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Holiday Gifting for the Older Adult in the Family

Friday, December 01, 2017

It’s that time of year when we are all thinking about the holidays as they relate to our work situation or our family situation, so this month’s RD blog will provide a little information in both of these areas. Today’s blog will suggest possible gift ideas for the older adult in the family and the following December blogs will explore strategic holiday sales strategies in senior living communities. Let’s start with the fun stuff first: gift giving.


As discussed in many of the recent RD blogs, each older adult in the twenty-first century is unique from another. They differ in their cognitive and physical abilities, their level of engagement with the world at large, and their special interests. It is difficult to suggest a gift that suits all, but there are some general suggestions that might assist you in determining what special item might be best for this year’s gift.

Right Gift for an Older AdultFOR THE YOUNG AT HEART AND SPIRIT

For those mature adults who are chronologically older but are young in spirit, consider a gift of an enriched experience.These types of people value involvement, a sense of connectedness, and purpose. Consider gifting one of the following:

  • Registration at a local gym, art studio, pottery club, photography club, etc.
  • Registration and travel to a nostalgic music festival, similar to Oldchella
  • Enrollment in a community college or a college class of interest
  • Locate and sign-up for the Red Hat Society in his/her area and accompany the recipient to the first meeting
  • Gift certificates to a nearby hair salon
  • Massage
  • Mani-pedi
  • Cable vision or satellite television, cell phone plan, Netflix, cleaning services, food delivery, or other payments for months or a full year.


For the older adult who has lost some youthful vigor, consider things that complement a more sedentary lifestyle. Consider one of the following gifts:

  • Moomba or Roomba for easy cleaning
  • Handy bar for getting in and out of a tub or shower
  • LED floor lamp with magnifier
  • Keurig coffeemaker with lots of K-cups
  • Digital picture frame already loaded with photos
  • Walker ski slides
  • A new walker with wheels (rollater), if appropriate
  • Cup holder or basket for their assistive device
  • Automatic jar opener
  • TV ears – portable listening device
  • Photo book
Older Adult Wrong Fitting Gift


For the few proactive older adults who have chosen to live in a Life Plan Community where so many of their day-to-day needs are already a part of the service plan, consider one of the following:

  • Additional meals not covered in their meal package
  • Services of a masseuse
  • Services of a personal trainer
  • Expanded channels on television
  • Gift certificates to a salon, on or off-campus
  • Gift certificates/cards to Uber or Lyft
  • A month of vacation from their Monthly Service Fee
  • A gift certificate to a local grocery store with door-to-door delivery

So good luck and happy shopping!

Next week’s blog will begin the series on holiday sales strategies.

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