Choosing a Christmas gift for an elderly loved one in 2020 may be a bit tricky. But whether it’s a parent, friend or relative, they usually have everything they need and they may be very particular in what they like! Or, they may have downsized and are now living in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
So, let us help you with our list of the best gifts we have given to our aging parents, friends and relatives for Christmas!
What to get your aging parents for Christmas? – The answer is simply something that is either practical, fun or sentimental. The list can include electronic gifts to keep them from getting lonely or keeping them safe. Gifts of services like food delivery or Uber rides. And of course more standard type of gifts like robes, blankets and their favorite toiletries.
I broke down the list of gift ideas below into categories but honestly, you can pick and choose from any of them!
For example, I listed medical alert devices in the category for elderly parents who are lonely but truthfully, that would be a wonderful Christmas gift for anyone who is growing older!
Gift Ideas For Parents Who Have Everything
Cell Phone Screen Magnifiers
For many older adults, doing a Zoom meeting or watching a video on their smart phone is not as easy as it is for their younger counterparts. So, this little gadget makes it much easier in a very, very easy way.
Simply place the phone behind the screen and ta-da – you have a larger version of what’s on the cell phone screen!
There are multiple varieties to choose from as well – check them all out here.
This extremely unique wireless keyboard is perfect for the older adult who misses their old typewriter. Attach your smartphone or tablet to it and you’ve got a full functioning, funky looking keyboard that I’m sure they will love.
Truly a very unique holiday gift.
The passwordsFAST Electronic Password Keeper
This great little gadget stores up to 125 passwords which are encrypted. It’s small enough to fit into a purse or wallet because it’s just a bit larger than a standard credit card. It runs on batteries and is NOT connected to the Internet so it can’t be hacked online.
There are a variety of ways you can keep your passwords handy – check the ones that are available here.
Tile Mate For Lost Items
I got this for an elderly friend of mine and he absolutely loves it! They are small “tiles” that you attach to your key chain or anything at all.
Download the app to your smartphone and you will be able to find where you mis-placed your item! The batteries are guaranteed to last one year and are easily replaced.
I can’t recommend Amazon’s Echo Show enough! There are so many great things that you can do with this Alexa tool (read about a few of them here) and it’s something that most seniors won’t purchase for themselves.
The advantage of the Echo Show over other Alexa products is that you can use it as a visual telephone so it’s a great way to keep in touch with everyone!
Amazon’s Ring Doorbell
If Alexa is already in the house – then the next best thing to add is the Ring Video Doorbell! For $30/year or $3.00/month you can use the camera on the Ring Doorbell to check who is at the door or just to keep an eye on the front of your house.
SimpliSafe Doorbell Camera
In case your senior loved one has a SimpliSafe home security system – instead of a Ring Doorbell you may want to gift them a SimpliSafe Video Doorbell instead.
Memories For Grandchild (or child)
Leaving a written legacy is something that both my father-in-law and my mom-in-law have done and I am so very glad that they did.
The stories that they both shared in their books are priceless and I would encourage everyone to do that for their families.
In addition to the one above – there are a variety of other different ones as well. You can see them all here.
Digital Photo Frame
These make wonderful gifts for older adults, especially grandparents! I know my mother loved her picture photo frame and the great slideshow of photos that you can display on it.
Send photos to it via email or an app on your smartphone and your elderly loved ones can enjoy a beautiful slideshow of images.
Digital Photo and Full HD Video Frame
Take the digital photo frame to the next level! This beautiful wood frame not only displays digital photos – you can include videos in the slideshow as well.
Farm Fresh To You
A wonderful gift of fresh organic produce delivered straight to your doorstep! You can pick the type of fruit and/or vegetables that you would like to receive and you can also add other products such as hand-crafted jams, pasture-raised eggs, honey, olive oil, etc.
Check their site for delivery areas to see if they can deliver their box of goodies to your senior loved one.
Another great option for delivery of organic produce. Check their site for delivery areas to see if they can deliver their box of goodies to your senior loved one.
Full Circle Farm | Organic Produce Delivered |
$10 Off Your First 4 Produce Boxes – Use code: SHARE40
Innovative Night Light
This may not seem like a fun or sexy gift but hey, it’s so cool how can you resist?
This wall plate comes with an automatic sensor that turns on when the area gets dark. It’s a night light built in to the wall plate! A great and very practical gift.
Automatic Jar Opener
For seniors who are in the kitchen cooking their meals, handy tools like this automatic jar opener will make their cooking tasks so much easier!
Invisawear Smart Jewelry
Gone are the days when you HAVE to wear a big clunky medical alert device around your neck!
The Invisawear smart jewelry is a beautiful necklace that is also a safety alert device!
Gift Ideas For 85+ Year Old Women
Biscotti Cookie Gift Basket
I know that as my mother got older – her sweet tooth grew bigger! She LOVED having a cookie every night after dinner.
One Christmas I sent her this gift box of Biscotti’s and she absolutely loved them.
Healthy Senior Chair Exercise Program
If you’re working to encourage a healthier lifestyle and integrate some exercise into your senior’s daily life then this Healthy Senior Chair Exercise program (that comes with resistance bands and handles) is the perfect gift!
Cell Phone Lanyards
For the senior woman who is constantly losing her cell phone – a lanyard may be the way to go. A great stocking stuffer, this Universal lanyard will hold any type of cell phone so that it’s readily available at all times.
Keeping Warm In The Winter
Nothing like a beautiful faux fur throw blanket to snuggle under during the colder winter months.
Although my mom-in-law lives in South Florida, she still tells me she gets very cold during the winter and cranks up the heat in her condo!
A blanket like this beautiful throw which is super soft and hypoallergenic will be a great gift for her this Christmas!
Kindle For Readers
For anyone who loves to read – Kindle units are one of the top 10 best Christmas gifts around!
The reason that it works even better for older adults is because you can change the size of the font to help accommodate anyone with vision problems.
I know that my senior friends and family members absolutely LOVE their kindles!
Medication Reminders For Those On The Go
A great little product that provides 4 doses a day of your medicine. Vibrates and sounds an alarm reminding you that it’s time to take your medication. Small enough to take with you when you are out and about.
Most older adults do not have enough lights in their home and this can be a problem as visual acuity normally declines as we get older.
So, a Christmas gift of lights to put throughout the house would be an amazing and extremely thoughtful gift for your senior loved ones.
Freedom Gas Cap Wrench
For older women who are still driving and gassing up their own cars – then removing the gas cap can be difficult and frustrating.
So, here’s an easy, handy dandy tool that you can keep in your cup holder and use it to easily twist open that gas cap! A great little gift for any woman!
Programmable Microwave Oven
I love this microwave oven because I can create my own personal programs on it. You can set your own programs and label them like Tea, Baked Potato, Frozen Meal, etc.
It makes it much easier for elderly adults to use. A great Christmas gift!
A Luxurious Chenille Robe
What women doesn’t want to snuggle into a beautiful Chenille robe! This beautiful robe is designed with a little ruffle and it goes down to mid-calf which makes it less likely for the user to trip over.
Your senior loved one will love this Christmas gift!
For The Fun Older Women In Your Life
These motion activated lights for toilet bowls are both a fun novelty gift but also a safety gift as well. A great way to add some light to the bathroom for those midnight trips! Makes for a great stocking stuffer!
A subscription to a streaming service such as Hulu is another great idea for those senior loved ones who love movies and television.
Battery Starter For Cars
I just used my battery starter for my car just last week and it was a Godsend!! No need to use another car battery to charge your own, this little gadget does the trick for you.
A great tool to keep in the car and what a useful and practical Christmas gift to give – and very unique too!
Gift Ideas For 85+ Year Old Men
Men Who Love Cars
I know men who love their cars so much they give it a name. Kinda cool. If you elderly dad or senior guy LOVES cars and all the tools and toys that go along with them then may a gift card or product from an auto store could be a wonderful gift for him and his car.
For The Fishermen In Your Life
One activity that many can still enjoy in this year of Covid-19 is fishing! If the senior men in your life are fishermen (I know a few of those myself) then any of the amazing products from Bass Pro Shops may be a great Christmas or holiday gift for them.
Magnetic Wrist Bands For Your Handyman
For the senior men in your life who are handy around the house, these magnetic wrist bands will make any project much easier to tackle. A great stocking stuffer!
Most Every Man Loves Snacks
For those couch potatoes who love movies or watching sports – snacks are just part of the day! Give him a crate of 50 snacks including nuts, chips, pretzels and much more!
Night Light Gadgets
We all know most men love gadgets! This is one gadget that is both fun and useful. A night light with an integrated bluetooth speaker that is dimmable and is controlled easily by touch.
He’ll love the colors and the uniqueness of this great Christmas gift.
Does your elderly parent still drive? Do they complain that other drivers are cutting them off or that they don’t know how to drive?
Well – why not give your parent a dash cam so that they can “capture the incident” as it occurs. This may also help you to see if the problem really is the “other drivers”.
Bamboo Charging Station And Organizer
This beautiful bamboo organizer is also a dock station for cell phones and tablets, etc. It’s a great way for him to keep several electronic pieces charged and organized.
A beautiful gift to give to your senior loved one.
I gave this credit card sized gift to me brother-in-law one Christmas and he told me he uses it more than any other gift he’s ever received. It’s a great little stocking stuffer for any man in your life!
Classic Western Films
For the western movie lovers – this amazing gift of 200 classic western films will be a wonderful surprise. Filled with movies like My Pal Trigger, McLintock, The Outlaw and much more!
With 200 films in one package – it’s the gift that will keep on giving for a very long time!
Neck and Shoulder Massage Pillow
A wonderful gift for anyone but honestly, don’t most men just love a neck and shoulder massage? This massage pillow gives you a Shiatsu deep massage kneading your neck and shoulders and it’s heated for a more relaxing effect!
He’ll end up using it every single day!
Braun Series 7 Razor For Men
Rated as a top razor for older men, the Braun series 7 razor comes with multiple style cutting tools and a SkinGuard surface. Provides a more gentle shaving experience for older skin.
Water Tumblers To Encourage Drinking
Most elderly (and especially men) do not drink enough water. One way to encourage them to do so is to have water easily accessible for them and a great little gift to do just that are 32 oz Tumblers like these.
You can get plain ones like these, or sports related ones or just about any other type of hobby or theme. They make for great inexpensive stocking stuffers.
Luxury Of Foot Massage
A foot massage can be luxurious for most anyone and men don’t usually pamper themselves so why not give your senior loved one an electronic foot massager!
Comes with a remote control, helps to improve blood circulation and general foot aches and pains. He’ll love you every time he uses it!
Gifts For Elderly Living Alone
Amazon’s Echo Show
If your elderly senior’s family and/or friends have an Echo Show – then gifting one to a senior who lives alone and may be lonely is a wonderful way to keep in touch.
Using the Drop In Skill that Alexa offers, you can perform visual calls with each other which can help to relieve the feeling of isolation that many seniors face.
Companion Robotic Dog
For some seniors (mostly anyone with some dementia) a robotic pet is a wonderful companion. This dog from Joy For All has realistic puppy like movements and sounds and can bring smiles to your senior loved one.
Companion Robotic Cat
For cat loving seniors with some dementia, a robotic pet is a wonderful companion. This cat from Joy For All has realistic cat like movements and sounds, feels like a real cat and purrs just like a cat would. Can make a wonderful companion for someone.
It’s always comforting having someone’s arm around you, snuggling up next to it can bring some sense of safety and peace, especially if you are feeling lonely. A Boyfriend Pillow can help to accomplish that! A fun and unique Christmas gift!
A gift card of movie tickets is a wonderful gift but especially if it’s meant for a date with your senior loved one! So go ahead, get them some movie tickets and make a date to take them to the movies!
Although I know this will be a gift for later on in the year (due to Covid-19 restrictions). Be safe, be smart, wear a mask and keep your distance.
Blank Coupon Cards
These are great stocking stuffers! You fill in each coupon with your own “gift” – things like “a luncheon date”, or “going out for ice cream” or “movie night at home”, etc. Your senior loved one can redeem each coupon all year long! A great way to help them avoid too many lonely days or nights!
Some ideas are: Cooking a meal together or organizing photos / creating a scrapbook or learning a skill they have such as knitting or gardening.
Hobbies can fill up time during lonely days and caring for others (even if it’s animals) can make most people feel productive and useful.
Bird feeders are a great way to do this, especially if you also gift a year’s worth (or whatever you can afford) of birdseed along with the feeder! There are many different varieties to choose from but here’s one that your senior loved one might like.
There are MANY different kinds of bird feeders to choose from – click here to see the large variety available online.
I like the idea of giving someone who is alone most of the time a gift that helps them to get out and about but sometimes, elders just enjoy being alone and if that is your parent, then a gift that can give them a “project” is an indoor garden.
Of course, if they live in a climate where they can garden outdoors all year long then any gift for that activity would be amazing too!
A Medical Alert Device
There are multiple varieties of medical alert devices available these days, the Freedom Guardian pictured here is just one. But for an elderly parent who is living alone – there is no better gift that you can give than something that may save their life one day.
We cover a variety of medical alert devices in our article – so click here to read about them!
Gifts For Elderly In Nursing Homes
A book of photos like this one are always a great Christmas gift to give to your elderly parent who may be in a nursing home or in an assisted living facility.
Spa Gift Basket
A spa gift basket similar to this one here is always a lovely gift for your senior loved one. Especially if you fill your own basket with their favorite soaps, lotions and other toiletries that they may find difficult to get.
Set Of Greeting Cards
Many seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities don’t have the opportunity to get out and purchase items and as a result, they tend to not send out greeting cards to their family and friends.
A gift of a set of greeting cards is a great way to help them to keep in touch with loved ones.
Indoor House Plants
If your elderly parent enjoyed plants, they may love to have some in their room at the nursing home. A gift of plants (especially ones that are easy to care for) can make their room a warmer and more inviting space to live in.
Basket Of Activities
A basket filled with Large print Sudoku books or puzzle books or Word Search books like this one here would help some seniors living in nursing homes to pass the time away. Give one, a few or a big basket full!
Wraps and Shawls
Some seniors have a difficult time staying warm in large buildings like nursing homes. So, giving them their own personal wrap or shawl like this one can help them to feel not only warmer and more comfortable, but certainly more loved every time they put it on and they think of you!
For The Card Sharks
For semi active seniors in nursing homes or assisted living facilities who have put together their own card game nights – an automatic card shuffler can help if they suffer from arthritis or other illness that makes it difficult for them to shuffle their game cards properly.
Wall Photo Frame
Frames of photo collages are always a wonderful way to decorate the walls of nursing homes or assisted living apartments. Purchase several and fill them with the photos of loved ones and place them throughout the room.
Also – any decorative items that you can bring from their homes to place in their new living apartments to help them feel more comfortable and “at home” are always wonderful things to do for your elderly parent(s).
Cookie Baskets (beware of dietary restrictions)
Depending on the dietary restrictions of your elderly parent(s) – if they can tolerate it – a basket of their favorite type of cookies would be a wonderful gift to give! In fact, bringing in their favorite meal to share with them would also be a wonderful gift to give them – sharing your time with elderly in nursing homes is the greatest gift of all!
Whether your aging parent has a DVD player in his/her room or if there is a shared DVD player in the common room of the facility they are in – a set of movies is a great gift – especially if that set includes movies that you know they enjoy.
Large Print Books
My 98 (almost 99) year old mom-in-law loves to read and for gifts, I buy her large print books. She loves telling me all about each book that she read!
If your parent is still able to read and enjoys it – then large print books are an excellent Christmas gift!
Yes, I know – slippers aren’t very “unique” but they can certainly be extremely comfortable and necessary! So, consider getting your senior loved one a pair of non-slip slippers. Have a little fun with them and get ones with a design for the holidays like these shown here. There are basically 3 varieties to choose from:
- Standard slippers – These are the regular type of designs that we normally find.
- Bootie slippers – These have a higher support around the ankle if that’s what’s needed.
- Sock slippers – These are socks with grippers which for some, may be more comfortable that any type of slipper with a rubber sole.
For more information on what to look for in slippers for seniors (the best safe ones to purchase) read our article on Slippers For Elderly To Prevent Falls.
Gifts For Seniors With Dementia
When I worked in nursing homes I saw many patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s who would cradle a stuffed animal. It was very comforting for them and we helped them to take good care of their pet.
These robotic dogs (and cats too) from Ageless Innovation Companion provide that level of comfort and much more because these are animated. They can move and sound like puppies and this can truly bring some joy to those who are suffering from these terrible diseases.
Talking Photo Albums
What a cool and great idea! This is a photo album (20 pages) that can store up to 2 hours of YOUR voice on each page. Yes, you can record a separate voice message on each page and the photo album holds up to 2 hours of recordings.
What a great gift to give to ANY senior!
If your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is still able to recognize faces and able to see well – then this picture phone may be just the right kind of gift for them.
I would recommend this only for someone in the very early stages of either of these diseases.
Large Print Coloring Books For Seniors
Many older persons with dementia or Alzheimer’s need something to do – a lot! Being involved in an activity can help to keep their mind focused on the activity which can help to keep them calm.
Coloring books can be one of those activities. (Although if your senior loved one likes to put everything in their mouth – I would recommend to have them do this activity with supervision just in case they try to eat and swallow the coloring pencils.)
Reusable Water Painting Boards
If your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s can enjoy an activity of painting, then this is a great gift.
You use water instead of paint and when the brush with water touches the board the color comes alive! Then after it dries, the board turns all white again!
Body Heat Activated Blanket
Electric blankets are not always a good option for seniors because of incontinence issues or fragile skin, etc.
An alternative is a body heat activated blanket like this one that uses FAR Infrared technology.
This is a thermo-conductive material similar to the reflective “blankets” that runners use to warm up before or after a race. This particular blanket warms the user about 20 percent quicker than a traditional blanket because it radiates the person’s body warmth back to them.
We hope that these gift ideas will help you to make this year’s Christmas gift giving easier, practical and downright fun!
Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah everyone!