Choosing a gift for seniors can be tricky, especially because you just cannot buy them regular gifts like a pair of high heels or a tie. Instead, you must look for something they can use and enjoy. Some seniors in assisted living may have health complications such as memory loss, which may make some items offered as gifts, either useless or lifesavers.
Gift ideas for seniors are not always at our fingertips. However, worry not because if you are looking to gift a senior in assisted living with a mothers’ day, fathers’ day, or a just-because gift, this article has you covered.
Best Gifts for Seniors in Assisted Living
Here are my recommended gifts for seniors in assisted living. Some are fun, some are practical, and some might just make daily life a little easier.
The Soundbyte is a pocket-sized, multi-purpose radio that can also serve as a TV speaker, a Bluetooth speaker, and an MP3 player. The player interface is pretty basic, easy to see, and easy to understand. No need to purchase batteries either because it uses a rechargeable battery that is also replaceable if needed.
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.
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.
Magazine subscriptions provide a ton of benefits for seniors: education, entertainment, 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.
Many seniors love working puzzles so why not provide them puzzles to work all year long. Puzzles help keep the mind active and sharp which can improve memory and keep away boredom. 9 Issues per year.
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 the 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.
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 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!
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.
Sadly, when our senior loved ones leave us, their stories and history goes 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.
The Grandbox Premium Subscription Box that is sent out once a month. The deliveries coincide with important dates such as birthdays, major public holidays, Christmas, etc.
Grandbox deliveries are built around a theme and are often seasonal. The boxes include a range of gifts with items that are full sized, not fun-sized. Past boxes have included seasonal snacks, puzzle books, fall decor, calendars, and even an Elf on the Shelf!
Plus, Grandboxes can be deeply personalized. I love that you can even add 5 of your own photos and a personal note in each box! It’s a great way to keep long distance relatives involved and up to date along with some nice gifts!
This selection of loose teas was specifically chosen for their anti-inflammatory benefits and are loaded with anti-oxidants. Oh, and they are delicious too. Varieties included: Turmeric Bliss, Happy Belly, Skinny Tea, and Tea-Tox. A great choice for seniors with arthritis or who just enjoy warming themselves with a cup of tea.
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.
This subscription box has craft projects that seniors and beginning crafters will love. Each box is themed around a particular season or holiday and are usually decor items that are show-off worthy! Each box includes complete instructions and all accessories needed.
This stoneware mug is made to go from microwave to table and includes a vented, splatter-free lid. Great for heating up oatmeal, hot chocolate, chilis, and soups and then eating right out of the bowl. Seniors can warm their belly and their achy hands by holding onto this warm mug/bowl combo. Dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.
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 available if cats aren't your thing.
Enjoy a good mystery? Can’t put down an Agatha Christie novel once you get started? Then HuntAKiller.com may be just the subscription service for you.
Each month you get a box of clues to help you solve a murder. These monthly boxes are laid out like an episode of a TV show and they tell a bigger story. Six episodes complete a season. There are puzzles and ciphers to solve too for the puzzle lover.
Each box takes between 90 min and 3 hours to complete and can be used as a group experience too. Worried about content? The boxes are “PG-13” because some clues may be graphic (autopsy reports ans such).
The Margaret Bronze Power Lift Recliner is designed for smaller framed seniors and has a short seat height. Simply press a button on the wired remote to get in or out, or fully recline. Plus, the causal look blends with your existing furniture. Other sizes and colors avaialable.
These traditional moccasins with indoor-outdoor soles are for more than just the house. Ideal for walking the dog or grabbing coffee, your feet will stay warm on chilly days. Thick pile lining cushions every step. Available in Men's and Women's styles.
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.
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 on up.
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
The HeartGuide is the first accurate wearable blood pressure monitor. Tracks heart data, activity level, sleep, and more. Accompanying app analyzes data for personal health recommendations.
Storyboards are a great way to keep seniors updated with photos of their family and your lives. Simply upload photos and they will be converted to 8X8 photo boards that can be stuck to the wall. The best part? They don't leave any marks on the wall when removed so they should be nursing home or assisted living approved!
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.
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.
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.
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.
A gift like this provides cozy comfort that will keep your loved ones warm and comfortable. Warm afghans like these make for the perfect senior gift. Prone to cold more than in younger years, elderly people will appreciate the opportunity to wrap up tightly no matter the weather. I chose this one because it is super soft and large enough to cover up without being hard to manage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This set of greeting cards prepares your loved ones or friend for any and all upcoming events. They can write out cards for holidays, 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.
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.
No matter how old some of us get, that morning cup of coffee is a mandatory start to the day. This single serve coffee maker is a great gift to provide that single cup of coffee - quickly and easily. No waste, no hassle, just a simple and strong cup of caffeine to get going in the morning.
If you’ve never spent the money on a truly special luxury blanket or quilt, you’re missing out. This one is a truly outstanding blanket that is comfortable, warm, cozy, and really will change the entire experience whether getting a good night’s sleep or just taking a little nap.
This is probably one of the most useful gifts for any senior. Alexa Echo will tell them the time, date, weather forecast, play them their favorite songs, and also remind them to have their medicines. However, you may need to set it up for them.
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.
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.
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 package 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 home.
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 used with all kinds of shoes and consistently provide a great fit. A present like this could make for a great stocking stuffer.
With this gift, it's possible to use laptops, write letters, and even engage in crafts while sitting in a wheelchair. This lapdesk 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.
General Gift Advice for Seniors and the Elderly in Assisted Living Homes
1. Personal Gifts
The best way to show affection and care to seniors in assisted living communities is to gift them with personalized gifts. This shows that you put some thought and heart into choosing the gift, which makes it more meaningful. Sending a bouquet of their favorite flowers wrapped in a thoughtful message is a sure way to cheer a senior up. You can also simply give them a call and talk about their favorite topics and memories.
Putting a balloon and a card outside their door is a great way to brighten their day, especially when they find your gift first thing in the morning. You can also write them a personal letter or paint a picture for them. If you still need more gift ideas, you can choose to video call them and include their favorite pets and family members. Not only do these personal gifts cheer them up, but they also make them feel remembered and treasured.
2. Music and game gifts
Seniors in assisted living communities have a lot of free time, and buying games and music for them is an excellent way of engaging them. If they love music, buy them musical merchandise from their favorite artist. Record players and the traditional music box is an amazing way of helping seniors enjoy their time.
You can also purchase board games for seniors and even play with them when you visit. Not only does it make their mind active, but it also provides a bonding platform with the loved ones. Crossword puzzles, playing a game of cards, video games, and large print coloring books are amazing games gift ideas for the elderly.
3. Recreation of Memories Gifts
All seniors have a list of memorable times of their lives. It could be a place they visited or a sport they used to play when they were younger. A great gift idea would be to recreate such precious memories to help them feel young again. If your loved one’s favorite memory was their visit to France, you could order them some French cuisine to help them recreate their fond memories. You can also decorate their room with photos of France to keep their special memories alive.
If your grandpa loved and played baseball when he was younger, spend time with him watching an old baseball series together and bring his favorite ballpark snack. When seniors relive their old memories, they feel alive and young again. In fact, a recreation of memories is a less costly gift that could mean so much to a senior.
4. Pampering Gifts
One way to make seniors feel loved and appreciated is by pampering them physically. The best way to do so would be to spend a day with them at the salon or spa. They can get their hair done or enjoy a massage altogether. Spa and salon activities such as manicure, pedicure, haircutting, coloring, facials, and eyebrow treatments are all bonding opportunities for you and your loved one.
There is no end to the list of gift ideas for seniors in assisted living. The secret to a good gift is making sure it is useful and applicable to the senior’s lifestyle. Also, to make it special, thoughtful, and personalized, always remember that handwritten messages are more memorable than typed ones.