Coming up with the perfect gift for elderly friends or family can be a challenge. Do you have a senior in your life that already has everything, says they want nothing or has limited living space as it is? Well no wonder you are scratching your head! We all know that even when a loved one says “please don’t get me anything” we usually do anyway, so here is a list of the do’s and don’ts of gift giving especially for elderly folks. Happy gift giving!

Gifting Do’s Christmas Gift Do's and Don'ts for the Elderly

1. Warm Clothing: Increased sensitivity to the cold is common among the elderly. Warm shawls, wraps, lap blankets soft socks and cardigans are all useful and thoughtful gifts that can be used year around.

2. Large Print Books or Books on Tape: Reading, a favorite past time often becomes challenging or impossible due to poor eyesight, limited dexterity or other factors related to aging. Audio books are a great way for seniors to enjoy stories if large print is not a solution.

3.Personalized Gift Basket- A basket full of goodies not only has a personal touch, it is practical in the sense that it will be used and most certainly enjoyed! It is not always easy for older seniors to get out an shop for necessities, let alone browse around for special items to pamper themselves. Hydrating creams, large print cross word puzzles and specialty soaps are all great options to add to your basket!

4. Adult Coloring Books- If your elderly loved one has time on their hands, try giving an activity centered gift. Adult coloring books are easy to find due to their growing popularity among adults of all ages. Engaging in creative activities such as coloring can relive stress, strengthen fine motor skills and just be plain old fun!

5. Tablets Designed for Seniors- Aging seniors can sometimes feel out of the loop in an age where so many are connected through social media. Tablets for seniors such as grandPad or SeniorSimple provide large touch screen buttons and simplified navigation connecting seniors to their family and friends. Senior friendly tablets allow easy access to apps, photos, music, email and games as well as voice calls and video chat!

Gifting- Don’ts

Christmas Gift Do's and Don'ts for the Elderly

1. Figurines, Nick-Nacks, Collectibles- Although grandma may cherish her china and porcelain collection, she most likely is not looking to add to it during this stage of her life. Many elderly men and women have accumulated many items over the years are now looking to downsize and simplify life. Gift items that add clutter to the home are most likely better left unpurchased.

2. Candles- Scented candles may seem like a nice relaxing gift, however, this gift could be dangerous. Statistics from the United States Fire Administration shows that the elderly population are 2.5 times more likely to start an accidental fire than younger age groups. If you are looking for a relaxing gift to pamper your loved one, you could opt for scented epsom bath salts or an aromatic room freshener spray.

3. Large appliances- It is probably safe to say that grandma and grandpa can do without a waffle maker, bread maker or any other appliance that would rarely be used and simply take up cabinet space. Does mom love homemade bread? Bring her a fresh loaf from your local bakery! No work, no clutter, just instant enjoyment.

4. The Newest Gadgets- Be careful with this one, although some elderly seniors enjoy gadgets, many find them complicated and frustrating. If you do opt for a gadget gift, choose something user friendly to seniors who may or may not have limited hearing, eyes sight and tech knowledge.

5. Gift Cards- Keep in mind that gift cards can get lost, forgotten about in a drawer or your elderly loved one may have trouble getting to the location of the store the gift card was intended for. If you are set on purchasing a gift card, it may be helpful to invite them to accompany you on a shopping trip where they can use the gift card however they please.

Did you give a gift to a senior citizen that they loved? Share your gift in the comments below!



  1. Miguel Angulo

    I gave my mother wool yarns of different colors for knitting. She was very happy.

    • Kristin Angulo

      Miguel, what a great gift you gave your mother, thoughtful + useful. I’m sure she knitted something beautiful from it.

  2. Dana

    That is a wonderful gift idea for someone who enjoys knitting or crochet! 🙂

  3. Manpreet Singh Dhalla

    “These ideas are simply wonderful! By giving your seniors personalized and neatly wrapped gifts, you can give them the best surprise of their lives. But make sure to take their tastes and choices into consideration when gift shopping for them.”

  4. mary miller

    In place of real candles may i suggest battery operated candles.
    Also, much as we love pretty things, i would find more pleasure in seeing them in my kids home where they can dust them!! lol
    For me a visit means alot or a phone call keeping us in the loop.

    • Kristin Angulo

      I totally agree Mary! Visits and phone calls are wonderful gifts. Thank you so much for reading and responding, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

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