60+ Great Gifts For People in Nursing Homes

The best gifts for people in nursing homes are gifts that provide encouragement, help pass the time, and let them know there are people out there thinking about them. Here are our top recommendations.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Great Gifts For People in Nursing Homes
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Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. 

Making the transition into a nursing home is never easy for anyone. It is hard for the soon-to-be resident. And, also for their family.

When the holidays and birthdays approach, people naturally want to find a nice give to give to older family members who are being cared for. But, figuring out just what to give can be a serious challenge.

Best Gifts for Elderly People in Nursing Homes

Here are the best gifts for people in nursing homes that will help make their experience a little bit easier to deal with.

Orthofeet Asheville & Charlotte Orthopedic Slippers for Men & Women


Slippers are a common gift and they are also very practical for nursing home residents because they can be taken on and off quickly. But, it is important that they are also safe.

These Podiatrist-approved slippers for men and women feature a roomy and wide toe box with built-in orthotic insoles. Designed to improve the ease of walking and alleviate pain on the heel and ball of the foot from numerous conditions. These are a great choice for older adults who need arch support without sacrificing style.

Magazine Gift Subscriptions That Seniors Will Love

people magazine cover
Available At:

Magazine Store

Who knew magazines were still a thing, right? But a gift like this can really help people in nursing homes and help pass some downtime. Plus they come on a regular basis giving them something to look forward to.

Magazine subscriptions provide a ton of benefits for seniors: education, entertainment, and a way to pass some time. They can also be a great link to the outside world. Look for large print magazines like Reader’s Digest for seniors with vision problems.

The Horti Box: Happy Plants Subscription Box

horti box
Available At:

Learn More at Horti

My next recommendation is designed for older adults who want to learn to care for plants and build their confidence in their green thumb.

Each box contains a hardy plant along with well-researched instructions on how to care for that month’s selection. They even offer a friendly customer service line to answer your plant growing questions.

There are pet-friendly subscriptions and your recipient receive only one or several plants each month. They even have a plant resurrection guarantee if you lose one!

Like an idea like this? You can see more subscription box gifts for seniors here if so.

Orthofeet BioSoft Padded Sole Socks

orthofeet biosoft socks
Available At:


Cold feet are a common complaint of nursing home residents. But, these super-soft socks from Orthofeet can help!

The BioSoft line of socks from Orthofeet are specifically designed to address foot pain and increase overall foot comfort. They are made of super-soft, moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial bamboo fibers and come with padded soles and super stretchy cuffs to better fit swollen feet, ankles, and calves.

Dignity Pajamas

Is the nursing home your loved one resides in dressing them in those ugly, white hospital gowns with the blue boxes? It’s time for an upgrade!

The open-back gowns and pajama products from Dignity Pajamas are just as easy for the nursing home staff to put on residents because they have an open back with simple closures like hook and loop fasteners.

The best part? They don’t look like hospital gowns either; rather, they look like any other stylish nightgown or pajama set a person would choose for themselves!

They have many styles available for both men and women!

Shop Now at Dignity Pajamas

Pembrook Fuzzy Non-Skid Socks

These super-fuzzy socks, made of a Chenille blend are luxuriously soft so, of course, they are comfortable enough to wear all day. Plus, they have the added safety of rubber gripper treads on the bottom to reduce the chance of slipping while wearing them. They are available in 7 different color combinations and are designed to last!

Cool-jams Loungewear and Pajamas

Many nursing home residents spend a lot of their time in and out of bed throughout the day. This loungewear set doubles as house wear and as pajamas too. It comes with a jacket for modesty as well!

Specially designed for hot-natured people or women in menopause, this cooling loungewear is moisture-wicking, breathable, and temperature regulating too.

World of Puzzles & Games Subscription

Games-World-of-Puzzles-Magazine-Agent-com (1)
Available At:

Magazine Agent

To fight boredom between visits, check out this regular puzzle book subscription for people in nursing homes. This helps keep their mind focused and their hands busy!

Many seniors love working on puzzles so why not provide them puzzles to work on all year long. Puzzles help keep the mind active and sharp which can improve memory and keep away the boredom. 9 Issues per year.

Bearaby Cotton Napper Weighted Blanket

Bearaby The Napper Blanket
Available At:

See it at Bearaby

Anxiety is also common among people in nursing homes. And, many believe that weighted blankets can really help with anxiety symptoms.

Weighted blankets seem to have benefits for seniors and I love the Bearaby Cotton Napper Weighted Blanket because it has a soft, homemade feel and appearance with all the benefits of a standard weighted blanket.

The knitted fabric keeps you cool when you use it and is also easier to maintain than beaded weighted blankets too. Learn more about weighted blankets for seniors here.

Relish Radio for Dementia

relish dementia radio
Available At:

Relish Life

This nostalgia-inspired radio is specifically designed to be extremely easy to use. Even seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s so they can use it themselves without needing to get help.

It features an easy-to-use control panel with big buttons that are easy to see. The volume never goes completely off so that the user will know it’s still on. it’s lightweight and durable too!

Caregivers can program their favorite stations into the one-touch buttons on top allowing them to still have variety and choice in their music.

Zeba – Revolutionary New Hands-Free Sneakers

zeba shoes
Available At:

Zeba Shoes

If your loved one in a nursing home is struggling to get their shoes on and off – take a look at these. They could make getting ready for therapy much simpler!

Zeba’s fashionable sneakers are a great choice for seniors because of their patented no-tie system. Instead of dealing with fasteners, they slip right on even from a standing position. This reduces the chance of you losing your balance because you won’t need to bend over to tie your shoes!

CareBoxCo Monthly and Quarterly Care Boxes

care box gift subscription for seniors
Available At:


CareBoxCo offers monthly and quarterly subscriptions and includes a range of practical and comfort items as well as little treats. It’s a great way to show someone residing in a nursing home that you care – on a regular basis!

For example, a box might include soaps, socks, a hat, and a full-size jig saw puzzle. Another box may have hot and cold heat treatment packs as well as candy and cookies.

They even offer the option to personalize the boxes by printing out a personal note or photos that you send them. This is a great way to add a personal touch.

Individually Packaged Gourmet Scones Subscription Box

seven sisters scones
Available At:

Seven Sisters Scones

Looking for a food or snack gift but want something unique?

These artisan scones are backed and shipped the same day for fresh flavor and taste. Plus each is unique because they are hand-scooped too. Each scone is individually packaged so that fresh flavor can be maintained as long as possible.

You have lots of flavor choices and flavors are changed from time to time for some variety. There are gluten-free options as well as cookies and bars too.

Choose the subscription option for monthly or quarterly deliveries of assorted scone boxes right to your loved one’s room at the nursing home.

American Made Hardwood Visitor Register or Guestbook

Available At:

See it at Amazon

This gift idea is a fun way to keep track of visitors and get some great stories along the way. Having a sign-in journal in their room encourages guests, family, and friends to leave notes, stories, and other keepsakes. I chose this one because it looks great and will lay flat and is made from natural walnut.

Acorn Women’s Spa Wrap Slipper

Acorn Spa Wrap Slippers

Available At:

Multiple Choices

The Spa Wrap Slipper from Acorn pampers your feet while providing support and a flexible fit. The soft terry cloth fabric feels like velvet on the feet. But, these slippers also have a contoured footbed with an enhanced arch and heel for support and comfort. For swollen feet, the adjustable strap offers a custom fit and makes them easy to take on/off. Machine washable

LegXercise PRO Passive Exercise Machine

legxercise pro in front of the box
Available At:


The LegXercise PRO is a capable and easy-to-use automatic leg exercise machine for seniors and the elderly. It is designed to provide passive movement to the feet and legs to stimulate blood flow which, in turn, reduces leg pain, cramps, and swelling.

Sunbeam Microplush Heated Electric Warming Throw

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Did I mention that nursing homes are often cold and drafty? Here is a great way to warm up a nursing home resident.

I have had plenty of times where I just wanted a blanket or wanted to be a little bit warmer, even inside the house. A good electric heating blanket can bring that extra bit of comforting warmth that overcomes cool weather, bad circulation, or any other reason.

This is a great gift that helps provide that nice comfortable and toasty relaxing feeling of home.

Stylish Adult Bibs and Clothing Protectors for Seniors

classy pal stylish bibs
Available At:

Classy Pal

These superior and stylish bibs and clothing protectors for seniors come in all kinds of fun and classy designs. They are extra large for maximum coverage, a strong but easy-to-open velcro closure, and a pocket/crumb catcher at the bottom.

LapGear Designer Lap Desk with Phone Holder and Device Ledge

Available At:

See it at Amazon

If your loved one is spending a lot of time in their nursing home bed, here is a great idea that helps them stay productive while resting.

With this gift, it’s possible to use laptops, write letters, and even engage in crafts while sitting in a wheelchair. This lap desk is comfortable to use thanks to the built-in cushion, which conforms to the shape of the user’s lap. It’s available in a range of styles and colors, allowing you to select the perfect style for the person you’re shopping for.

PRUNUS Portable Radio

Available At:

See it at Amazon

I love this little radio – it reminds me of one that my grandfather kept in his garage. Nursing home residents can keep it bedside for those times they want a little music or entertainment.

This basically simple radio for seniors has a very easy and intuitive interface. Large, easy-to-press buttons are perfect for seniors with arthritis in their hands. Scan for local stations with one touch.

US Art Supply 82 Piece Deluxe Art Creativity Set

Available At:

See it at Amazon

If your family member enjoys crafts time at the nursing home, an art kit like this makes a great gift because they can use it to continue the fun back in their room on their own.

Help revive a senior’s old hobby or passion give your loved one the tools to take up a new one with this artistic kit. Doing creative tasks like this is good for better developing the more creative part of the brain. While challenging, it will help to teach a new skill, occupy their time, and give them something to be proud of. 

Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Sadly, when our senior loved ones leave us, their stories and history go with them. This workbook encourages them to share this history with your and provides a place to record memories through a series of questions and prompts. It will quickly become a treasured heirloom for the family.

Flower of The Month Club

flower of the month club
Available At:

Monthly Clubs

Flowers can brighten up a dreary nursing home room as well as the spirits of the resident.

Get fresh-cut seasonal bouquets that were cut just days before they arrive. Only top-quality blooms and greens. Shipped overnight for ultimate freshness. Includes a monthly newsletter that highlights the flower’s history and source.

Simplicity Unisex Plush Spa Hotel Kimono Bath Robe Bathrobe

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Everyone gets cold but seniors especially do. If you know a senior living in a cold environment, consider a plush robe. These are always well-received. Try to make their lives a little more comfortable with a bathrobe. Many people suggest that a bathrobe be given with slippers. But, you have to take into consideration safety issues with slippers and the flooring the recipient has.

Mahabis Curve Supportive Slippers for Men and Women

mahabis curve slippers
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Mahabis Curve slippers feature a flexible and grippy rubber sole with a luxurious Italian wool lining. They are made to be durable and easy to care for. Plus, they have the neoprene heel cup to make sure they say secure on your feet reducing the chance of a fall. Available in multiple colors and men’s and women’s sizing.

Decade Candy Gift Box

candy subscription box
Available At:

Old Time Candy

This cool gift box features 2 lbs of candy that was popular in your selected decade packed into a gift box. Decade options include the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

For the true candy lover, there is a 4 lb choice as well as a monthly subscription box option to keep the candy coming on a regular basis.

Poppy’s Hobbies Seasonal Craft Kits

poppy shobbies subscription box
Available At:


This subscription box has craft projects that seniors and beginning crafters will love. Each box is themed around a particular season or holiday and is usually decor items that are show-off worthy! Each box includes complete instructions and all accessories needed.

Xpand No Tie Shoelaces System

Available At:

See Them At Amazon

When people have limited mobility, many basic tasks, like tying shoelaces, can be a challenge. Thankfully, with these shoelaces from Xpand, it’s possible to avoid tying your shoes. These laces can be used with all kinds of shoes and consistently provide a great fit. A present like this could make for a great stocking stuffer.

Microplush Electric Blanket with Foot Pocket

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Don’t you hate it when you are trying to cuddle on your couch and your feet slip outside the blanket? This cool (but warm too) electric throw blanket has a foot pocket at the bottom. Just tuck your feet into the pocket and throw the blanket over the rest of your body and warm up.

American Lifetime Day Clock

Available At:

Alzheimer’s Store

Even on my best days, I’m not always on top of what day of the week it is or what the date is. That’s not likely to get better as I continue to age over the next several decades. This large clock/calendar is perfect as it shows the date, day of the week, time, and year all there at once to make it very handy.

Remedic Medicine Bottle Opener with Magnifier and LED Light

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Personally, I love having one tool that does multiple jobs. This living aid from Remedic solves many problems seniors have. First, it helps open medication bottles by fitting tightly on the lid and giving older adults a better grip and more leverage. This is a great idea for seniors with weakness or arthritis in their hands especially. Plus, it also has a built-in magnifying glass with an LED light for reading the tiny print on those bottles. This could help prevent a medication mix-up!

Gift Baskets Boredom Buster Care Package

Boredom Buster Care Package
Available At:

Greater Good

The Medium Boredom Buster Care Package includes: Word search book, Crossword book, Deck of cards, Wooden puzzle brain teaser game, Tootsie Rolls, Camouflage hackie sack, camouflage bandana, 2 Quaker Oaks Granola bars, Smiley face stress ball, Juicy fruit gum, Blank note cards with envelopes, Planters asst deluxe nuts, Chex mix, Oreo cookies, Combos Cheese filled pretzel nuggets, Kraft gift box.

Audiobooks.com Monthly Audiobook Club

audiobooks audiobook club
Available At:


Many seniors can benefit from an Audiobooks.com subscriptions: from active seniors who like to exercise to elderly people who are homebound or even bedridden. Audiobooks provide hours of entertainment, education, and enlightenment. Plus, they keep seniors’ minds busy as they pass the time.

Matr Boomie Eyeglass Holder

eyeglass holder
Available At:

Greater Good

Forget where your glasses are? Can’t remember where you put them? Then this cat has your back. Hand-carved from Indian Rosewood in India. Other designs are available if cats aren’t your thing.

PhotoShare Smart Frame | Send Pics from Phone to Frame

Available At:

See it at Amazon

A digital photo album is a fun way to load up and display family, vacation, and travel photos. Rather than having space for just one or two happy photos, you can add or change the pictures by uploading them from your phone to the frame when you come to visit. It can also be updated via WiFi too! For fun, the seniors could even use a camera to take some of the photos themselves.

Kinkade Painter of Light Wall Calendar

Kinkade Painter of Light Wall Calendar
Available At:


This calendar features the unique and folksy artwork of Thomas Kinkade in high-quality full-page, full-color pictures. Monthly view. Wall-mountable. Measures 14″X24.5″ when open. 16 months.

Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Gift Set

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Everyone loves Burt’s Bees hand care products – from young to old. It’s a great gift for senior men and women who suffer from dry, cracked, and painful hands including gardeners and travelers. This gift set includes 2 hand creams, cuticle cream and a set of cotton gloves.

Fruit Gift of the Month Club

fruit of the month club
Available At:

Great Clubs

With this gift, the recipient will receive 5 pounds of fresh fruit delivered each month featuring both traditional and exotic varieties. Only the highest quality fruit is selected and it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. 2,3,4,6, and 12-month options.

Mini Bites Cookie Box

mini bites cookie box
Available At:


This gift includes 32 bite-sized gourmet cookies in assorted flavors. Wrapped in packages of 8 to preserve the freshness. Available with and without nuts too!

Assorted Chocolate SQUARES Gift Bag (80 pc)

ghirardelli assorted chocolate squares gift bag
Available At:


This gift bag is packed full of delicious Ghirardelli chocolate squares in 6 different flavors. Total of 80 pieces for the serious chocolate lover.

Personalizable M&M’s Candy Bags

Available At:

Shop M&M Gifts

Every senior seems to love having snacks and sweet treats on hand. Did you know that personalized M&M candies are a real thing? And, they make a great gift that is truly unique. Choose the message, the color, and even the graphics on the bag.

Desert Beauty Succulent Garden Plant

teleflora desert beauty
Available At:

See it at Teleflora

This garden includes green sedum succulents, a large green echeveria succulent, small green echeveria succulents, and small natural river rocks packaged in a round slate pot. Easy to care for and admire.

Super Snacker’s Gourmet Gift Box

Super Snacker's Gourmet Gift Box
Available At:


This basket is a snacker’s dream and loaded up with chocolates, pecan cookies, peanut brittle, chocolate popcorn, white frosted pretzels, toffee coated peanuts. All packaged in a decorative gift box.

Scrapbook Album with Gift Box

Available At:

See it at Amazon

A scrapbook is a great way to recall happy memories together. Include the crafts, stickers, and pictures to go with it, and it becomes a family activity that everyone can enjoy during visits. These scrapbooks can be filled with different themes, like pictures and keepsakes from a lifetime of birthdays, anniversaries, or travels. Larger-sized books are ideal for seniors with vision problems too.

Bath and Body Gift Basket For Women and Men

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Scented gifts like lotions, in their favorite scent, can enhance memory and bring back fond memories. They are also a nice touch to have in the home.

Unless you know of a scent they specifically enjoy, stay away from bold, overpowering smells like heavy floral scents. Light aromatics, vanilla, and food smells are often the best choice. You can find some of my favorite lotions for seniors in this guide.

ASAKUKI Essential Oil Diffuser with Quiet Humidifier

Available At:

See it at Amazon

An aromatherapy diffuser is a wonderful way to release a healthful mist into the air. This gift will transmit at various settings, so you can let it run for 6-8 hours with a tank of water. Anyone who lives in a home with a furnace or heating system that dries out the air needs a humidifier to put some moisture back into the air. And what better way to do that than with favorite aromas too.

Beurer 10-piece Professional Manicure & Pedicure Kit

Available At:

See it at Amazon

When the weather is too cold or mobility is a problem, this at-home kit is an ideal solution. Trimming in-grown toenails and calluses can be dealt with from the comfort and privacy of the home. The kit has all of the pieces needed for a manicure or pedicure. Plus, it includes an instructional guide that explains when/where to use each of the attachments. An LED light is built-in to see the nails better. Consider adding to this gift a small set of nail polishes, nail polish remover, and toe separators so that they can paint their nails too.

Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

Available At:

See it at Amazon

This book reading light charges in a USB port so it can be plugged right into a tablet or kindle device while elderly owners are reading or working. There are multiple color modes and brightness levels including a night light setting. The best part is that it slips easily around the neck – no difficult to use clamps to cause pain for arthritic hands.

Call to Mind Conversation Game For Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Conversation game for dementia
Available At:

Alzheimer’s Store

Research shows that memory games are for everyone. Games like these improve memory and recall – even if the senior you are buying a gift for is sharp as a tack. This game is fit for anyone ages 6 and older so it is a fun game to break out when family or friends visit too.

3X Large Magnifying Glass with Light

Available At:

See it at Amazon

As eyesight goes, this magnifying glass helps seniors read the small print on medication, newspapers, maps, and books. The optical glass dome provides obstruction-free viewing without any distortion. If reading is a problem altogether, think about an easy to use audio book player.

Wooden 7-in-1 Board and Card Game Combo Set

Available At:

See it at Amazon

When the grandkids come to visit, have an engaging activity ready to keep them busy. Playing games is also good for a senior’s memory, mental health, and socialization too. This particular game set is not only beautiful, with two reversible wooden tables, but it has drawers for storage built into it so none of the pieces get lost along the way. Play one of seven different games using just one set.

Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Bird Feeder with Suet Cages

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Bird feeders are great for when people are bored or frustrated. Sitting by the window or on a porch and watching the birds can help to calm people down. Place the birdhouse where seniors in nursing homes, assisted living or who are bedbound can see it out their window. Do some research about local birds in the area where they live so that you can also include some bird seed that attracts neighborhood guests.

Animals Ceramic Flower Pot

Available At:

See it at Amazon

If there isn’t room for a full garden, a planter is a great little gift to put some life into the living space. Look for fun, quirky styles, like these little elephant-themed terrariums. Include some seeds, soil, or some low-maintenance succulents for a complete gift.

Sterling Silver Jewelry Pendant Necklace 

Available At:

See it at Amazon

A beautiful piece of jewelry can make your loved one feel beautiful and pampered, especially if it has a significant meaning. Find one that matches her style, or maybe take a look at birthstone necklaces if this is a gift for her birthday. Pick her brain a little and find out what her favorite stone is, and maybe get her a whole matching set (necklace, earrings, rings, and a bracelet) that features that stone. Pair it with a jewelry box.

Leather Journal in Gift Box with Pen

Available At:

See it at Amazon

This stylish journal is packaged in a gift box and has a unique style and look. It’s been said that journaling helps improve memory and mental processing – and it’s a great way to record memories or private thoughts. Would make a good travel or garden diary too.

ASUTRA Weighted Silk Eye Pillow for Sleep

Available At:

See them at Amazon

For comfort and pampering, this therapeutic eye pillow is infused with lavender (one of the most relaxing essential oils), and adds a level of calm and relaxation to your loved one’s life. Having a weighted pillow rest on your eyes can provide a lot of relief, especially in this age of screens. This is an especially thoughtful gift for seniors with sleeping problems.

100 All Occasion Greeting Cards 4 x 6 with 100 Envelopes

Available At:


This set of greeting cards prepares your loved ones or friend for any and all upcoming events. They can write out cards for holidays, and send letters of appreciation, condolences, or congratulations. Throw in a set of lifetime stamps while you are at it so that they can mail their cards when it’s time. For forgetful seniors or those with dementia, fill them out in advance and hold onto them until it’s time to mail them.

TIMMKOO Easy to Use MP3 Player

Available At:

See it at Amazon

A great gift for an older adult who is a lover of great music, or even a tech-savvy relative, will truly appreciate a senior-friendly MP3 player. Music can bring back positive memories, increase stimulation, and provide a chance to interact with those around them. Load it up with their favorite music before giving it to them. This easy-to-use model has simple instructions and a large easy-to-read screen.

Fire HD 8 Tablet and E-Reader

Available At:

See it at Amazon

Amazon Kindle is a reliable electronic reader that is available in many sizes and weights plus the fonts can be enlarged for easier reading. Set it up to have some of their favorite books ahead of time. Take it one step further and load an app like Skype onto a newer Kindle version so that they can sign in and chat with family when you are apart.

Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Available At:


Wireless headphones will let your loved one enjoy their TV viewing, audiobook listening experience, or just shut the world out for a little while. These headphones fit right over the ear and cancel out the noise around them in an otherwise noisy common area. This model has a 30-hour battery life and can be synced to a wide range of devices via Bluetooth. Check out my guide to buying headphones for seniors and the elderly in this article.

Gifts with Little or No Cost

Not every gift has to break the bank! In fact, creativity is more important than anything. Personal mementos go a long way for those living in nursing homes.

  • If residents do not already have a large address book, for example, you can compile a list of their most common addresses in one place.
  • Cozy gifts that remind them of home like a properly sized quilt or blanket for nursing homes in a pattern they love.
  • You can enlarge a favorite family photo or a photo of the resident in their younger years and put it in their room.
  • Customized items like coffee mugs or photo frames can remind family members and friends of their loved ones.
  • Given the limited space and décor provided by nursing home facilities, small decorations for a nursing home room can make a world of difference.
  • Consider, for example, a beautiful vase with flowers that you refill each time you visit.
  • If there is a tree outside their window, the nursing home might permit a bird feeder to be hung and refilled periodically.
  • Air fresheners or flameless candle burners can give the space the comfortable feeling of home.
  • Magazine subscriptions or Netflix subscriptions can help give them something to do.

That said, the gifts below are perfect ideas for making the nursing home environment seem a bit cozier. Some will encourage socialization too among friends within the community.

Practical Gift Ideas

Many people appreciate more practical gifts. They show you care and understand what her needs are. Here are a few examples:

  • Stationary kits and stamps, especially for those who live far away from their family, are an interesting idea.
  • Electric toothbrushes or personalized toiletry kits make for nice gifts.
  • If your loved one or friend has a hobby they still enjoy, help keep them active by giving them the tools or supplies they need to engage in that hobby. Hobby-based gifts are unique, a personal reflection of the recipient. They are also a chance for the person to feel good about their achievements.
  • A small flashlight can be an accompanying gift to help them feel safer. There are even canes that have built-in flashlights too.
  • Women who rely upon walkers to get around might benefit from a basket or bag that attaches to the walker. This gift makes it easier to cart around personal items from their room to common areas.

That said, below are 30 great ideas for tangible items that do not take up too much space and can be a beautiful way to say “I was thinking about you”:

RELATED GUIDE: Great Subscription Boxes for the Elderly

Don’t Forget Quality Time!

While tangible gifts are appreciated, what loved ones want more than anything is quality time with friends and family. If you are not much of a talker, you don’t have to visit your family member and make awkward, forced small talk for an hour.

  • Schedule an activity for your visits, perhaps one associated with the gift you give.
  • Volunteer at a nursing home and help out with their community events. So, that way, you give your friend or family member something to brag about to other residents.
  • Read aloud to them during your visits or show off footage you filmed from family birthday parties or school performances they may have missed.

Tips for Giving Your Gift

  • If you have them, don’t forget to bring the kids with you. Time with smaller children is always welcome.
  • If family members are too far to visit regularly, sending recorded messages or stories can be listened to by elderly members over and over again. Letters, cards, and even just to say “hello” and share something silly from the day can be sent throughout the year.
  • If you have a family pet, you probably won’t be able to bring them into the nursing home. But when you bring their gift, see if you cannot arrange to have them meet you and the animal outside.
  • Alternatively, give your gift on a small outing. Residents appreciate small trips outside of the nursing home, even if it is just to get ice cream, see a soccer game, or walk around town looking at decorations.

Gifts to Avoid

No matter if you are buying gifts for seniors in nursing homes or who live with you, remember that this is a situation where less truly is more. Heavier or bulkier items will take up a lot of space they probably don’t have. And even small trinkets can eventually lead to clutter. Avoid incredibly expensive gifts on the off chance that another confused resident mistakenly wanders off with something that is not theirs.

At this stage in their lives, simple pleasures are the things that matter the most. And it will truly make them the happiest just to know that you care.

Do you have any gift ideas to add to this list? Have you given a gift to an elderly person in a nursing home that was loved? Or, maybe it went horribly wrong?  Tell me about in the comments below.

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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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1 thought on “60+ Great Gifts For People in Nursing Homes”

  1. I don’t have family in the nursing home at this time. But my mother and I love to take gifts for bingo on a monthly basis. We take diabetic socks, puzzle books, coloring books, cards, hygiene items, perfume, hair brushes, nail polish, scarfs, throw blankets, lap quilts, house shoes, pajamas, sweat pants, t shirts, and bath towels. as prizes as many residents enjoy these items and they can also give them as gifts to their fellow residents who don’t play bingo. The group has gotten larger then it was before when my dad was a resident.

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