Posted by: wrcseniorservices | December 1, 2010

Gift Ideas for the Elderly

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, I thought this would be a good time for a short blog about gift ideas for the elderly. For a number of years, my grandma was the easiest person to buy for on my gift giving list. Every year, I would buy her new jigsaw puzzles to work on over the winter. When she was done with them, she would pass them on to someone else. Later, she moved into a nursing home, and we began buying her warm, cozy sweaters and her favorite treats. If you are shopping for a loved one who lives in a nursing home, a personal care community or is homebound, there are still lots of great, practical gifts you can give.

The greatest gift of all doesn’t require waiting in lines at a crowded mall. It’s your time! If they recently moved to a nursing community, celebrating the holidays in a strange place is very hard. Spending quality time with them through this transition is truly the best gift you can give.

If you had special holiday traditions, use a little imagination to continue them in their new home.  Every Christmas at my Grandma’s, the grandchildren took turns reading the Christmas story from the Bible. These traditions can continue. Did you always watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” together? Ask the staff if you can watch it in a common living area and invite some of your loved one’s new friends. If the community has a kitchen you can use, bring in the ingredients for their favorite Christmas cookie and make them together. Have a surprise holiday party for them with family and friends.

Live too far away during the holidays or want to give a gift in addition to your time? Here are some other great gift ideas: 

  • Bouquet of flowers
  • Large print or audio books
  • Mix CDs or tapes of their favorite old music
  • A photo album depicting your favorite times with them
  • DVDs of their favorite old TV shows
  • A gift basket of their favorite homemade treats (make sure what you give is appropriate for their health condition)
  • Gift certificate for a massage (talk to local massage therapists to find one that will come to the community)
  • Make a donation in their name to an organization near and dear to their heart
  • Make a donation to the nursing community they live in. (The community may be raising money for a special project. For example, WRC Senior Services is currently raising funds for a fountain.)
  • Gift certificate to the community’s gift shop or beauty/barber shop
  • Gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. If they aren’t able to go out to their favorite restaurant, bring them take-out of their favorite meal.

What about that person who still lives in their own home, but tells you they don’t need anything?

  • Set up and pay for services such as snow removal and lawn care
  • Offer to help with housekeeping once a month or pay for housekeeping services from someone else
  • Pay for cable or telephone services
  • Did they always love to decorate their home for the holidays, but no longer can?  Decorate for them.

Hope you found some helpful suggestions in this blog that will make your holiday shopping a little easier. Wishing you and yours a very blessed and happy holiday season from your friends at WRC Senior Services!  Have some great gift ideas of your own? Please share below.

Dawn Wise
Manager of Marketing and Communications
WRC Senior Services


  1. Great gift suggestions, Dawn. Thank you
    Great blog too!
    Good job! 🙂

  2. What a remarkable post! Your gift ideas are absolutely great! Thanks for sharing your awesome thoughts!

    • Thank you very much, Daisy! We’re glad you found the post helpful. Please feel free to share with others or subscribe to the blog to receive notification of future posts. Happy holidays!

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