorite foods, like chocolates, cookies, candies, jams, or other sweets and treats.
Homemade items are always appreciated!
- A fruit basket
- A subscription to a food service
- Specialty teas
- Cocoa packets
- An apron
- Freezer meals
- Gift cards to a favorite takeout restaurant
Gift cards allow senior citizens to purchase items they need or want from their favorite store, restaurant, or online retailer.
Here are some suggested places to buy gift cards for seniors:
- Grocery store
- Clothing store
- Home goods store
- Craft store
- Gas station
- Online retailers
- Delivery services
- Subscription services
Self and Personal Care Items
Self-care items are essential for senior care packages because they assist older people in maintaining their independence and quality of life.
Personal care items can also help seniors deal with mobility issues and other age-related illnesses.
- Foot cream
- Heating pad
- Non-slip slippers
- Safety items such as grab bars and railings
- Shower chair
- Hairbrush and comb set
- Bath towel and washcloth
- Hand lotion
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Hair styling products
- Nail clippers
- Shaving kit
- Facial cleanser
- Makeup remover
- Body wash and shampoo
- Nail polish
Comfort and Relaxation Ideas
Providing a plentiful supply of comfort and relaxation items can help seniors de-stress and promote healthy living habits.
- Fuzzy gripper socks
- A soft blanket, lap blanket, or throw pillow
- Soft sweater
- Heated gloves
- Winter hat
- Knitted scarf
- Decorative plant or flower
- Himalayan salt lamp
- Essential oils
Home Medical Supplies
Consider gifting home medical supplies for elders needing medical assistance to make their lives easier.
Here are a few suggestions you could include in a care package with other items.
- A lighted cane
- A walker basket
- Compression stockings
- Reading glasses
- Orthopedic cushions
- Bed standing rails
- Reacher grabbers
- Personal safety alarms
- Medical alert systems
Activities and Entertainment
Activities and entertainment are important for seniors because they keep them occupied and provide mental stimulation.
Here are some entertaining items you could include:
- Books and magazines
- Adult coloring book
- Sketch pad and pencils
- Journal and pens
- Netflix movie subscription
- A cross-stitch pattern
Personalized or Sentimental Items
When sending care packages to the elderly, personalized and sentimental items are always a good idea.
It’s a beautiful way to show loved ones you care, even if you can’t be there in person. It proves that you took the time to ensure that the item was special and unique.
- Handwritten notes
- Gifts from grandkids
- Digital photo frame
- Photo album
- Something handmade by a loved one
- Coupons for housecleaning, making a meal, grocery shopping, walking the dog, etc.
- Picture books and memory boxes
- Personalized mug
- Personalized serving tray
Knick-knacks and Decor
Consider the following ideas if you want to give an older adult a handmade gift.
- A DIY kit
- A homemade photo album
- Handmade soap
- Homemade mittens or gloves
- A handmade quilt or blanket
- A sweater or hat
- A scarf or shawl
- A homemade book of recipes for favorite meals or snacks
- Homemade bath salts and soaps
- Homemade jams, jellies, and preserves
- Homemade candles
Here are some ideas for luxurious Christmas care packages that will make your elderly loved ones feel pampered, particularly this holiday season.
- MP3 player
- Amazon Echo Show “Alexa” voice assistant with video calling
- RAZ Memory Cell Phone
- Celery 2-way computerless email system
- Laptop Computer
- AMIR motion-activated stick anywhere LED lights (3 pack)
- NOVA cup holder for rollator or wheelchair
Items NOT to Put in a Care Package for Seniors
- Alcohol – It sometimes ships poorly plus assisted living and nursing home residents probably aren’t allowed to have it.
- Dietary Supplements – Dietary supplements, such as vitamins, can interfere with medications.
- Perishable Foods – Perishable foods, such as milk, eggs, and meat, spoil quickly.
- Tobacco Products – Tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and even vaping supplies, may not be allowed.
- Medications – You should exclude even over-the-counter drugs because of potential interference with their prescriptions.
- Sharp Objects – Knives, blades, and scissors are a safety hazard.
- Hazardous Materials – Cleaning chemicals and non-water-based paints may be dangerous if spilled.
- Items with Strong Odors – Strong-smelling perfumes, scented candles, and cleaning products can irritate some people.
- Items with Small Parts – Toys or objects with small pieces can be choking hazards, especially for people with dementia.
- Used Items – Items that are not clean or sanitary, such as used clothing or bedding, should not be included in a care package.
11 Unique Ways to Present Your Care Package
Looking for a creative way to package items other than a basket or gift box or gift bag? Consider these:
- Reusable Tote Bag – Fill a reusable tote bag with care package items and include a personalized note to show appreciation.
- Picnic Basket – Pack a picnic basket with a cozy blanket, snacks, and a mug.
- Wine Crate – Line a wine crate with tissue paper and add items like a blanket, a small book, or a mug.
- Wooden Crate – Buy a wooden crate at a home goods store and place items like a mug, a cozy blanket, and a warm scarf inside.
- Suitcase – Repurpose an old suitcase or carry-on bag and fill it with items like a cozy throw blanket and a jar of homemade cookies.
- Bucket – Choose a bucket in a favorite color and fill it with items like a warm hat, gloves, and a cozy scarf.
- Trunk – Pack a trunk with items like a book, a journal, and a box of chocolates.
- Mason Jar – Fill a mason jar with snacks and small items like a bookmark or a keychain.
- Lunch Box – Choose a lunch box and fill it with items like a crossword book, a jigsaw puzzle, and a mug.
- Tin Box – Pack a tin box with a journal, a pack of cards, and a favorite book.
- Tool Box – Add a gift card and a set of tools to a toolbox for an easy care package.
Tips for Choosing the Right Items for the Elderly
1. What Interests Them?
When selecting items for a Christmas care package, consider the person’s interests and hobbies.
They may like to read, play games, or do puzzles. If so, a book, game, or puzzle could be a great addition to their care package.
2. Do They Have Any Health-Related Needs?
When selecting items for a care package, think about any health or medical needs the older adult may have.
If they need help with mobility, consider things like a cane or walker. If they need help with hearing, items like a hearing aid or noise-canceling headphones are helpful.
3. Choose Easy to Use Items
When selecting items for a care package, choose items that are easy for the person to use.
For example, if you’re sending a laptop or tablet, make sure it’s pre-loaded with apps and programs that are easy to navigate.
4. Don’t Get Big or Bulky Items
When selecting items for a care package, choose items that are easy to store. Consider sending things like a blanket or throw that can be folded and stored away.
5. Find Items That They Can Use All Year
When selecting items for a care package, choose useable year-round items. For example, they can use a blanket in the winter to keep themselves warm and an afghan or quilt in the summer to keep them cool.
6. Choose Items That Have Special Meaning
When selecting items for a care package, think about things they will remember or provoke a memory. A mug, personalized photo, or book might be memorable gifts for an elderly person.
How to Deliver Your Care Package
The most personal way to deliver a care package is in person. In-person delivery allows you to present the box directly to the recipient and spend time with them, which is the most important gift.
If you cannot visit them in person, you can always have someone else deliver the package. Ask a close friend or trusted family member to drop off the package on your behalf.
Mailing or sending it via couriers like UPS or FedEx is another option.
Courier delivery may be your only choice if they live far away or you need someone to help you deliver it. If neither of these options works for you, you can always send the package by mail.
If obtaining the items in the first place causes you difficulty, you can order pre-assembled care packages online and deliver them directly to them.
Some companies even offer subscription services where you can have a care package shipped automatically on a regular schedule.
Regardless of your choice, always include a personalized note or card with the package to add a personal touch. Let them know you wish you could have delivered it personally and that you are thinking of them.
How to Make the Most of a Christmas Care Package
Follow these tips to add some personal touches when putting together a Christmas care package of your own:
- Add Your Favorite Recipe. Send recipes in the care package that the recipient can make on Christmas Day. This gives them something new to make special for themselves and their family.
- Suggest Ideas for Christmas Day Celebrations. Suggest some ways the elderly person can celebrate the holiday; for example, Christmas movies to watch and activities to participate in. Include instructions for how they can reach you on the holiday for a quick conversation or video chat.
- Throw in a Few Holiday Decorations. Including a few small holiday decorations, such as a festive wreath, a set of holiday lights, or some decorative knick-knacks to make their home feel more festive and cheerful.
- Include Christmas Music. Consider including a CD or playlist of Christmas music (see our recommendations here) to help them get into the holiday spirit and entertain them on Christmas Day.
- Include Holiday Crafting Activities. Consider including craft or activity supplies in the care package, such as coloring books, craft kits, puzzles, or crossword books. Crafts and activities give seniors something entertaining to do while they celebrate the holiday.
Infographic: Christmas Care Package Ideas for Older Adults
We hope you found these Christmas care package ideas for older adults helpful and actionable. Please share this article on your favorite social media account. If you have some items or ideas to add to the list, please include them in the comments below!