The Best 2023 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Older Adults in Your Life

Sophie Bebeau

Written by Sophie Bebeau on Thu Dec 21 2023.

The gift-giving season is upon us! If you're struggling to come up with ideas for what to get your older loved ones this year, don't worry. If you need a little gift inspiration for a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or any older loved one, read on for some great ideas that are sure to put a smile on their face.
50 great gifts f

The gift-giving season is upon us! If you're struggling to come up with ideas for what to get your older loved ones this year, don't worry. If you need a little gift inspiration for a mom, dad, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or any older loved one, read on for some great ideas that are sure to put a smile on their face.

50 great gifts for seniors

We've broken our gift list into 10 categories to make browsing easier, each with five gift ideas. Browse through all 10 or navigate to the section that aligns best with your older loved one's interests.

Gifts for Seniors Who Love to Be Active

For seniors who love staying active, consider gifts that will help them stay mobile and safe. Remember to look for gifts that match their level of mobility and interests.

1. Socks

We know – socks are the cliche unwanted Christmas gift but hear us out! We're not talking about just any old socks. Any older person who likes to stay on their feet knows a good pair of socks can make or break your comfort. Consider compression socks to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery or padded socks designed to increase foot comfort and address foot pain when on the move.

2. Fitness & Health Trackers

Fitness trackers can be a great tool for active seniors to help enhance their workout and keep a close eye on their health. There are various fitness and health trackers available on the market, but most share similar features. They can help you track fitness or activity-related goals and monitor heart rate and blood oxygen saturation while you sleep.

3. Hands-free sneakers

Hands-free sneakers are a good gift for active seniors because they can slip right into them without worrying about tying or fastening anything. This eliminates any risk of losing balance when bending over to tie a shoe. Plus, they are comfortable and stylish!

4. Cane or walker

Having limited mobility doesn't necessarily mean the older adult in your life wants to stop being active. A mobility aid like a cane or a walker can make a massive difference in the quality of life for seniors. Getting around more independently builds confidence and keeps them moving, which is great for the mind and body.

5. Gym membership

A gym membership can be a great gift for seniors who like to stay active. Many gyms have programs specifically designed for older adults and provide excellent opportunities for seniors to socialize and make new friends. 

Gift Ideas for Seniors Who Love to Be Outdoors

1. Binoculars

For the bird watcher in your life, there's nothing better than a quality pair of binoculars. So gift your loved one a pair of binoculars, and they’ll enjoy the forest nuthatches, backyard cardinals, or just a beautiful view.

2. Camping chair

If you're headed to the great outdoors, you need somewhere to sit. Give your loved one a camping chair for a comfy place to rest by the fire after a day of adventures. You can even find camping chairs with features like a footrest for extra relaxation or reclining action for the avid stargazer.

3. Water bottle

This one may seem simple, but staying hydrated while enjoying the outdoors is essential, especially for seniors. Give the gift of a reusable water bottle to your outdoor-loving senior. You can select features that best fit their outdoor adventure style - ultralight, insulated, straw, built-in filter, and more!

4. Outdoor photography coffee table book

Some of the most stunning photography in existence showcases the beauty of nature. For the older adult who loves the outdoors, consider gifting a coffee table book that features some impressive nature photography. They may be National Parks enthusiasts, mountain lovers, or wildlife experts - whatever the case, curate your selection based on their interests. 

5. Solar charger

You may know someone who likes to venture into the great outdoors to disconnect, but keep them from disconnecting completely! A solar charger is a fun and useful gift for outdoor enthusiasts who need to ensure their devices stay charged and ready to use, even on a hike.

Gift Ideas for Music Lovers

If you have an older loved one who's a musician, rock song enthusiast, or just has a song in their heart, these gifts will give them something to tap their toes to!

1. User-friendly music player

Technology can get complicated these days. If an older loved one loves listening to music but isn't exactly technologically inclined, consider giving them a senior-friendly music player. These compact music players have straightforward controls – usually just one or two buttons. Your loved one can listen to the radio, or you can download their favorite MP3s and make a special playlist just for them!

2. Noise-canceling headphones

Sometimes you just want to zone out and enjoy the tunes. A quality pair of noise-canceling headphones can help your loved one do just that! Look for a pair that balances great sound quality with comfort and easy-to-use features (like built-in volume buttons). If your loved one is less tech-savvy, consider ones with a cord that can plug directly into their music player, so they don't have to mess with BlueTooth. 

3. A record player

Vinyl is back in a big way, but for your parents and grandparents, it probably never left! If your loved one has a collection of records waiting to be played, give them a record player this holiday season. If they need help rebuilding their collection, include a few of their favorite records. They can enjoy their favorite music just like they did in their younger days!

4. Karaoke microphone

Everyone has that person who low-key could have been on American Idol. If that describes an older person in your life, give them a fun karaoke microphone this holiday season. These microphones are Bluetooth connected and come with recording abilities, special vocal effects, and built-in songs. Get a couple and join the action! This gift is a sure way to bring some extra fun and laughs to your holiday get-togethers.

5. A custom song

For something with a personal touch, give your loved one a custom song filled with details about them and their life. You can even have their song written in their favorite style of music.

Gift Ideas for the Artistically-Inclined

If you have an older loved one in your life who likes getting creative, consider a gift with an artistic bent.

1. Adult coloring book

Studies have shown that coloring can be therapeutic for adults, reducing anxiety and easing tension. Coloring gives us a calming space to practice mindfulness and creativity while enjoying the nostalgia of a beloved childhood activity. Look for adult coloring books that match the interests and cognitive abilities of your older loved one, and consider including a set of colorful markers with the gift too!

2. Arts & Crafts kits

There are so many arts & crafts kits on the market today, so no matter what your loved one enjoys making, you're sure to be able to find something that matches their interests. Arts & crafts kits are also a fun way to spend time doing something together, which is a gift in itself! You can find DIY projects like birdhouse or windchime building kits, art project kits like rock painting, jewelry making, or stained glass kits, and model building kits that may harken back to their younger days, like model cars and airplanes.

3. Artbook

Does your loved one have a favorite artist or art style? Consider gifting them a coffee table art book that allows them to explore and enjoy the art they love. 

4. Art supplies

This idea may seem simple, but there is nothing better as an artist than getting new art supplies! If your loved one likes to express themselves artistically, put together a specially curated package of all their favorite supplies. You can include markers, pens, pencils, paint, modeling clay, glitter, glue, or anything else they might enjoy using in their creative endeavors.

5. Wall art

If your loved one has a unique piece of art, style, or an artist they are particularly fond of, consider getting them a professionally framed print they can hang in their home. Every time they look at it, they'll be reminded of the art they love and the loved one who got it for them.

Gift Ideas for Those Who Want to Stay Connected

If your loved one keeps staying connected with family and friends at the top of their priority list, give them a gift that helps them keep up and share their experiences.

1. Life story journal

Everybody's got a story to tell! If your older loved one enjoys writing or talking about the old days, consider getting them a life story journal. These journals offer prompts that guide users to write their life stories. This can be a special gift from a child to a parent or a grandparent.

2. Digital picture frame

A digital picture frame is a picture frame that displays images that family members can remotely manage. You can put the frame in your loved one's home and update it with new photos as often as you want. Surprise them with new school pics of the grandchildren, travel shots from your latest vacation, or old pictures of family and friends!

3. Voice-activated assistant with a display

A voice-activated assistant is a hands-free device that can make and take calls, send and read texts, read the news, give the weather, answer questions, look up information, control smart home devices, and even tell jokes! A voice-activated assistant with a built-in display is the perfect gift for any senior who loves to video chat with friends and family and keep up with everyone's schedules.

4. Subscription to a genealogy website

If your loved one loves digging into family history, consider gifting them a subscription to a genealogy website. These websites help users trace their family trees and discover interesting information about their ancestors. Thanks to the wealth of online information, it's easy to dig deeper than ever into your heritage!

5. Senior-friendly cellphone

Senior-friendly cell phones focus on simplified features and easy-to-use interfaces. The simple controls, large print buttons and text, one-touch dialing, and other convenience features make it easy for seniors to stay in touch with friends and family without being overwhelmed by a regular smartphone's complex features.

Gift Ideas for Practical People

If you're stuck on what to get the older adult in your life, you can't go wrong with something they need and will use! Practical gifts are a great way to show a loved one that you care about the quality of their life and are thinking about their specific needs.

1. Home modifications

Several easy modifications can be made around their home as your loved one ages to help keep them mobile and safe. Something as simple as a bathroom grab bar or smart door locks can increase safety and improve quality of life.

2. LED lights

For any older adult aging in place, placing LED lights around the main corridors of the house are a must. Give your loved one easy, motion-detecting stick-on lights for any stairways, bathrooms, and hallways, so their path through their home is well-lit at night.

3. Meal-delivery kit or service

Consider a meal delivery kit or service for seniors who may have trouble cooking for themselves or getting to the grocery store regularly. Some options let users select meals, get ingredients, and cook themselves. Others allow users to select meals that will come ready-made and heated right to their doorsteps.

4. Couch or chair caddy

A couch or chair caddy is a great gift for the older adult who needs a little help keeping track of things. These types of caddies are made to fit over the arm of a couch or easy chair and have pockets of different sizes for things like remotes, magazines, and glasses. Some even come with cupholders!

5. Pill organizer

In the United States, over half of adults over 65 take four or more prescription drugs daily. Help your loved one keep their medications organized and stay on top of their medication schedule with a pill organizer. You can find pill organizers in many different sizes and styles to match the needs of just about anyone.

Gift Ideas for Seniors with Alzheimer's or Dementia

Finding gifts for our loved ones with Alzheimer's or dementia can be tricky. Focus on gifts that are stage appropriate, give a sense of purpose or accomplishment, allow the user to express themselves, and align with the user's particular interests or hobbies.

1. Jigsaw puzzles

Jigsaw puzzles are a common go-to activity for those with Alzheimer's or dementia because they are versatile and offer a sense of accomplishment when completed. Look for puzzles that match your loved one's interests and skill level. Many companies also create jigsaw puzzles for those with Alzheimer's and dementia.

2. Bingo set

Bingo is one of the best games to provide fun for those with Alzheimer's and dementia. A study published in the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias found that playing bingo helps Alzheimer's and dementia patients perform cognitive tasks better and increases alertness and awareness hours after playing. Don't worry about winning or losing. Simply call numbers until your loved one gets a bingo!

3. Books for those with Alzheimer's or dementia

If your loved one is a reader, look for books for patients with Alzheimer's or dementia. These books cover many topics and feature large print and beautiful images. Because they are made specifically for older adults, they don't have that "kid" feeling that comes with children's books. They are lightweight and light on text, making them ideal for adults with Alzheimer's or dementia.

4. Fidget and sensory gifts

It's common for people with Alzheimer's or dementia to fidget, especially in later stages. Many fidget and sensory toys are available today, so explore different types your loved one may enjoy. You can find fidget blankets, pop bubbles, fidget balls, sensory boxes, and so much more.

5. Red tableware

Studies have shown that Alzheimer's patients increase their food intake by 24% and liquid intake by 84% when red tableware is used. If you have a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia struggling to eat enough, consider buying a set of red tableware to encourage better eating habits.

Looking for more gift ideas for your loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia? Check out our complete guide of The Best Holiday Gifts for Seniors with Alzheimer's or Dementia HERE

Gift Ideas for Those That Like to Relax

We all deserve a little luxury in our lives. So give your older loved one the gift of relaxation this holiday season!

1. Bath bombs

For seniors who like to relax in a hot bath, give a bath bomb set as a gift this holiday season. You can find these fizzy little balls in all different colors and scents, and many come in sets that let you try different types. 

2. Grippy slippers

Help your loved one keep those tootsies warm this winter! Nothing says I love you like a pair of soft, warm slippers. Just make sure they have non-skid bottoms to reduce fall risk.

3. Spa gift certificate

If the senior in your life could use a spa day, give them a gift certificate to their favorite spa. They can use it for the service of their choice and enjoy a relaxing day for themselves.

4. Personal massager

If your loved one would rather bring the spa treatment home, give them a personal massager to help ease tension and relieve sore muscles. 

5. Heating pad

Keep the chill away with a heating pad or heated comfort wrap so your loved one can stay warm and toasty in bed or around the house.

Gift Ideas for Seniors Who Like to Be Out and About

If your loved one always seems to be on the go, give them a gift they'll use out and about.

1. Gift card to a favorite restaurant

Enjoy an afternoon or evening out with your loved one with a gift card to their favorite restaurant. They'll enjoy their favorite food and special time with you!

2. Bag hanger

Keep your loved one's bag safe and off the dirty floor with a reusable bag hanger. You can find all different designs and styles that attach to purses, totes, or bags and easily hook onto a chair or in a bathroom stall.

3. Tracking tile

Get your loved one a set of tracking tiles so they'll never lose their keys, wallet, or bag again - and so you'll never lose them! These little Bluetooth-enabled tiles make it easy to find missing items and can help you make sure your older loved one is safe.

4. Mini umbrella

Getting caught in a surprise rain shower is a pain, but carrying a full umbrella can be a burden. Get your loved one a mini umbrella that fits conveniently in a purse or pocket, so they never get soaked!

5. Travel pillow

Never underestimate the power of a good travel pillow. If you've got a senior who loves to travel, give them a brand new, soft, plush travel pillow, so their time in the air is as comfortable as possible.

Gift Ideas for Seniors Who Love Out-of-the-Box Presents

Still need to find quite the right gift for the older loved one in your life? Try one of these out-of-the-box gifts for the person that’s always trying new things or exploring new interests.

1. Mushroom growing kit

Get an at-home mushroom-growing kit if your loved one has a green thumb but is looking to grow something new. These kits come ready-made with everything you need to grow your own edible mushrooms. The best part is they require very little maintenance. No light? Small space? No problem. 

2. Subscription box

Give a subscription box for a gift that is out-of-the-box! Subscription box services will deliver a monthly package of something new right to your loved one's doorstep. Try a box that aligns with something they love, like a monthly wine box, cheese box, or book box. Or give them the gift of something new or quirky with a sock-of-the-month box, history box, or flower box.

3. Tabletop zen garden

Bring a little calm into the life of your loved one with a tabletop zen garden. These mini zen gardens offer all the stillness and contemplation of a full-sized zen garden and fit in any home.

4. Dog or cat DNA test

Does your older loved one have a furry friend with mysterious origins? Many of us have a rescue or mixed pets whose breeds we're not quite sure about. Gift your loved one a pet DNA test and find out once and for all if Rover's great-aunt was a wiener dog or a husky!

5. Something personalized

Who wouldn't want a pair of socks with their cat's face on them or a blanket with last year's family photo? Give your loved one a gift as unique as they are with a personalized item just for them. You can customize blankets, pillows, coasters, mugs, keychains, jewelry, and much more!

Give the older adults in your life something they'll love this holiday season.

No matter your loved one's interests, there's sure to be a gift out there that they'll love, especially if it's coming from someone they love!

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Sophie Bebeau
Sophie Bebeau

Sophie Bebeau is a writer, graphic designer, poet, and multidisciplinary artist living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. When she’s not writing or making things for the internet, she can be found cross-stitching, writing poetry, and snuggling on the couch with a cup of tea and her husband, son, and dog, Buttercup.