10 holiday gift ideas for older adults

December 4th, 2019

By: Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC

Shopping for a unique holiday gift can be a challenge, but it’s often even more challenging when it’s for an aging loved one. Many times, the best gifts provide memories and comfort or are practical and functional items.

Consider these 10 great holiday gift ideas for your aging loved one that will show how much you care.

Share a favorite meal

Make or buy your loved one their favorite dish. Consider cooking a meal together at home, yours or theirs. Give your loved one the gift of time and, if they’re able, a simple task, such as sorting ingredients, rinsing vegetables or stirring the batter. It will make them feel involved. If you’re bringing a meal or dish, plan to stay and enjoy it with your loved one.

Share a favorite experience

Does your loved one enjoy theater? Live music? Eating out? Plan a day out to enjoy a holiday concert, a play, or their favorite restaurant. If your loved one prefers to stay home, plan to watch a favorite movie, play a game, or enjoy a takeout meal.

Photos

Photos are a great way to share classic family memories with a loved one or make new memories together. You can create a photo calendar, photo blanket, or photo puzzle for an older adult to enjoy. Another great option is a custom photo album or a digital photo frame. 

Tablets

All-in-one devices such as a Kindle Fire, or iPad are great ways for your loved one to listen to their favorite music. If they enjoy movies, a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime is an excellent way for them to watch new movies at home. Although some older adults are tech-savvy, plan to spend some time teaching your loved one how to use the new device. Writing down simple directions and passwords can be helpful. 

Playing cards and puzzles

Playing cards and puzzles also are great gifts. Playing card games like bridge, rummy, and kings corners keep our minds active, boost concentration, and provide a great social outlet. Puzzles are beneficial and fun for people of all ages.

Single-serve coffee maker

Make having a cup of coffee easy for your loved one with a single-serve coffee maker. You can include a box of single-serve coffee pods and some cookies to make it extra special. 

Blanket

A soft, cozy throw blanket can be a perfect gift for a loved one to use while they relax, read, or watch TV. Throw blankets are lightweight and easy to clean, and there are designs to suit every taste. An extra special touch would be having the grandchildren help in making a fleece blanket for grandma or grandpa.

Resistance band

A resistance band or a TheraBand are great gifts that can be used at home for low-impact exercise or stretching. Resistance bands are elastic bands that come in a variety of shapes, thicknesses, and sizes. Using these simple exercise devices can help build muscle and keep your loved one flexible.

Homemade gift certificates

Homemade gift certificates are perfect for older adults. Provide a “coupon book” with offers to be your loved one’s personal shopper for new clothing or give them a weekend of yard work, house cleaning, or decluttering. 

Gift basket

Depending on your loved one's interests, you can make a personalized basket full of books, games, specialty teas, slippers, lotions, bath soaps, cologne, or perfume. Another option would be to create a custom food basket with your loved one’s favorite meats, cheese, chocolates, or sauces.

Help for the holidays

Do you have a loved one who might be lonely this season but you live far away? Perhaps they need a little extra support around the house, or maybe you need time to do your holiday shopping. You can give your loved one the gift of paying for a weekly professional caregiver visit every week for 3 months or whatever the best plan might be for your situation. Whatever your family’s needs are, the BrightStar Care team, led by a Registered Nurse, can help. Call 866-618-7827 or contact a BrightStar Care® home care agency near you to learn how your loved one might benefit from in-home care services.