Choosing gifts for elderly is something all of us have to face from time to time. Coming up with a good and original gift idea for the elderly may be difficult or it can be sometimes a challenge. How to buy a gift for a person who claims “they do not need anything” or “already has everything”? So what would be ideal gifts for older parents who have everything?
Independence is something that seniors value a lot. The key to maintaining this precious independence is to ensure safety in their own home. Therefore, all types of devices and smart gadgets will be great gifts for elderly.
Also, things that are not cluttering the house, can be purchased as gifts. Seniors usually don’t like stuff that are unpractical and just collect dust.
Seniors tend to get sentimental with time. They like to remind themselves of past times and events, pleasant trips or family gatherings. Why not buying something that will allow them always to remember about these pleasant situations and stories?
In general, people in older age line to feel cosy. Therefore, all the comfortable, comfy, cushy, snugly, soft items are also great gift ideas.
Last, but not least, our seniors need constant mental stimulation. Brain games improve mental health and memory, stimulate the brain.
Gifts for elderly — what to choose?
So what to choose? We have selected possible gift ideas, dividing them into several categories. Is your loved one is a practical person? Or perhaps they like to relax and feel cosy? Ar they sentimental and nostalgic? Or maybe opposite, they love technical innovations and mind games or is very sentimental and nostalgic. Whatever the need, we have something for everybody. All these items can be easily looked up on the internet.
The gifts categories we have separated:
- Practical gifts
- Mind stimulation
- Technology gifts
- Gifts to promote calm and relaxation
Practical gifts for elderly
Pragmatic people need practical gifts — this is pretty obvious. Practical person is a realist, they tend to ignore things that aren’t useful. But first and foremost — practical people care about the function of things more than the overall appearance. Therefore, gifts for a pragmatic person should be functional. Here’s the list of gifts for practical seniors.
Pill organiser and dosette boxes with reminder alarm
Seniors usually take a variety of medications on a daily basis. They may become confused about what to take and when. Such confusion is even more likely if those medications are taken in different forms and at different times. Both skipping doses and overdosing can be potentially dangerous. Therefore, buying pill organiser will effectively prompt our loved ones to timely take their medication. It is usually equipped with alarm, flashing light or vibration for easier use.
Calendars of all sorts will be very welcomed. It is always a good idea, especially if the new year is approaching. Pick the ones with big letters and plenty of space for personal notes.
Personalised leather wallet with monogram
Looking for gift suggestions for elderly woman or man? It is a practical present with a nice twist of personalisation. The fact that it’s made of leather makes it more luxurious. A very elegant gift for an elegant person.
Personalised pens or pencils
It is possible to choose any name or message and have it printed on the pen or pencil. It would be than not just “a normal” pen. That would be unusual, an individual pen with name or dedication. This would combine the practicality of a very useful object with the uniqueness of something personalised. Quite a nice combination.
Fancy boot jack/boot puller
Boot jacks come in many shapes and forms. It could be cast iron or wooden, or both. Could have a leather finish, for extra comfort and look.
This utterly practical item for taking off boots and other footwear when coming into the house can also be very fancy. How about folk boot jack? A cowboy-themed one? A beetle boot jack? A snail boot jack? A dog-shaped one? A rabbit? You name it. There are some quite unconventional boot jacks on sale on the internet. Still not convinced? Perhaps a classical conventional one would be a better idea.
Key and wallet finder / Wallet and key locator-set
You don’t have to be an elderly person to misplace your keys around the house. But key and wallet finder make great gifts for seniors who constantly lose their keys.
How this “gismo” works? There are two interconnected parts: transmitter and receiver. By pressing a button on the transmitter, the beep sound and the light on the receiver will let us know where is the lost item.
So in case of keys, you can have several receivers, attached to each key set. And connected to one transmitter.
In case of wallet, a receiver can be in the form of a plate, that could be hidden inside the wallet. But the general rule of working is the same: beeping and lighting for easy location.
For more advanced mobile users, the device is connected to a mobile phone application.
Eyeglass holder / eyeglass stand
A place to keep on the glasses. This item could be a regular one, a kind of plush-lined holder stand case.
But it could also be a more funny thing, like a nose-shaped one or a nose with moustaches. Our absolute winner is a person-like reading glasses holder figure – you put your glasses on their nose. An amusing little gift for a witty senior.
The purpose of this little helper is self-explanatory. This is a very useful present, ideal for reading small print and map reading. Can magnify up to 6x. If your elderly loved ones don’t have one yet, you can get them one at the earliest gift opportunity.
Automatic card shuffler
If the senior loves playing cards, this is a perfect gadget for them. Cards are shuffled in seconds. Why not add a set of playing cards? Both cards and shuffler are good gifts for elderly people.
Brain games books
There are plenty of brain games out there that engage the brain and offer numerous health benefits for elderly men and women. Most popular bran games books include:
- Sudoku books
- Wordsearch books
- Teasers, riddles, trick questions & maths games
Board games are great for social gatherings. And since tabletop games are generally played sitting down, they are great for seniors with limited mobility.
Here are some popular picks:
- Trivial Pursuit,
- chess & draughts
- and many more
What would be an idea for a gift for elderly woman who has everything? Or a man? Puzzles! Won’t take up much space, and yet they are very engaging.
Puzzle assembly involves both hemispheres of our brain. This activity also helps to calm down and keep the mind sharp. That’s why it is so beneficial, especially if we want to be in good intellectual shape for as long as possible. Depending on how many pieces should the puzzle set include and what picture do we want, there is a countless number of possibilities when it comes to buying a puzzle.
Technology gifts for elderly
Who said that senior can’t be tech-savvy? Below we present a few examples that might be some ideas for gifts for old people.
This device can perform a huge range of tasks by using simple voice commands. It can for example play music, give the weather forecast or set up alarms and reminders. It may even control the lights in the house. This is a great gift, especially for older seniors with mobility challenges.
Many seniors these days like to stay connected with loved ones. Therefore, a simple user-friendly device would be something they may like. Whether some may just want to use the tablet for sending messages and emails or browsing the web, others find it useful also for playing games, watching videos, shopping, banking online or storing digital photos.
If the senior enjoys reading books, the e-reader would be a great choice. It’s light and can hold thousands of books. The layout of the screen does not strain eyes so using it feels like using a traditional paper book.
Light therapy lamp
What gift to buy for elderly people suffering from seasonal depression? Light therapy lamp! Dark days can drag anyone down, but a lamp that mimics a natural light can boost the mood almost instantly. And when used regularly, can fight off depression even more effectively, for longer-lasting effects.
Many elderly people like to know what the weather is like outside and what is the forecast for the nearest hours and days. Weather monitor displays current weather conditions inside and outside with temperature, a weather forecast, humidity level, and atmospheric pressure. This device requires the installation of an outdoor sensor, so we have to do that for the senior. The best choice would be a monitor with a large display, easy to read.
If the photo book is personalised, it appeals more to the senior. It is possible to create a custom photo book and add a tiny text to it to tell a simple story. Great idea is to use photos of family members, friends, favourite places, hobbies and activities that have a special meaning to the person. They will love to flip through it and remind themselves about the pleasant moments from the past.
Wi-fi digital photo frame
Although it’s a purely digital thing, we have not assigned a digital photo frame to technology gits. We thought that for its operation no skill or action is required. We have decided that this is more memorabilia, as it’s a perfect thing for sharing memories. When buying a digital photo frame, we can pre-upload pictures of our choice and adjust slide interval for a slideshow, or pausing of a single photo. It’s a great gift for all seniors, especially the ones that are away from home (e.g. in a hospital) or live far away from their family.
Calendar with family photos
As already mentioned in this article, calendars are good gifts for elderly. But why not making calendars even more personalised? Why not create a calendar with family photos? Many online printing services offer to make personalised calendars with own selected photos. Does the senior’s granddaughter have her birthday in May? Why not choosing her picture for May. Are the grandparents having their wedding anniversary in October? A good idea to put a nice picture of the couple to illustrate this month. Seniors love these calendars!
Photo blankets or photo pillows and pillowcases
It is possible to order a personalised blanket with the family photo printed on it. Or, if preferred, it could be a pillow or pillowcase. Such items, decorated with favourite photo or collage of photos can add a personal touch to the senior’s home while providing warmth and comfort in any room.
Gifts for elderly to promote calm and relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety
One of the most practical gifts is a soft throw blanket that seniors can wrap around their legs or arms.
Weighted heavy blankets (gravity blankets)
Heavy blanket weights around 15-20 pounds (depending on the user weight). It can provide calming benefits for elderly users, especially for those suffering from sleeping problems.
Such blankets are that are wrapping the user around them like a cocoon, almost hugging them. This should have a calming effect, as since the user cannot physically more, their thoughts are not racing as much as normally would. It is simply harder to move and thus harder to disturb oneself while asleep. As a gift idea, weighted blankets are quite expensive, but as research shows, this invention is very effective in fighting off sleep problems.
Caution: pressure therapy is not recommended for seniors with congestive heart failure or respiratory disorders.
Heated throw blanket
Keeps seniors warm and eases aches and pains.
Comfy socks, non-slip socks
Fashion and function, combined in one. Warm and comfy socks with rubber grips on the bottom can keep the senior warm while preventing falls. There is a great choice of colours and styles.
A deep massage pillow, can relieve pains on the neck, upper and lower back, shoulder, waist, tights, calves, foot, legs or arms. A good way to release stress and get relief on the whole body.
Sleep sound machine
Sleep difficulties are a common problem among seniors, therefore a special machine – a sleep sound machine could be a good solution. The device generates calming sounds of nature or so-called “white noise”. It will definitely help with calm and undisturbed sleep.