There’s something I love about people as they get older. It seems they become more pragmatic, and a little less concerned with sentimentality. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. So a discussion about the kinds of gifts for seniors that were the most appealing, and an interview with several dozen of them, led me to realize that they’ve got a lifetime of collectibles, appliances, cute coffee mugs and clothes. They don’t want more stuff. They want practical presents that will make their lives easier, safer, healthier or more functional. In that spirit, I decided to write this very matter of fact gift post with no filters. If you can’t handle the bluntness of some of these items, I promise you, this list was vetted with 80 and 90 year olds, who unequivocally said that any and all of these gift selections would definitely make their lives happier and better. So we’re talking serious stuff here, with no fluff.
As my 85 year old mom often tells me, “getting old isn’t for sissies.” She’s right. Gifts for seniors often involve home improvements that will increase their safety. But there are also some items related to personal care and good hygeine that you’d want your aging parents and grandparents to have, and even a few you might want to get for yourself right now. In fact, it was my mom who inspired me to research heated eyelash curlers and neck firming creams because she mentioned she’d like them for her birthday. Sure there are a couple of things on our list that are just for fun, but for the most part, these practical presents are all about quality of life for your precious, aging loved ones.
And, if you should find yourself shopping at the last minute, you can count on your gift getting delivered on time with free two day shipping from Amazon Prime. Not a member? Consider it today. Speaking of which, Amazon Prime makes a terrific gift for seniors because it offers so much more than free shipping, with incredible access to music, TV shows, movies and more. If you’ve got an elderly grandma or grandpa on your gift list that’s particularly difficult to shop for, Amazon gift cards will let your most loved senior citizens pick out the present of their choice that’s guaranteed to make them happy. But first, check out our Top 20 Best Gifts for Seniors.
1. Lutron Motion Sensor Light Switch
As your parents get older, seeing in the dark can present real safety issues. Lutron’s sensors effectively detect any motion, so they automatically turn lights on when your parents enter a space and turn them off when they leave. Not only does this make them a convenient way to save energy, but they also add simple automation to the home. These would be a terrific gift for your aging parents to help them navigate dark rooms and hallways as their eyesight and footing diminish. Also, consider adding stick on LED lights to their switchplates that also shine down on the floor. Extra light is great, no matter your age, and this illuminating little gift could prevent a dangerous fall. Indoor/outdoor motion sensor LED lights are also great to place around front porch steps and indoor stairways. Another great way to illuminate an older person’s living space is to replace outlet covers with SnapPower Guidelights. The SnapPower Guidelight is a plug-and-play replacement for standard plug-in night lights and hardwired lights. SnapPower is designed to look like a standard outlet cover by day, with beautiful LEDs that provide ambient lighting at night. It installs within seconds and requires no wires or batteries.
2. Cosco Lightweight Folding Steel Single Step Stool
Does your mom or dad sometimes pull a wobbly chair over to a counter and then climb on it to reach something? Mine do, and frankly it scares the heck out of me. Now you can get them a serious step up that’s also stable and safe footing to help them reach those high cupboards or anything else they’re trying to get their hands one. This nifty one-step, lightweight folding stool from Cosco would make a wonderful gift for parents of any age as well as seniors, because it’s so portable, and at only three pounds, they can pick it up and set it down anywhere. It easily holds an adult on stable footings, allowing them to safely reach whatever they’re after. Plus is folds up slicker than a whistle, and stows in the smallest, narrow spaces. I keep mine between my stove and the cabinet next to it. This is a terrific, inexpensive gift idea for anyone’s home. If you think they may need more than one step, check out the Cosco two step folding stool, or there’s also a handy sit down high stool with a pull out step.
Price: $13.88 (52 percent off MSRP)
3. Dreambell Magnetic Necklace Clasp
As we get older, our dexterity often suffers, so if you’ve noticed that your mom isn’t wearing her necklaces anymore, it could be because she has a had time fastening them. These super simple magnetic jewelry clasp make fastening necklaces and bracelets a snap. These fasteners use powerful magnets to snap together mom’s jewelry and she can do it without having to fumble and fuss with a tiny spring ring clasp. These are especially great for women who suffer from arthritis or other medical issues that cause diminished fine motor skills. The next time you’re looking to buy a gift for mom, get her as many of these magnetic clasps as she needs to be able to wear all her favorite jewelry pieces, without a struggle to hook them. While these clasps are 14k gold, you can also get the clasps in sterling silver and you can buy multi-packs as well.
4. No Drill Shower Grab Bar
Getting into and out of the shower can present real safety issues as your parents and elderly loved ones get on in years. But often, they don’t want to mar their beautiful tub or shower tile or marble with a drill in style grab bar. These super duty, suction cup, no drill grab bars are an excellent choice to ensure there won’t be any slipping and falling when they’re getting into or out of the bath. These are super easy to install, with no tools required, so it would be great to get several for each of their bathrooms, and don’t forget to get a set for your house to use when your folks come to stay. They even have a safety indicator to let you know when they’re installed properly, so you don’t have to sweat any mistakes. If you’d prefer a grab bar that’s not hinged, you can also find straight grab bars as well. In addition, don’t forget to get them an excellent suction cup non-slip tub mat that will make sure they have steady footing once they’re inside the bath or shower.
5. Squatty Potty Bathroom Toilet Stool
People were made to squat, but that gets more difficult with age, as does pooping. Older women and men often suffer from constipation due to limited activity, as well as hemorrhoids from years of heavy lifting, having babies and more. Sitting to poop is bad for efficiency, inflames hemorrhoids, creates unnecessary straining, and, in general, is hard on your behind. The human body relies on a bend in the colon (where your poop lives) and the anus (where your poop says “hi”) to keep everything stored until it’s time to do your business. The Puborectalis muscle helps keep your poop in place by kinking your colon (like a garden hose) when you’re sitting or standing. This is helpful for when you’re sitting and don’t want to poop, but unhelpful for when you’re sitting and do want to poop. The colon’s sweet spot comes with the squat. This is the only position where the Puborectalis muscle fully relaxes, which straightens the kink and allows for a complete elimination without any straining. The Squatty Potty is an awesome and functional present for parents or your grandparents too. But honestly, it’s better for your whole family, no matter how old you are. Because everyone poops, isn’t it time to poop the very best you can? You can also get a single Squatty Potty if they only need one. And let’s face it, poop stinks. Get them some Squatty Potty Unicorn Gold Toilet Spray with powerful nano-particles to eat up that bad odor before the smell becomes unbearable.
6. Adjustable Folding Cane with LED Light and Cushioned Handle
Not all canes are created equal, just ask anyone who has to use a cane or a walking stick. And not all seniors want to use their cane all the time. They might just want to pull it out when they’re getting a little tired after a long day of walking or standing. This folding cane is unique in so many ways. First, it folds small enough to stash in a large purse or shopping bag, so whether your mom or dad needs it, it’s easy to access. Next, this cane is completely adjustable to each person’s specific height. No worry about getting something to small or too tall. Another benefit, is this cane has a super soft, padded handle, which can offer real relief to arthritic hands. It also comes with an anti-marking rubber tip that helps your mom and dad avoid slips and falls, without leaving those nasty black marks on their tile or linoleum floors. But the really cool thing about this folding cane is that it also has an LED flashlight built into the handle, so if your parents are headed to their car after shopping or any other outdoor activity, they can adjust the light to illuminate the sidewalk ahead of them, or they can aim it directly at the car door making for easier unlocking and entry. This cane is super popular with users who rate 4.7 out of five stars for its great functionality and usability.
7. Ettore Grip’n Grab Reach Tool
Bending, stooping and reaching, it all gets harder as people age. Getting a tight grip on something small like a piece of paper can be equally frustrating. This tool, with an ergonomically designed pistol trigger and handle, is super easy to use and provides maximum comfort. The plastic handle and jaw, with an aluminum metal body structure, is durable and lightweight to minimize hand and arm fatigue. The rubberized jaws grab and hold even the smallest of objects. The articulating head turns 90 degrees, making it simpler to reach into tight and awkward spaces. If you want to get them a grabber for multiple rooms, get a two pack.
Price: $16.95 (38 percent off MSRP)
8. Secura Portable Induction Cooktop
If your parents still love to cook, naturally you’re probably worried about them burning their fingers or hands. This awesome induction cooktop from Secura plugs in and sits right on the countertop. Induction cooking uses technology that allows their pan and food to heat up, while the burner stays cool and doesn’t burn their hands. In case they get distracted and forget to put a pan on the burner, it will automatically shut off in 60 seconds. They key to making this a great gift for seniors, or anyone else, is to get them some induction compatible cookware. If they cook a lot, you might want to get them a large set of induction pots and pans that can be used on the stove and on their regular cooktop. If they only do a small amount of cooking, a smaller set of pans will do the trick.
Price: $59.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
9. Amopé Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Electronic Foot File
As we get older, taking care of feet gets harder. More calluses, and less ability to reach our feet. If you’re looking for a great gift to assist with personal care issues, give your parents a great electric foot file to take care of difficult dry skin on heels, toes and calluses on their feet that frequently cause discomfort. The Amopé Pedi Perfect Wet and Dry Foot File is completely waterproof, so they can use it in or out of the tub or shower. It features a rechargeable battery, and has two speeds to suit their needs and foot condition. It can help them maintain soft feet without expensive pedicures. This handy tool is simple and effortless to use. Very little pressure is required, and there’s no difficult twisting or turning needed to tackle the thick, rough skin on feet and heels. Wet or dry, this home pedicure will become a foot care joy for your folks, rather than a foot care chore. Clipping nails becomes another difficult task as parents get older. Another great gift addition to their foot care regime is an electric nail file. And to give them a relaxing, spa like experience that also makes using their callus shaver more effective, a foot massager and soaker is a great gift idea any time of the year.
Price: $39.99 (43 percent off MSRP)
10. Etekcity Digital Kitchen Timer Two Pack
My mom loves to bake bread, but her hearing has diminished a bit and when she’s in the living room reading a book, she often doesn’t hear the oven timer in the kitchen signalling that her bread has finished baking. These large LED readout kitchen timers were the perfect solution to her problem. These make a terrific, thoughtful and inexpensive gift for seniors who want to keep track of the time, whether they’re exercising, baking or simply wanting to remember when the clothes are finished up in the dryer. This timely two pack makes a perfect small gift for Grandparents Day, Mother’s Day or any other holiday or birthday. It’s an incredibly affordable gift idea that your parents or elderly friends will just love. These timers have a loud and clear alarm, but one that’s not deafening. And they’re so portable with their own little stand back to set on a table or nightstand, plus they’re small enough to slip in a pocket. Another good small gift idea is an oven thermometer to let them check the accuracy of their oven temperature. And another must have for the kitchen, is a digital instant read thermometer so they can easily make sure their meats are properly cooked.
Price: $12.99 (32 percent off MSRP)
11. YokPollar Professional Curling Wand
It doesn’t matter their age, women like to have beautiful hair. It does, indeed, get more difficult though as they get older. Hair thins, and using a “devil hot” curling iron is a guarantee of burned hair, singed neck or ears, and fried fingertips. The solution, according to the women over 80 that I surveyed, is to get a curling iron with brushes. It holds thinning hair in place and keeps the hot barrel from burning skin and hair. YokPollar’s curling wand has an innovative ionic generator that releases up to 100 times more concentrated ions, protecting hair from damage and delivering gorgeous shine. It also keeps hair from tangling and helps prevent static. It prevents frizz and creates a shiny, smooth finish. Why not give your mom or grandma the gift of beautiful hair with this easy to use hair tool and some personal coaching from you on how to use it? Because grey and white hair tends to get frizzy, another help for her hair is a heat protectant styling spray. A root boosting spray can also give her hair lift and volume, which is a benefit for thinning or lifeless hair.
12. LED Lytes Flameless Candles
Candles are a lovely and relaxing way to create a warm ambiance in any room, but as people get older, they aren’t always good about remembering to blow them out before bed. Scary thought, right? That’s when LED candles are such a blessing and give you some added peace of mind. These awesome LED candles feature a realistic flickering flame. They are made of real wax, and still give a natural candle appearance, while assuring the safety you desire for your aging friends and family. Plus, they come with an easy on and off remote control, so seniors will find them super simple to use regularly. To add extra sparkle to their mantle, dining table or dresser, LED tea lights are a wonderful decorating solution. If you’re looking to find a special gift for seniors that combines LED candles with more decorating flair, wall sconces with LED candles are a really wonderful gift idea.
Price: $14.97 (50 percent off MSRP)
13. Hog Wild Peeramid Bookrest
One of the gifts of getting older is having the time to read all the books you want. The next time you’re in search of a great gift idea for the seniors on your list, give them the gift that gives their arms a rest from holding heavy books, but still let’s them have all the joy of tackling those epic tomes. A lap or bed bookrest is a great gift for those avid readers on your list who still prefer a traditional book to reading on a Kindle Fire or Kindle Paperwhite. While both of those devices do make terrific Christmas, birthday or anniversary gift ideas, they also require some knowledge of technology which isn’t always abundant in the over 80 crowd. After all, they didn’t grow up as digital natives. This bookrest is a comfy way for them to read in their recliner, on the couch or even in bed, and it will definitely hit the sweet spot for those book lovers on your gift list. Another companion gift that makes reading so much clearer as eye sight dims, is an easy to use book light that clips right onto whatever book they’re reading.
Price: $17.64 (27 percent off MSRP)
14. Uninex Outlet Lighted Foot Switch Extension Cord
This nifty gift idea for seniors is all about ease of operation, not just for lights around the Christmas tree, but for use throughout the year. Imagine how simple it would be for an elderly man or woman to simply turn on the tree, floor lamps or any other lights around the house with the simple tap of a toe. This nine foot, three outlet cord can make bending and stooping a thing of the past, and will make a perfect and affordable present for your aging parents or friends. Another cool gift idea along these same lines is a remote control outlet that allows them to plug in three different lamps or other electrical appliances and they can power up whatever they’d like with a quick click of the remote.
15. Jerdon 8-Inch Wall Mount Lighted Magnifying Mirror
A really awesome gift idea for seniors is a lighted magnifying mirror for their bathroom. This fog free, two-sided circular mirror has an eight-inch diameter face, and features a smooth 360-degree swivel design that provides 1x and 5x magnification options to make sure your elderly relatives can see all the needed details as they get ready for their day. From ease of shaving, to perfect hair and makeup, this is a terrific gift idea, as sight can get fuzzy with age. An on/off rotary knob on the oval base activates the halo lighting around the perimeter of the mirror when needed, and it’s soft enough to act as a great nightlight in the bathroom. The extension arm and smooth rotation adjusts to all angles for a dynamic point of view. This bathroom mirror has an attractive nickel finish that protects against moisture and condensation. If they can’t install this mirror, or you’re not around to do it for them, consider a vanity magnifying mirror they can use while sitting down. And if they don’t have a vanity, you can give them a suction cup magnifier that simply sticks right on their regular bathroom or closet mirror, and can easily be taken along for travel.
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16. iRobot Roomba 870 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Nearly every senior citizen I talked to said that the iRobot Roomba was the best invention for seniors, EVER. They rave about its ease, thoroughness, and its ability to get into places they can no longer vacuum, like under beds and tables and chairs. Honestly, they often think of their Roomba as kind of a worry free pet. And let’s be honest, as people age, keeping up with the household chores gets a whole lot more difficult. This is an ideal gift that lets them clean their floors every single day, if they so desire. It features the revolutionary AeroForce Cleaning System, with up to five times the air power and it requires less maintenance. Just press the Clean button for on demand vacuuming, or they can schedule Roomba to run up to seven days a week. Roomba works on all floor types, and at just 3.6 inches tall, is specifically designed to fit under most furniture, beds and kickboards. If they do like to clean daily, consider getting them a replacement power supply and some additional HEPA filters.
17. Body Buddy Non-Absorbent Lotion Applicator
Not only does your skin get drier with age, reaching that dry skin with softening lotion gets harder and harder, especially on your back. In fact, that’s an area that’s tough to reach no matter how old you are. The Body Buddy is a terrific gift for seniors that is super easy to use. The lotion applicator “band” provides the extra reach necessary to apply skincare products to one’s own back and any other hard-to-reach areas. They can use the non-absorbent lotion applicator to apply sunscreen, rub in aloe to soothe sunburned skin, or simply to rub in moisturizing lotions and creams. It can also be used for any condition of the skin. They can topically apply prescription medication to treat psoriasis, skin conditions due to complications from medications, radiation therapy or general skin care needs. The Body Buddy is made from a soft vinyl. Unlike a sponge on a stick, it does not absorb product and has no replacement parts or pads. It is machine washable and can be tumbled dry. Between uses, they can wipe it clean with a damp cloth. Make this a perfect present by getting your seniors some extra emollient lotions and pain relieving creams to help clear up any dry skin and ward off arthritic aches and pains.
18. FoodSaver 2-in-1 Automatic Vacuum Sealing System
Most older people are budget consious, and they like to buy food in bulk when they can. The problem is, being able to use or preserve that food before it spoils. That’s why the FoodSaver vacuum sealing system is a perfect gift idea for seniors. The FoodSaver System takes the guesswork out of smart shopping, and they reap all the savings by safely sealing and freezing meats, cheeses, vegetables, even soups and sauces. FoodSaver bags and rolls are designed to give them easy storage while saving money. Another benefit of using the FoodSaver is that once air is removed, food takes up less storage space in the fridge, freezer and cupboards. All FoodSaver bags and rolls are Sous Vide safe, so they can simmer their homemade soups and sauces without worry. It’s great for cereals, nuts and dry goods as well. The multi-layer bags keep air out and minimize freezer burn keeping flavors fresh and foods nutrient rich. FoodSaver also makes vacuum seal containers to use on smaller items that they want to keep fresh in the refrigerator.
Price: $145.75 (19 percent off MSRP)
19. Woman’s Premium Clip On Dress Zipper Pull
There’s just no denying it, many women in their senior years, love to wear dresses, but one of the most frustrating circumstances of doing so might be trying to get zipped up if that dress has a zipper in the back. This cool gift for older women makes it easy for her to zip up any dress by herself. The clamping style clip securely holds to any style zipper with no slipping. The clip’s plastic insert prevents damage to decorative zippers. This nifty gift idea is designed to hang in her closet, but it’s easy to roll up so she can take it traveling too. It’s especially excellent if she’s got somewhat limited mobility. As fine motor skills diminish with age, another great gift for your elderly mom or dad is a button hook assist. Or get them a three-in-one tool kit that includes a button hook assist, as well as special tools for opening jars and bottles.
20. Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush
It’s a well known fact that good oral hygiene leads to better overall physical health. One huge step in that healthy direction is the Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+. It offers dynamic brushing action to provide gentle, effective cleaning that reaches between teeth and along the gumline with up to 31,000 brushstrokes per minute. Especially important for seniors and older people, they can experience healthier gums within two weeks of regular use. The Philips Sonicare HealthyWhite+ removes up to 100 percent more stains and seven times more plaque from hard-to-reach places than manual brushing. You parents or grandparents can look forward to better cleanings, healthier gums and more vibrant smiles with this awesome present. In fact, if you haven’t gotten a Sonicare yet, this is the time to get one for yourself. Be sure to get them extra brush heads, as it’s best to replace them every four to six months. To keep germs at bay, you can even get a Philips Sonicare with a UV brush cleaner attached to the charger.
Price: $79.95 (33 percent off MSRP)