Posts Tagged ‘Christmas ideas for Seniors’

Looking for Holiday Gift Ideas for Elders?

Lonely this Christmas by uitdragerij via flickr

Are you trying to figure out what gifts to get for an older family member, friend, or neighbor?

Ideally, we know the person well and can think of an item that builds a bridge from us to the recipient, reflecting who we are, how we’re connected to the Elder, and what is meaningful for them.

For example, framed photographs of family members may be welcomed, a sketch of the family home, or a DVD of a favorite movie. A thoughtful letter thanking the Elder for the ways they have enriched your life is sure to be appreciated.

When we don’t know someone, such as when we’re gifting Elders in our community through a charitable organization, home care agency, or faith community, try to talk with the person in charge of the event to find out what would be meaningful and appropriate. Chocolate covered cherries may be welcome, but could conflict with someone’s health regimen.

I live in the Northeastern United States and because it’s winter, I often think of items that create or signify warmth and comfort, such as fuzzy slippers, cozy blankets, a variety of hot teas, scarves, body lotion, pre-stamped postcards, notecards, flashlights (with batteries already installed), colored pencils (Crayola makes nice ones that are inexpensive), gloves/mittens, or warm socks.

The gift of your time and presence can be the best gift of all. Offering to stay with a person who lives with frailty while the primary caregiver takes a break would be appreciated by both the Elder and the care partner. Your local senior apartment complex, assisted living, or nursing home might welcome your help with holiday decorating, or you could volunteer to play games or read to folks who don’t usually have visitors. Even if you don’t play the piano, singing Christmas carols is a wonderful way to both give and receive care during the holidays.

What gifts have you found to be appreciated by the Elders in your life? Please share your ideas with our community, and have a warm and wonderful holiday season!

Lisa Kendall is a clinical gerontologist with a private counseling and consulting practice in Ithaca, NY. 

Check out Lisa’s report on “9 Essential Steps to Assembling Your Care Partner Team” at

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