Finding Christmas gifts for seniors (whether it’s mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa) seems to be a particularly challenging task – after all, what do you get for someone who has everything? Many seniors believe they have enough acquired enough ‘things’ over their many years, and some insist they don’t want anything.
The truth is, however, there’s always a gift to be found for someone; you just need to think outside the box. The key is to find something they’ll not only love, but something they’ll actually use, and will make their daily lives happier and easier.
This can be difficult, so to help you out, we’ve gathered up our picks for the 17 best Christmas gifts for seniors.
Family Photo Album
This is a gift idea that has been around forever, but is always appreciated. Get some photos developed and find a nicely designed photo album to put them in, so your elderly loved one can flip through the pages and take a trip down memory lane any time. This is also a good gift idea for seniors with dementia, who may find comfort in looking at the images.
These aren’t just for kids. In recent years, many older adults have started using these as a form of stress-relief. Oftentimes, seniors find coloring to be a relaxing activity. For those with dementia or arthritis, consider a coloring book with large, simple designs, along with a few crayons. (Click here to read more about how art therapy can benefit seniors)
Back & Neck Massagers
There are plenty of electric massagers on the market. These are made to help with sore muscle, and sometimes use a heating function to relieve joint pain. Of course, since many older adults suffer from arthritis, these are specifically great Christmas gifts for seniors.
Weighed or Electric Blanket
Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause agitation and unrest in the elderly. Recent studies have shown many benefits to weighted blankets, which uses deep pressure stimulation (similar to the effects of a hug) to reduce anxiety, ease stress, and fight insomnia.
Perfect for staying cozy in the winter months, slippers are a good gift at any age. Seniors can benefit from the easy, slip-on design and comfort. Consider getting diabetic slippers if your loved one experiences swelling, and try to find a pair with soft insoles, and make sure they are non-slip!
Christmas gifts for seniors don’t always have to be age-specific. Sometimes, a simple gift is best, and gift cards are great for loved ones of any age. Whether it’s for a favourite restaurant or a personal service (such as a massage, hair styling, or manicure/pedicure), a gift card works as both a present or a stocking stuffer.
The brain is a muscle that needs to be trained just like any other to stay healthy. This is especially true for seniors, who often don’t get enough mental stimulation throughout the day. There are many inexpensive brain games that can improve memory, concentration, and mental health for the elderly, and they make thoughtful Christmas gifts. Click here for a list of 6 brain games for seniors.
Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home are voice-controlled devices that can help a senior in many ways. Your loved one can ask the device to read the news, tell them the weather, play music or read books, make grocery lists, and can be hooked up to other electronics like kettles, lights, or thermostats, so they’ll be voice-controlled as well. While some seniors may find these fancy gadgets daunting, there are many benefits to modern technology for aging adults.
Many seniors have trouble brushing their own teeth due to limited mobility caused by deteriorating health. Dental care is essential to maintaining overall well-being, however: A lack of attention to oral health can lead to serious tooth decay and gum diseases. An electric toothbrush, along with a one-handed flossing kit, is a good stocking stuffer, and can help keep your elderly loved one healthy
Custom Jigsaw Puzzle
This one doubles as a brain game and a reminiscent gift. Many online services are available that allow you to upload photographs to be made into a custom puzzle. Not only is this good for seniors to look back on happy memories, but jigsaw puzzles are also a great way of keeping the mind active.
Medical Alert Device
These medical devices come in the form of wearable accessories like bracelets or necklaces. With the push of a button, emergency response services can be alerted, and medical personnel will be sent to the senior’s location. While they’re on the pricier side, they are a worthy investment for seniors who live alone or are at risk of falling.
Memory Foam Seat Cushion
For older parents who spend a lot of their days sitting in a favorite chair, this inexpensive gift can make a world of difference. A memory foam cushion requires is lightweight, fully portable, and can make sitting down for several hours much more comfortable for your loved one. It may even help with back pain and blood circulation. Consider these as a gift to use for chairs, couches, or even a car seat.
Elderly parents with dementia can benefit from these soft, knitted hand muffs, which keep their hands occupied while providing a calming sensory experience. This can be helpful for seniors who experience unrest and anxiety, and they come in many colorful designs.
Safety Grab Bars
The bathroom is one of the most likely places for a senior to experience a fall in their own home. Many of these occur when trying to sit down or get up from the toilet, or by slipping in the shower. To prevent this, consider buying your elderly loved one a safety bar in the shower for them to hold on to while entering and exiting. There are also tub-attached bars available for seniors who prefer baths. They can also be placed near the toilet, in order to give the senior support while sitting down. Find more bathroom safety tips here.
Here’s a simple yet thoughtful present for those with limited mobility or with dementia. This type of blanket helps keep your loved one warm during the cold holiday season, and works by attaching to the chair with small hooks, so you don’t need to worry about it falling off or getting caught in the wheels.
White Noise Machine
Research has shown that these devices can help ease insomnia, by blocking out noises and providing a constant, soothing sound. These machines offer varying ambient sounds to help your loved one sleep soundly through the night, and wake up feeling more refreshed and alert.
Essential Oil Diffuser/Aroma Lamp
These fancy little devices work as a form of aromatherapy, releasing diffused natural oils into the room along with a pleasant fragrance. They can stay on for many hours at a time, are relatively inexpensive, and their aroma can be very soothing to seniors with anxiety. Different oils may also have certain health benefits: For example, lavender may help with easing restlessness and inducing sleep.
So, those are our selections of the best Christmas gifts for seniors. Hopefully, you’ll find something on this list for your loved ones!