Creating Thanksgiving Care Packages for Older Loved Ones

Giving seniors and the elderly a special Thanksgiving-themed care package can make their holiday much more enjoyable. This guide will help you choose the correct items and find creative ways to give them to them.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
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It’s that time of year once more! And what perfect moment to show a senior’s love and appreciation than with a care package full of goodies?

Care packages brighten the mood and make the Thanksgiving holiday more fun – especially for older adults who may not have family around them this time of year.

That’s why we’ve organized a list of everything you need to know to create the perfect care package for seniors and the elderly. From sweets to savory items, we’ve got you covered. Of course, don’t forget about a festive card to go along with it all!

What to Include in a Senior and Elderly Thanksgiving Care Package?

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends, but it can also be a time for seniors to reflect. Consider giving them a care package this year to make their life easier.

Include medication reminders, dentures, shoes, or other clothing items in care packages. If you’re unsure what to include, seek advice from an elderly friend or family member. 

Get creative and come up with one-of-a-kind ideas, such as a basket full of favorite snacks with a personalized note. A calendar or small music player could make an excellent addition! It’s a beautiful way to show your appreciation and commemorate their special day.

Perfect Thanksgiving Gift Ideas for Seniors


A care package should include a variety of activities. Some suggestions include games, puzzles, books, and so on. Or, they could even include the tools and supplies needed for crafting activities!

Craft ideas could consist of making jewelry, doodles on paper, or even baking treats! Including some art in the mix is a great way to brighten everyone’s day and relieve stress. 

It’s also an excellent idea to have cards with words of appreciation inside them so that older loved ones will feel appreciated.

Staying busy with activities can help keep seniors mentally and physically engaged and healthy.

It is important to note, though, that not all older adults are the same, so there’s no need to limit these activities based on a numerical age or difficulty level.

Thanksgiving care package for your loved ones special foods
Some of the most appealing special foods to seniors are chocolates and candies.

Special Foods

It’s no surprise that as people get older, they value special foods more.

Chocolates and candies are particularly appealing to seniors. Often treats like this are sentimental and can bring back memories of childhood. When planning special get-togethers or gifts for aging loved ones, make sure to include these on your shopping list! 

When it comes to food items, homemade is always a hit. Try some recipes you think they will love – Butter Pecan Cookie Bars with Penuche Drizzle, Potato Candy, and Italian Horn cookies. You’ll also get to spend quality time together preparing them!

As long as it is safe to do so, include finely chopped nuts in your goodies. Many nuts, including pecans and walnuts, have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

They contain monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, which help to lower harmful cholesterol levels in the body. They also help to increase good cholesterol.

We have some easy recipes for Thanksgiving dishes and treats you can check out for inspiration.

Pampering and Comfort Items

A few items can help to make pampering feel even more special. Gifting seniors with sea bath salt, dry shampoo, foot scrubs, and lotions are an excellent idea.

A sea salt bath can help relax, ease achy muscles, stimulate circulation, and calm irritated skin. These pampering items make their bathing experience much more enjoyable. 

Comfort items such as bathrobes, quilts, knitted scarves, fuzzy socks and slippers, and lap blankets keep seniors warm and comfortable during the cold winter.

So can small fleecy throw blankets and quilts. Absorbent cotton blankets can even be used to make bath time better. Who doesn’t enjoy the luxury of being wrapped in soft fabric after a hot bath?

Fidget Quilts for Seniors with Dementia

Senior citizens with dementia often find visiting tedious and exhausting. A fidget quilt can help alleviate this stress by providing comfort and distraction during long days spent at the doctor, dentist, etc.

Fidget quilts are made from soft fabrics that are easy to clean. They come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate any need or preference, making them a perfect gift for seniors of all ages.

A Personal Touch

When it comes to gift giving, nothing beats a personal touch. As a result, ensuring that the gift is one-of-a-kind and tailored to the recipient is critical.

Consider including items that will bring back memories of home, such as favorite holiday mementos or care package subscriptions filled with things they want! 

A handwritten card expresses your concern and care. Handmade “Coupons” for activities like housecleaning, cooking a meal, grocery shopping, and walking the dog are also delightful, as are get-well cards drawn by children or grandchildren.

Keep everything light, and avoid anything heavy or depressing. A bouquet of fresh flowers can also lift their spirits!

Heavy items that are difficult to transport will add unnecessary stress to the caregivers of the elderly.

What’s Not to Include in Care Packages for Older Adults?

Heavy items, food that requires refrigeration or takes up a lot of storage space, and potentially dangerous items should not be in the care packages for older adults.

If the care package recipient is in a facility or assisted living community, avoid expensive electronics and trinkets that are easily lost.

If you will be shipping the care package, it’s best not to send anything loose that can roll around. Also, baked goods may not be a great idea either if the package gets lost. Baked goods with icing should be avoided especially because, chances are, the frosting will be everywhere once received!

Finally, it goes without saying, that large, bulky items shouldn’t be included either. They probably won’t fit anyway. But, chances are there won’t be room for larger items where the senior lives. And, caregivers may not want to manhandle these items either.

Where to Distribute Care Packages for Seniors?

The American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are two options for distributing care packages. Don’t forget about your friends and family members! Many older adults enjoy receiving care packages from friends and family members.

Contacting local churches or synagogues to find a distribution point is also a good idea. There are numerous care package distribution organizations, so it is critical to research which one is best for your loved ones. 

You have here the following options for distributing care packages:

Nursing Home

Because nursing homes are frequently forgotten, it can be difficult for residents to feel loved and appreciated. Distributing care packages is a great way to show your support. You don’t have to be an expert cook or florist to create lovely care packages!

All you need is creativity, patience, and know-how about what goes well in a nursing home setting. Remember that dietary restrictions and personal hygiene must also be considered when packing a package!

Assisted Living

Those who live in assisted living have a sense of community. Furthermore, most assisted living facilities have on-site nurses and care staff familiar with care package delivery.

It means recipients will not have to make additional preparations or deal with complications associated with the care package distribution process.

Furthermore, many assisted living facilities to allow residents to receive multiple care packages per month, making it simple for loved ones to show their support and kindness.

Senior Citizens in the Neighborhood

There are now neighborhood care programs available! Reaching out to seniors in your community and providing them with items they enjoy can help you build long-lasting relationships.

Offering to help seniors with any activities they enjoy, going for walks or visiting the library- shows genuine concern for them and a desire to make their lives easier. 

Giving care packages allows you to express your gratitude while staying organized. There are numerous benefits to distributing care packages to local seniors.

It is a simple task that requires little effort from family members, and having nearby neighbors increases social support and interaction. 

RELATED: Thanksgiving Gift Guide for Seniors

Summary and Final Recommendations

Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for everything we have, including our elders and seniors. With so many changes and uncertainties in their lives, they must know they are loved and appreciated.

Giving a care package is the best way to express your love and appreciation for a senior. 

We’ve gathered a few suggestions that we believe you’ll enjoy. Because every senior is unique, tailor the items in your care package to your loved one’s specific needs and interests.

Include unique words or handwritten notes to express your love and appreciation! Go ahead and start packing!


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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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