15 Gift Ideas for a Loved One at a Senior Living Community | Make the holidays bright with a thoughtful gift

The season of giving is upon us, and while many of us find joy in giving gifts, sometimes the task of figuring out the perfect item can be a stressor. For that special loved one who lives in a senior living community, perhaps it seems that they already have everything they could possibly want, or maybe they’ve downsized and the last thing they need is more “stuff.” This can make the conundrum of what to give particularly puzzling.

In an effort to help minimize the stress associated with this gift decision, here are 15 great ideas that we think would be very much appreciated by someone who lives in a senior community:

  1. cashewsHealthy snacks – Consider providing a nice stash of healthy snacks to fill the cupboards. Wrapped up in a tin with a bow, the gift of something consumable and health-conscious is often appreciated. Keep in mind the availability of food storage and refrigerator spaces where your loved one lives, as well as special diets or chewing limitations.
  2. Gift certificate for the community’s barber, beauty shop, restaurant, or gift shop – If such amenities exist at your loved one’s senior living community, inquire about getting them a gift certificate. This would be a treat for someone who doesn’t normally “splurge” at the beauty shop, or a treasured bonus for someone who otherwise counts on it as a regular monthly expense.
  3. Digital photo frame – A small tabletop frame can keep happy memories at top of mind. Consider this gift for someone with a moderate level of tech-savviness, or someone you visit often enough to change out the photos. If you don’t live close by, sending new photos periodically could be made easy by loading a jump drive and popping it in the mail for them to simply plug in. A package to open in the months to come makes it a gift that keeps on giving!
  4. convo starter cardsConversation starters – In a community-based living setting, chances are your loved one often finds themselves meeting new people or building on new relationships with neighbors. A deck of conversation starter cards can be great to have in a walker cart, purse, or dining room table in case the opportunity for a great conversation arises. Check out a “Grandparent” themed set, with great topics to chat about with a grandchild, too.
  5. Grandparent journal – The gift of documenting thoughts, memories, and ideas is one to cherish for years to come. Explore the journal section at your local bookstore and find beautiful versions with thoughtful writing prompts. Chances are your loved one will enjoy writing and the family would enjoy reading someday in the future.
  6. water cupAttractive water cup – There’s something about sipping a hydrating glass of water from a cheery cup that makes it go down easier. This is a present that encourages good health by staying hydrated. Look for a double walled, insulated version with a lid and reusable straw for added functionality.
  7. Coupon book – Back to the basics, this time tested homemade gift never fails! Your coupon book could be filled with special things they can redeem like a lunch date out with you, a manicure, an apartment cleaning, and more.
  8. Personalized photo gift – Hop online to find a multitude of sites (i.e. Shutterfly, Snapfish, or Walgreens) offering personalized gifts with your choice of photos on them. From blankets to keychains to neck ties, and everything in between, this can be a home run.
  9. Pens, greeting cards, and stamps – There’s nothing quite like writing and receiving a handwritten card. Stock your loved one’s desk with a kit that’ll last them, full of beautiful greeting cards, pre-stamped envelopes, and some quality pens.
  10. Warm cozy socks – When all else fails, we all need socks. A thick, cuddly pair or some infused with shea butter or aloe brings added indulgence.
  11. Calendar – Make your own by downloading a printable version, or create one with personalized photos through a photo site as mentioned above. Pre-fill holidays and mark important family dates, including details like which anniversary or how old family members will be.
  12. bananagramsWord games – A tabletop game that’s portable and small can be a great little gift. Something like Bananagrams can be played with a friend for some social time or solo, and keeps the brain sharp to boot!
  13. Front loading frame – These are perfect for effortlessly displaying a child’s masterpiece or easily switching out family photos. For someone who’s low on wall space, it’s a great way to keep a variety of beauties on display to admire.
  14. Wireless headphones – Whether for music, books on tape, or movies, a nice pair of wireless headphones can take the cord-tangle-fiasco out of enjoying preferred audio. Most use an infrared (IR) signal or Bluetooth wireless technology, so do some investigating on your loved ones’ current technology to ensure compatibility.
  15. dollars, dollar bills, money, currencyMoney in the account – See if you can make a sneaky contribution to your loved ones’ account at the community to cover the cable, phone, food, or activities/outings bill for the month or two. Contact the Billing Department, Business Office, or the like, to learn how. For present-opening day, make a little certificate explaining the treat that awaits them next month.

What have you given or received as a gift that was particularly perfect? Do you have a spot-on idea for a loved one who lives at a senior living community?
Share your ideas by leaving a reply below!




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