Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living

Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living

Finding the most useful gifts for a senior loved one in assisted living can be challenging. Seniors have received a lifetime of gifts, but over the years, their needs have changed. Seniors in assisted living might be dealing with health issues or have needs for everyday items that wouldn’t normally come to mind. If you’re looking for useful holiday gifts for loved ones in assisted living, consider these suggestions:

Calendars (prices vary)
Lesley Yanak (Koelsch Senior Communities):

Wall and desk calendars come in a wide variety of designs, sizes and prices. And you can find large print ones for seniors who need them. Generally, prices start at around $10. Purchase one at a store, or customize one on a photo website so that those pictures of grandchildren, children, friends or a vacation gone by are there to look at year-round.

An E-Reader ($70 and up)
Ronda Watson (Atria)

E-Readers come in a variety of styles and weights. And the owner can enlarge font size and change font styles to their liking. Load some of the senior’s favorite books prior to wrapping it. Expect to spend at least $70 for an Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble Nook. Prices go up from there, but some stores offer refurbished models for a discounted rate.

Food items (prices vary)
Lesley Yanak (Koelsch Senior Communities):

Make a homemade gift basket of the senior’s favorite cookies, candies, jams, crackers, cheeses, meats or other snacks. Or cook a homemade meal, and make enough so that you can sit and enjoy the meal with the senior. You might also prepare a larger gift basket or lunch for the senior to share with friends at the community.

Fitness tools
Ronda Watson (Atria)

Light weights, stretch bands and similar items can help seniors stay healthy. The Arthritis Foundation has a list of easy-to-use exercise, hobby and home items for seniors with arthritis or limited joint mobility.

Wireless headphones ($50 and up)Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living
Ronda Watson (Atria)

Enhance TV viewing or everyday reading with wireless headphones. They come in a variety of colors, shapes and styles. Pick the design that best suits your loved one. Prices start around $50.

Cozy bathrobes and slippers ($20 and up)
Lesley Yanak (Koelsch Senior Communities):

Seniors can get very cold in winter, so a robe and slippers are always well-received. Look for non-skid soles on the slippers. Depending on where you shop, a plush robe can cost between $20 and $60. Sites like Amazon offer a variety of prices and styles. Starting cost for slippers is around $12 or $15. Again, you can spend more than that if you have a particular style in mind.

Senior Gift Ideas From Our Facebook Fans:

Facebook fans had a lot of ideas, but their top suggestion–time. Spending time with the senior, whether it’s a lunch or dinner out, or even just an hour spent listening, can be an amazing gift. Beyond that, here are some other ideas for items you can purchase or make for a senior loved one.

A trip to a favorite place (prices vary)Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living

If the senior has a favorite place to visit, such as a museum, a library, maybe a concert or a movie, take them out to enjoy that. Make a plan to take them to their favorite place a couple of times throughout the year. That promise can be part of the gift as well.

Gift certificates for the hair salon (prices vary)

Assisted living facilities often have hair salons on the premises. Buy a gift certificate for your loved one, or purchase hair styling products like brushes, combs and similar items. You can also take them out to your favorite salon for some special time with you.

Help paying the bills ($20 to $40)

Consider putting money in the senior’s account to cover the cable or phone bill for a month or two. In addition, you can add money for extracurricular activities or shopping.

Electronic picture frames ($30 and up) Digital Photo Frame

Put your family’s pictures in a digital frame that you load and set up for the senior. Add or change the pictures with major events of the year, assuming the senior wants that. Or plan to purchase another frame next year for that new set of pictures. For a subscription fee, you can view the models Consumer Reports recommends, or look at customer ratings on sites like Shop around for the best discounts available this time of year.

A photo album or scrapbook (prices vary) Scrapbook

Order a custom photo book from a photo website. Or have prints made and put together your own scrapbook of family and friends. You could highlight a family gathering, or pick your favorite pictures from the year. If your loved one likes to scrapbook, bring the supplies to the assisted living community, and spend the afternoon making the book together.

Activity books for visiting grandchildren ($5 to $10)

Coloring books, stickers, crayons, markers, paper and other items for little ones can help make the visit with grandma or grandpa more comfortable. And it’s a good way to help them stay in one place so that you can enjoy the visit too.

An iPod loaded with their favorite music ($49 and up)
Most Useful Gifts for Loved Ones in Assisted Living

This is a great gift for the tech-savvy senior or just an older adult who loves music. You might
consider a speaker dock to go with the iPod so that it’s more convenient listening. That way friends can enjoy the music with the senior. You can purchase an iPod shuffle for around $49. Expect to pay around $150 for an iPod nano. Speaker docs start at about $30 and go up from there.

Other Gift Ideas for Seniors in Assisted Living:

  • Writing tablets, pens, tape and other office supplies
  • All-occasion greeting cards and stamps
  • A sign-in journal for visitors
  • Personal toiletry items
  • Books, magazines, CD’s or DVD’s
  • A reading lamp
  • Puzzles or puzzle games
  • Craft items, such as yarn, or patterns they can use to crochet or knit