Christmas Gifts For Seniors

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We all have someone on our gift list who is hard to shop for because they already have it all, or have limited space, such as someone in a nursing home or assisted living home. Most often, without being too nosy, you usually have an idea of their income as well. Here are a few gift ideas (many can be used year around, not just at Christmas time), of items they will really appreciate, want, use, and that won't take up a lot of space.


  • How about a box of envelopes, tablet of paper, pens and book of stamps? You could even preaddress a few of the envelopes with your name and address so you get a letter or two! You can also include a pad of return address labels.
  • For someone in a confined space, a wall calendar is nice, one that you have made with family photos appropriate for each month. Then, on the calendar you can write birthdays and other special days for them.
  • Are they on prescriptions? Many seniors are, and even if they have good insurance or Medicaid or Medicare, the co-pays can add up. Get them a gift card to their pharmacy, one that can be used on OTC and their RX co-pays.
  • Pay a month (or more) of internet or their cable TV for them, or their trash service.
  • Do they like to eat out? Get them some gift certificates for their favorite restaurant and remember some deliver, so check that as well for those who no longer get out and drive.
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  • How about a box of food? Something non perishable, that contains items in the sizes that they like, such as a few cans of soup, tea or coffee, canned fruits, veggies, PB, jelly, or small canned ham. Just remember to watch the package size. If the household is 2, you want enough for both, but if it consists of one, you don't want food to go to waste. Make sure it can be frozen.

    For someone on food stamps or a very limited fixed income, this is a real blessing. You might also include in that box a couple of Rubbermaid food storage type containers.

  • Along that same line, after a holiday dinner, package up some of the leftovers in small containers for them to take home and freeze. A senior lady at my church once told me her only food money was the $70 a month she received in food stamps. I asked her how did she make it on that? She laughed and said she was blessed to have local family who had at least one birthday a month with a family dinner.

    They always picked her up and took her to the dinner, and sent her home with leftovers enough to get her through the month. She said the secret was to freeze them and rotate them so she wasn't eating the same thing over and over.
  • A photo album is a good idea. Start it off with a few photos in it, and encourage other family members to send a few each month to help fill it up.
  • If they have a VCR or DVD player and family that lives away, make some home movies and send to them to play.
  • Other ideas include, flashlight with extra batteries, portable radio and weather radio, smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, auto club dues (if they drive), pay some on their cell phone, or if they have no cell, get them a throw away phone or add them to your cell plan.
  • Do something to spend time with them where you pay the way, such as a movie, dinner out, or go to their favorite outing spot.
  • If money is an issue on your end, issue coupons for each month, such as January: good for one dinner at our home, February: good for using coming to your home, and we bring the popcorn and board games, March: good for a drive to where you used to live and listen to your old stories (and record them!), April: good for a picnic with the grandkids.


    Also add coupons for services they might use, such as washing their car, cleaning their carpets, windows, and mini blinds for them, mowing their lawn, working in the garden, painting, etc. Be creative; just look around and see what needs to be done, that due to finances or physical labor needs to be done and do it for them.

By mom-from-missouri from Plattsburg, MO

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Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 450 Feedbacks
November 30, 20110 found this helpful

I think it is very sad the way some of our senior citizens in this country have to live.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
November 30, 20110 found this helpful

These are all wonderful idea. I applaud you for the last one esp'. Coupons from the heart for things you can't afford to buy mean more anyway. PBP


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
November 30, 20110 found this helpful

RE: Christmas Gifts For Seniors
I would have given you two thumbs up if I could. All are good suggestions. And should give people something to think about.


Merry Christmas to Everyone. GG Vi

December 14, 20110 found this helpful

I started a website for feeding your neighbors especially for "shut ins" a few years ago. It's easy, make an extra plate and deliver it to one of your neighbors. This isn't just for the frail elderly, there are people of all ages that are recovering from surgery and are out of work for a month or so.

I'm sure your church or senior center can provide names. Don't forget to ask if they have a pet. Bring a can/bag of cat or dog food with you. Sometimes people will give their own food to their pet.


Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 509 Feedbacks
November 11, 20130 found this helpful

You have some great ideas here, thanks! I've used many myself, but I never thought of gift cards to their pharmacy! Or paying for internet/cable! Thanks for the ideas & reminder!


When my former in-laws (whom remained my family) both retired & were on very limited incomes, they began to really pinch pennies at the grocery store & stopped buying the shrimp, oysters & steak they used to occasionally splurge on. So, I began giving them gift cards to their favorite grocery store, with the instruction that it was to be used to create an amazing meal from their favorite food! They liked that even better than restaurant coupons, because they'd rather cook at home, & their 'money' would go farther at the store :D

Other gift cards I've bought for senior family & friends are Home Depot, Starbucks, gas card from their favorite gas station, movie theatre(with enough extra for concession), book store.....anyplace I know they like, but don't frequent as much on a fixed income.

December 14, 20150 found this helpful

I thought of making my mom a photo album of pics starting with her childhood until now . Also the workers in the home can see who she was in the past.


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