Holiday Gift Ideas for Assisted Living Residents

If you have a loved one in an assisted living facility it can be difficult to know what to get them. Many seniors have already accumulated decades worth of gifts and don’t have a lot of needs or wants. Still others may have had to get rid of accumulated clutter during the move. Even so, there are still plenty of ways you can get them a gift that will truly make them happy.

Elderly couple at Christmas

Here are a few holiday gift ideas.

An E-Reader

E-readers can be great for seniors. They let them have all their favorite books close at hand, even in limited space in a nursing home. They also allow the user to change and enlarge the font size to make it easier to read—even with restricted vision.
For a really thoughtful gift, install some of your loved one’s favorite books before giving it.

A gift basket

You can find gift companies that will assemble decorative baskets for every budget that includes jams, cookies and candies, cheeses, chocolates…there’s an option for every taste and interest. You can also find gift baskets that include soaps, lotions, and other body-care luxuries—these can make a big difference in a nursing home environment.

Hand-held exercise tools

Seniors who stay in shape as they grow older have fewer risks for injuries, potentially fatal falls, and a long list of health problems. A pair of light hand-held weights, ankle weights, stretch bands, or other easy-to-use hand-held exercise items can help your loved one keep their muscles toned and strong at any age. There are also exercise items made specifically for those with arthritis and joint ailments.

Noise-cancelling headphones

Some facilities have better environments for tranquility and privacy than others. Either way, your senior loved one may appreciate a pair of headphones that lets them drown out the noise around them—to listen to music, read a book, or enjoy the quiet.

A fleece bathrobe, sweater, or slippers

Seniors feel the cold more acutely than younger people. If your senior is living in a place with cold winters, chances are they would appreciate something to keep them warm—such as a nice bathrobe, a warm sweater, thick socks, or even a decorative (but warm) blanket. Slippers should have non-skid soles.

A gift certificate to a salon

A gift certificate for a haircut, a manicure or pedicure, or other salon services can be a great gift—and one that’s much appreciated. Most assisted living facilities have beauty salons on the grounds, or your loved one may have a favorite place to go.

Framed pictures

Framed pictures of family members and loved ones are always appreciated. Electronic frames let you put a number of different pictures in the same frame, or send pictures and update them remotely from your phone or computer.

Anything homemade

Homemade cookies, snacks, cakes, meals, or crafts will always be well received. It can be especially thoughtful to make a favorite well-loved treat, or one that the loved one used to make for the family themselves. Always keep your elderly loved one’s dietary restrictions in mind when making edible gifts, and talk to the staff if you’re not sure.

Other suggestions

No Bend Pet Food Bowl (most places allow small pets)

TV listener wireless headphone.
Audio Book Subscription for someone with vision problems. (
Game books such as crosswood, word search, Sudoku.

But the best gift of all, is yourself – taking lunch or dinner to them and staying to enjoy it together, or taking them out, depending on if there are any mobility issues.

It can be difficult to know what to get an elderly loved one, but it’s definitely possible to come up with gift ideas that will make a good impression—even for a senior who has everything.

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