101 Thoughtful Gifts for Seniors

As a rule, older folks don’t want more stuff, but they do love practical presents that can make their lives easier, safer, healthier, and happier. Whether you’re looking for something sensible, sentimental, or simply fun, this list of gifts for seniors was vetted with dozens of people in their 70s, 80s, and 90s, who voted for the best and booted the rest.

From furniture and exercise equipment that will assist with their physical needs to self-care suggestions, fun experiences, and more, we’ve found 101 of the best gifts for seniors that they’ll absolutely love.

And remember, there are plenty of younger seniors who are vibrant, fit, and finally have the time to fully enjoy life. Gifts for older women can take a different twist if they’re on the younger side of older, or recently retired, but don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of awesome gift ideas for them all.

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If you're looking for a gift that will give them a soothing and relaxing space outside, a backyard gazebo is a perfect gift idea. And if your senior loves to garden but can't handle all that stooping and bending anymore, raised planter boxes are a wonderful gift option as well.

As my 89-year-old mom often tells me, "getting old isn't for sissies." These practical presents are all about the quality of life for your precious, elderly loved ones. Before you take the easy way out with yet another gift card, look seriously at our list of the best gifts for seniors for the kinds of things they'll really appreciate, each and every day. 

Why Should You Be Particular When Choosing Gifts for Seniors?

Per this informative article by Thomas Day, many seniors will require long-term care at some point.  Long-term care is an expensive proposition that many people can ill-afford. That's why finding gifts that keep them safe and healthy are key.

As you'll note, many of our gift selections assist with mobility, toileting, and the physical needs of seniors, while others simply make their life experience more enjoyable. Don't be afraid to purchase the kinds of practical essentials that can keep your senior from falling, straining muscles, or seeing more clearly in the dark, as these sorts of presents offer a better quality of life for the senior you love.

What Are the Best Gifts for Seniors Who Live Alone?

According to the CDC, loneliness and isolation can have serious health consequences, especially in the senior population. Many seniors live alone after the death of a spouse or significant other, and this issue has been magnified during the pandemic.

Gifts that give your loved one a way to connect regularly are great options. Electronic photo frames that share videos and photos can allow them to see all the latest from your family with no technical skills required. 

Just set the frame up and share the login information with your senior's family and they can upload photos, and even video greetings to the frame on a regular basis. 

Lots of seniors haven't joined the cell phone revolution because they view them as too complicated, especially as hearing and eyesight dwindle. The Jitterbug smartphone gets rave reviews for being a clear and simple option for seniors that doesn't require a monthly contract. 

Per this article from Bustle, conversations over the phone can strengthen your connection with someone important. Now, who doesn't want that? 

What Are the Best Gifts for Younger Seniors?

There are plenty of seniors who are healthy, fit, and finally have the time to fully enjoy their lives to the max. Gifts for younger seniors can focus more on lifestyle, relaxation, and mind and body expanding experiences.

They might be more inclined to pursue a new hobby, or even finally learn a second or third language. If that's a direction you've heard from them, consider Rosetta Stone Unlimited Languages with offers a lifetime membership for them to pursue as many dialects as they'd like. 

If they've got a passion for gardening, consider getting them a greenhouse kit to allow them to start early and harvest late, or depending on where they live, perhaps to grow flowers and produce year-round. 

Looking for the Best Gifts for Active Seniors?

While we tend to think of those retirement years as the time when many people start golfing (a noble sport to be sure) there are lots of seniors who love to participate in more active sports.

Cycling is an outstanding option for seniors as it provides a great cardiovascular workout, without being as hard on joints as some other activities. In fact, the folks at AARP and many others say cycling is the new golf for people over 50.

If you're shopping for an older cyclist, consider gifts like a bike computer that allows them to challenge themselves or their riding pals. A hydration pack can make longer rides easier and gives them storage for snacks, bike tools, wallets, and phones. 

And speaking of a bike tool, if you're looking for a smaller and more affordable gift, the Park Tool IB-3 I-Beam Multi-Tool is our go-to for the best all-around choice.

If the active senior on your list loves to hike into pristine backwoods places, long distance and long-duration hikes are not out of the question. In fact, these tips for long distance hiking from the REI blog will give you lots of ideas about what it takes to succeed if you want to train together, and it'll inspire some gift ideas too. 

These TrailBuddy trekking poles are a no-brainer for older hikers and can be used off-trail for getting across all kinds of uneven terrain including the yard. They're height-adjustable and because they're made of carbon fiber, they are super lightweight.

The proper footwear can make a huge difference on long-distance hikes. The Lowa Men's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot gets rave reviews in this author's household, so much so, that I purchased the women's version of the same boots and we've climbed the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness with no blisters. A definite bonus, since we're both over 60.

Other lightweight amenities are also great gift ideas. A tent hammock keeps backs that tend to get stiff more easily feeling good first thing in the morning because they raise you up off the ground and keep the bugs and rain out too.

Tiny cookstoves make hot coffee and food a given rather than a luxury, and compact dish and cookware sets made for just such excursions are great gifts too.

Which Are the Best Tech Gifts for Seniors?

If you're looking to make things simpler and safer for the older person on your gift list, we recommend smart home devices that keep them comfortable, like the Nest learning thermostat. They won't have to worry about adjusting their heat, because this thermostat will automatically adjust to their needs. 

If they're still driving, you might also want to consider the MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener that lets them get inside safely with a simple touch of their smartphone.

When it comes to tech gifts for seniors, we can't say enough about the AccuVoice 201 Sound Bar TV Speaker by ZVOX. With two levels of voice boost, it can make watching television so much better for folks who rely on hearing aids. 

What About Gifts for Seniors Who Like to Read?

One of the things many of us look forward to as we age is actually having the time to read more. Books can be a lifeline for many older people - inspiring their imagination, letting them live vicariously through a book's characters, or continuing to teach them new things.

While books are always a great gift, you might try to find a few unexpected gifts for your seniors who like to read. A book pillow for their lap or table can make reading more enjoyable by alleviating the need to hold a heavy hardbound tome in their hands. 

The Peeramid book rest is one of our favorites and you'll see it in our list, and the Book Seat is another popular option. If your senior happens to read on a device like an iPad or Kindle, the Flippy multi-angle soft pillow is ideal and features a handy side storage pouch too.

Anything you can do to encourage your seniors to read is a plus, because according to TheBestBrainPossible, the mental stimulation of reading can help protect memory and thinking skills.

What Are the Best Gifts for Seniors With Mobility Issues?

It can be hard to find gifts for seniors with mobility issues, but even if you can't afford a lift recliner or fancy new walker, there are lots of little ideas that might make their lives more functional each and every day. 

Simply moving is something we often take for granted, but when mobility is compromised, it's life-changing.  Adaptive clothing is always a possibility. It's easier to get on and often is designed for someone undergoing medical treatments.

Also, consider adaptive devices that make regular movements easier. A swiveling seat cushion can simplify getting from a chair or car seat to their cane or walker. A standing mobility aid can give them much more control when going from a sitting to standing position.

What Are the Best Gifts for the Lonely Elderly?

One thing that causes decline and depression in older folks is isolation. Finding gift ideas that can maximize their ability to interact with others is key. Since meeting new people, especially if they have moved to a senior living community, can be difficult, we'd recommend TableTopics, a fun game that helps them get to know other people in new ways.

If they've got cognitive issues, these conversation starters for folks with dementia can help them to recognize friends and family more easily, as well as spurring their memories from the past.

What Are the Best Gifts for Elderly Men?

If you’re looking to give an older man more comfort as he pads around his place, these RockDove Men's Original Two-Tone Memory Foam Slippers feel cozy and make his feet feel supported, plus they’re washable to keep them fresh. The Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoes are a perfect solution for outdoor wear, and they also have memory foam insoles for comfort, with grippy soles to prevent slipping and dangerous falls.

Keep his mind engaged with dexterity games or small DIY projects that he can unjoy once completed. Puzzle books are another way to keep his mind active, even when his body might not cooperate.

Looking for Gifts for the Elderly Woman?

Aches and pains seem to be a part of getting older, but if you’re looking to add some comfort to a lady’s life, the Tech Love Electric Heating Pad is a wonderful cozy neck and shoulder wrap that can add comfort and warmth while she’s enjoying TV or a book. When she’s out and about, whether it’s visiting with her friends down the hall or down the block, she’ll love snuggling up in the Urban CoCo Women's Color Block Shawl Wrap.

Gifts that add a bit of pampering to her daily routine are especially coveted. Many elderly women don’t invest in luxurious skin creams, a pumpkin glycolic face mask or this Fleur & Bee eye cream. These all make wonderful gifts that feel indulgent and help to moisturize and brighten their skin.

Do Shoes for Elderly Folks Make Good Gifts?

We say yes - especially if they have issues like bunions or plantar fasciitis.  A new shoe company, PANDERE, has created a unisex shoe that comes in wide sizes to help ease the pain of swelling, bunions and a host of other foot conditions. Orthotics can also go a long way toward tackling the symptoms of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. 

Is foot fatigue a big issue? Keep their tootsies feeling fresh and tackle foot pain issues with Vibrathotics Vibrating Shoe Insoles.

Another issue for seniors is diminished dexterity. That makes shoes with laces more difficult, yet those sorts of shoes offer more support, which they need. 

The Blowfish Malibu Women's Raco Fashion Boot offers a sturdy lug sole for wintertime steadiness and has elasticized laces that make it a slip on. For cute and casual spring and summer kicks, the Blowfish Malibu Play Sneaker is a sweet slip on choice. A great choice for men is the Skechers Doubleplay slip on sneaker that has a memory foam insole for added comfort.

What Are the Best Gifts for Seniors Who Have Everything?

By the time someone has reached their later years, they probably have pretty much everything they want or need, so it's up to you to find the kinds of gifts they'd never splurge on for themselves. 

When you're searching for gifts for seniors who have everything, consider upgrading from a traditional robot vacuum to the new iRobot Roomba i7+ that automatically empties its dirt hopper into the clean base disposal unit. That would save them a step that most seniors hate, as that disposal unit only needs to be emptied after 60 days. 

If your grandpa or an older gentleman on your list is wearing a 25 or 30 year old watch, he'd probably love a new one that has a big easy to read watch face. You might want to choose one with a digital face that also monitors heart rate and blood pressure, or he might prefer a more traditional style that is elegant but simple.

Older women love classic pieces of jewelry, so one thing you can give them is a gift that can become a family heirloom that she'll pass down throughout her family. This princess cut blue diamond halo ring would be just such a piece.

A South Sea pearl necklace or earrings would also fit the bill. She'll enjoy wearing them, but is probably so pragmatic, she'd never buy them for herself.

Men often hand down their watches, but another gift for them is a really elegant pair of cufflinks that will become a legacy they leave to the younger men of the family. Cross necklaces would be great gifts for older men or women as items they might one day pass on to children or grandkids.

Monthly subscription boxes are a terrific splurge gift too. If your aging parents need to eat a little more, a snack subscription box is a great idea. If they love the scent of fresh flowers, a BloomsyBox subscription is a terrific option.

What Are Some Helpful Gifts for Seniors With Arthritis?

Almost without fail, age brings with it some aches and pains, especially from arthritis. Nearly every doctor will tell you there are a few key things to help minimize the pain, and while they may seem counter-intuitive, they work.

If you're looking for gifts for seniors with arthritis, get them something that keeps them moving because exercise can keep muscles strong and joints flexible, say the experts at Healthline. Gifts that encourage them to participate in low impact exercise are great options, and you'll see that we feature a Cubii seated elliptical in our post, but resistance bands and light dumbells are also easy to use when seated.

But there are lots of other gift ideas as well. Hott and cold therapy can both help alleviate the pain of arthritis. Consider a microwavable pillow that can be used every day to deliver soothing warmth to sore spots. These cold therapy socks can be a game-changer for sore or swollen feet and ankles

What Are Some Great Inexpensive Gifts for Senior Citizens?

When you're shopping on a tight budget, you want to be sure you find really nice but inexpensive gifts for seniors on your list. We find that most elderly folks love things that brighten up their space. Consider a bright canvas wall print, new napkins for the table, or a colorful couch throw.

 Even colorful notecards are a great idea that allows them to send out a thank you note or birthday card without having to run to the store to get one at the last minute. Small notebooks that help them remember small details, shopping lists, and questions for the doctor are also terrific budget-friendly gift options.

What Are the Best Gifts for Elderly Moms?

If you're shopping for gifts for your elderly mom, you want to find things that are especially personal and meaningful. Because I have an elderly mom myself, I can tell you from experience, never underestimate their desire to look pretty. Mine does her hair and makeup every single day but the kinds of makeup she likes have drastically changed.

She loves cream blush because she feels powder accentuates her wrinkles. I get it. Because you want to encourage her to take the best care of her skin, giving her a gift of clean beauty is a great way to help her do that, and this Mineral Fusion 3-in-1 Color Stick glides on and blends just beautifully. Plus this little multi-tasker can be used as blush, eyeshadow, and lipstick meaning fewer products in her crowded beauty cabinet.

Because many elderly women grew up in the Depression and shortly after, they are more reticent to spend on good skincare, but you can make that investment on their behalf. 

The Skincare Starter Kit from Fleur & Bee is a clean beauty regimen that she'll love and you'll feel good giving her. Plus she'll appreciate knowing that this small woman-founded company gives a portion of their sales to help girls who need it have access to necessary menstrual products. 

What Are the Best Gifts for Elderly Dads?

Because activity is the key to fighting dementia as well as fighting heart and cardiovascular diseases, per this blog from Northwest Primary Care (worth reading through, by the way,) finding little ways to keep dad on his feet and moving will make him healthier and happier. 

Consider getting dad into birdwatching, which will take him outside for more frequent walks in local parks or even around his neighborhood. Start with a great pair of binoculars, a log book to keep track of the different species he's sighted, and a bird identification book

Exercises for seniors not only improve their overall physical health, but also improve balance and reduce falls by up to 23% say the experts at Senior Lifestyles. Weight-bearing exercises are particularly good for maintaining bone health, so consider a small set of dumbells or kettle balls dad can use to keep his upper body strength.

Most of the lower body and leg exercises recommended for seniors by ElderGym don't require anything but intent and comfortable clothing, so consider whether your dad needs better shoes or more flexible pants. In fact, all of the activities we've recommended would be equally beneficial for your senior mom.


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