Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

The holidays are the traditional time to show your appreciation for your loved ones and community.  Shopping for fantastic holiday gifts is not always easy, however, it makes it all worthwhile to see the big smiles on their faces. Shopping for children can oftentimes be easy as they are quite upfront about what they want and those lists on the letters to Santa can make it foolproof. However, shopping for adults and especially elderly adults can be a little more challenging. What do you get for the person who has everything? if you are looking for gifts that are thoughtful, helpful, and entertaining, then this article will help you make those decisions. The following are examples of gifts you can get your elderly loved one, however, you know your loved one best and you will need to adjust accordingly.


Technology can be an effective way to help us stay connected and with the invention of video conferencing, spending quality time with your elderly loved one can be as easy as making a call.  Senior citizens benefit from quality time spent together, however, with the dangers of COVID-19, and the emphasis on those who are immune-compromised staying out of public spaces, it can be safer to use technology to stay connected.

The best purchase to get your elderly loved one is a device that they can use to video call their friends and family. Brands like the Amazon Echo with Alexa can be hugely beneficial as with some training on how to use Alexa, seniors can manipulate the technology to do basically whatever they want. It gives them the freedom to make calls, watch television or even access a variety of different applications.  Amazon Echo can be a great brand, however, with a little research, you can find the right technology at the right price for your elderly loved one.  When purchasing a tablet or device, consider the size of the screen and the accessibility needs for your loved ones’ specific circumstances.

Sentimental Keepsakes

As people move into their twilight years and become grandparents or even great-grandparents, they often want to connect to both their roots and their future family. A custom photo album or collage is a great gift for an elderly loved one who enjoys reminiscing over old family members or bragging about their cute grandchildren to the friends who come and visit. A photo album is a traditional gift and one that they can keep forever, in addition, it is also quite easy to purchase from any major box store such as Walmart or even online.

If you were looking for something a little more functional, then a custom photo calendar can be a cute way for them to show off their loved ones and help them keep track of birthdays and important dates.  If you were looking for something a little more fun, then a custom photo blanket or puzzle can be a unique way to give the gift of visual memories. This gives them the opportunity to get snuggled up with a photo blanket of their favorite dog or if your elderly loved one likes puzzles, this is an awesome way for people to spend time together and reveal the photo that was chosen.


Entertainment can look different according to each person’s preference, so you may have to be thoughtful in this category to figure out which type of entertainment your elderly loved one would like the best. Giving the gift of music is usually a safe bet, so if they are someone that prefers using their device to control their music then getting them an annual Spotify membership can be an awesome gift, however, if they are old-fashioned and prefer other methods of listening to music then consider gifting them their favorite CD, cassette tape or even vinyl if they have a record player.

The same could be said about their favorite TV shows and movies, consider which old favorites they may want to own so they can re-watch at their leisure.  Or if they prefer watching television on their device consider an account with Netflix, Disney Plus, or Amazon Prime. If your elderly loved one prefers more interactive games then purchase an accessible-friendly jigsaw puzzle, large print playing cards, or even a modern video game you would like to play with them.

 Gift Certificates for Experiences

While a gift certificate may seem a little impersonal, many people find it to be an excellent gift, especially if it is an experience that you can do together. While it is easy to get excited by the glitz and glam of physical presents during the holidays, the true meaning of the season is spending quality time with your loved ones. What better way to spend quality time than to gift a certificate for a favorite restaurant, a self-care service like hair styling, manicure, or massage, or even a new hobby such as a paint night or pottery day. If your elderly loved one has a favorite place or they have stated that they would like to try something new then this is a great opportunity to give them the gift of an experience and spend quality time doing it together.

Accessibility Gifts

While the previous categories would always be lovely to receive, sometimes it is nice to pair a sentimental gift with a functional gift. As we get older our requirements change with what helps us navigate the world. The words functional and accessibility will look different to a variety of people and only you and your elderly loved one to know what would help them in their day-to-day life. If your elderly loved one struggles with anxiety or mental health issues then a gift like a weighted blanket, a heated blanket, or a wheelchair blanket may help keep them warm and comfortable. However, if they struggle with accessible clothing, then buying them adaptive clothing that specializes in making life easier for people with arthritis, incontinence, limited mobility, and other special physical needs can be a great functional gift for the holidays. When you think of adaptive clothing you may consider compression socks or adjustable house slippers however, brands like Silvert’s and Buck & Buck offer accessible clothing lines that assist in a range of physical special needs. If you are considering purchasing an accessibility-related gift ensure that you do your research prior to purchase to make sure that your elderly loved one will find it beneficial.

When purchasing holiday gifts, the most important aspect is being thoughtful and intentional with your gift-giving.  Each person is a unique individual with their own special interests and ideas about what is a functional gift.  If you have put thought and intention into your gift then it will be sure to be well-received as a manifestation of your love and appreciation for them.


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