Gifts for the Elderly

Perfect Gifts For the Elderly In Nursing Homes

Giving the perfect gift can be difficult. It can be especially challenging if you’re buying for an elderly friend, family member or loved one in a nursing home or a continuing care retirement community. You want to gift something that will be easy to use, bringing them enjoyment and entertainment.

What Are Good Gifts for Elderly?

We’ve put together a list of best gifts for the elderly in nursing homes that will make their lives easier and safer, without taking up too much space or time.

We’ve recommended gifts that will: help your loved one reminisce and feel loved; keep them challenged, entertained and engaged; help to reduce any anxiety they may be feeling; make sure that they’re comfortable, and that will make life a little bit easier.

Take a look at our favorite gifts for elderly in nursing home accommodation, to help keep them safe and happy. 

Medical Alert Devices

A medical alert device helps people stay on top of their health and be prepared in case of fall or injury, reducing anxiety. They can come in the form of a smartwatch, like this one from Medical Guardian, that can also help track appointments and even check the weather.

Personalized Gifts to Enjoy Special Memories  

Personalized gifts can help an elderly person feel valued and loved by those they care about most. These gifts can also help them to relive happy memories and stories from the past. They're the ultimate feel-good gift.

Personalized gifts can help an elderly person feel valued and loved by those they care about most.

Customized Photo Album

A customized photo album can be a great gift for an elderly person. It can remind them of cherished memories, and allow them to relive their favorite moments. It's a very personal and emotional gift that shows how much time and care you have taken. 

You can add further detail by including any notes and mementos that you’d like. That way, they can always remember their experiences and adventures.

Customized Calendar

A customized calendar is a practical and feel-good gift.

The calendar can help an elderly person keep track of the days, weeks and months as well as what they’ve got planned.

You can customize this with photographs of family and friends, or their favorite things, to help brighten up their day. That way, they’ll be able to smile every time they check the calendar.

Customized Photo Puzzle

Gifting a puzzle will provide an elderly person with a huge amount of entertainment; something to focus on, keeping their mind active and engaged.

You can gift a customized puzzle that, when completed, creates a treasured photo of family, friends or something special. This will be a touching reminder for your elderly friend or family member.

Personalized Coasters

Coasters are a must-have essential in any home – the perfect place to put tea, coffee or a soft drink. Add a significant photograph or a phrase to easily remind an elderly person that they’re loved and cherished. It's something that they'll look at and use every day. 

Customized Blanket

Keep an elderly person warm, cozy and comfortable in a soft blanket. If you can't give them a hug in person, wrap them in a blanket gifted with love. 

Many retailers allow you to add photographs or text. These significant touches will remind the person that they are appreciated and thought of, as well as keeping them warm and toasty.

Digital Photo Frame

A digital photo frame makes it easy for an elderly person to see their most cherished photographs of family, friends, experiences and places.

The images can change automatically, meaning they’ll easily be able to see many different photos and remember many wonderful memories. 

Gifts to Challenge, Entertain and Engage

It’s important to encourage seniors to challenge themselves whilst having fun. These gifts will help them to stay mentally active, entertained and engaged.


Almost everyone has a favorite artist, song or style of music – and it usually has a lot of emotional sentiment.

Gift an elderly person with a music streaming subscription, or introduce them to something new that you think they’ll love.


Literature can be a wonderful gift. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, books allow people to immerse themselves in their imagination and can help to improve memory.

Perhaps give your loved one their favorite book, a piece by their favorite author, or a new text you think they’d enjoy.

Large print books and audiobooks are available to help those with vision challenges.

Coloring Books

Coloring books aren’t just for children. They can provide hours of relaxing fun and entertainment, keep minds active and focused, and aid with hand-eye coordination. It's also a brilliant way for older people to express their creativity.

There are many different designs available to suit your loved one.

Building Blocks

Building blocks aren’t just for little ones either. Lego and other building block sets can be great gifts for your elderly person.

This can be a great way for them to spend time with others, exercise their brains and work on their coordination and motor skills. It can also be hugely satisfying to complete a project; they can admire their hard work and have fun whilst they do it.

Jigsaw Puzzles 

Time flies when you’re engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle; it’s a fun way to exercise the brain and provides a huge amount of satisfaction when you've finished. Different designs and levels of difficulty are available to perfectly suit the elderly person that you have in mind. 

Brain Games

Other brain games can be a great gift for an older person, providing a mental challenge and providing entertaining tasks for them to focus on. A collection of word searches, crosswords and sudokus can make great gifts. Plus, your loved one will feel proud, productive and satisfied as they work through the games.

Large Print Playing Cards

Card games are fun to learn and play. Consider gifting large print cards so that your elderly person can easily see them. 

They’ll be able to play games that they already know or learn new ones from others. It’s a great way to help them socialize. Plus, it’ll keep their brains focused and may improve their motor skills.

Automatic Card Shuffler

Shuffling cards can be difficult at the best of times, and this can sometimes be a challenge for elderly people. An automatic card shuffler will allow them to play games without the difficulty or stress of trying to shuffle.

Vegetable Garden Starter Kit

Cultivating and growing plants and vegetables can be a hugely rewarding experience. Consider gifting a starter kit to help your elderly friend, relative or loved one begin their own vegetable garden. They can nurture their plants, and enjoy the healthy vegetables that they grow. 

Different sizes and options are available to suit the space that your elderly person has available to them.

Gifts to Help Reduce Anxiety

Like everyone, older people may experience times of heightened anxiety. That’s why these gifts are designed to help them feel calm, reassured and safe.

Weighted Blanket

Weighted blankets for the elderly have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and improve sleep. Not only will they keep your loved one warm and cozy, but could actually improve their overall well-being.

Different weights, textures, and designs are available to suit your preferences.  There is a great article that goes over the benefits a weighted blanket can provide, it includes benefits and reviews. 

Heated Blanket

A heated blanket is another great gift option, making sure that seniors are kept warm and comfortable – especially in the colder months.

Not only that, but a heated blanket can also help to alleviate minor aches and pain, providing smoothly relief.

Heated Wheelchair Lap Blanket

Wheelchair users sometimes find their laps and legs get cold. A wheelchair lap blanket will ensure that they stay comfortable.

It conveniently attaches to a wheelchair, making sure that it doesn’t get dirty, damaged or in the way whilst you’re moving around.

Massage Pillow

Massage pillows are a great option to soothe an aching neck, sore back and any tension that you’re holding. It can provide great relief for an elderly person that you know.

There are many automatic massage pillows available on the market that conveniently attaches to an armchair or headboard.

Sound Machine to Help Sleep

Many older people find that they develop trouble sleeping. A sleep sound machine may be the solution they’re looking for. They generate calming noise to help people relax and fall asleep.

There are many options available which allow you to choose your preferred sounds and volume.

Better sleep can help to improve all aspects of life and could be a transformative gift for an elderly person.

Light Therapy Lamp

Sunlight has a number of benefits to person’s wellbeing. It provides important vitamins and is a well-known natural mood booster. Elderly people may find it more difficult to be outside as much as they used to be, especially during the colder months.

A light therapy lamp mimics natural sunlight and can be a huge mood booster.  

Fidget Muff or Blanket

A fidget muff or blanket has a variety of textures for a person to touch, play with and fidget with. It provides stimulation for restless hands and can be especially helpful and comforting for those who have dementia.

Clothing Gifts

These clothing gifts can help to make sure your loved one feels independent, comfortable and confident.

Adaptive Clothing

Adaptive clothing is designed to make it easier for those that are less mobile to dress and undress. It allows people to maintain their independence. 

Adaptive clothing is especially useful for someone with arthritis, incontinence and limited movement ability.

Compression Socks

Compression socks can be incredibly helpful in improving circulation and reducing swelling. These are common experiences of many older people, for a variety of reasons.  

Non-Slip Socks or Slippers

These are perfect gifts to keep an elderly person safe and comfortable. Socks or slippers will keep their feet warm and protected, whilst the non-slip sole will mean that they’re less likely to fall over.

There is a huge variety of designs available to make sure that your elderly friend, family member or loved one gets the right fit and a design that they like.

Gifts That Make Life a Little Bit Easier

Life can be difficult sometimes, especially for an older person who may be experiencing new challenges. These ideas may help to make daily life a little bit easier.

Glasses Holder

Glasses can sometimes be impossible to find, but impossible to live without!

Gift an elderly person with a glasses holder, meaning they’re less likely to lose them or do any damage to them. 

Pill Organizer 

Almost 90% of older people take prescription medication, which can be extremely important for their health.

If your loved one is taking medication, it's important that it's taken correctly.

Pill organizers allow you or your loved one to sort their medication so that they clearly know what to take and when. You can also set an alarm to remind your elderly person when it’s time to take their pills.


A clock that clearly displays the time, day and date can be especially helpful for an older person who is experiencing memory challenges or struggles to keep track of the days.

It’s important to gift a clock that has the clearest display that you can find, to make it as easy as possible for an older person to see.

Extended Shoehorn

Bending over to take shoes on and off can be quite difficult or an elderly person as their balance and mobility reduces.

An extended shoehorn could make this daily task easier and safer for them. It will allow them to quickly get their shoes on and off with less risk of them losing their balance and falling.

What Do you Give Someone Who Has Everything?

When you’re giving a gift to an elderly friend or family member, you want them to feel loved and valued. You also want to give them something that they’ll enjoy!

When it comes to gifts for elderly in nursing home accommodation, the best gifts will be easy to use, suited to what they like and need, and will help to encourage a positive mood.

Above all else, the gifts that we have suggested will help to make an older person feel happy and keep them safe.

Take a look at our other ideas for helping older people stay happy and healthy.