Christmas presents for the elderly
It’s that time of year again when we all struggle to find that unique gift for our loved ones. Whether you are looking for a gift for your grandparent, something to help ease arthritis pain or help manage dementia-related symptoms, we’ve got you covered.
Here’s a list of handpicked gifts for the elderly that will make their day. From practical and reusable gifts to keepsakes and personalised memorabilia, you will find something to tuck underneath the Christmas tree.
Practical gifts for elderly people
The brain is like a muscle; the more you strengthen it, the stronger it will get. One way this is possible is by carrying out brain games – the perfect practical gift for your loved one. These can vary from crossword and sudoku books to jigsaw puzzles and a chess board. These games help strengthen memory, increase mental well-being, and allow your loved ones to socialise with other people.
Good fitting slippers
As we age, it’s only natural that we start to lose a bit of stability and become unsteady on our feet. This is why we need to ensure our loved ones take the correct measures to decrease the risk of slips and falls. One way to prevent this is by purchasing good-fitting slippers. They provide a better grip and enhanced safety for less mobile people. Plus, they are cost-effective and can make a great stocking filler.
We all get a little forgetful when taking medications, especially if your loved one lives independently and there is no one around to remind or prompt them. A dosette box is a perfect solution to help manage this; it is a box with compartments for different days of the week, making it easier to keep track of their medication. Other designs are available, so you’ll have much to choose from.
Just bear in mind if a carer is looking after your loved one, they can only administer medication from a dosette box that a pharmacist has supplied.
Armchair caddies are perfect for those who are less mobile. It keeps all your essential things in one place and is a great way to keep the room clutter-free. These organisers have pockets and compartments that can hold a tv remote, phone, glasses, books, magazines, pens and even snacks. All your loved one’s essential things will be kept at arm’s reach, so they don’t have to keep getting up.
You can choose from leather and cloth materials to ones with cup holders or five compartments. There is plenty to choose from, so you are bound to find one that suits your loved one’s taste.
Candles are a great way to calm people, reduce anxiety and create a relaxing atmosphere. It is best to purchase flameless or LED candles. These are safer for the elderly, especially if they live independently. Some even come with a remote control.
Having a light helps prevent falls while getting up at night and going to the toilet. It also allows individuals who have poor vision. Different types of night lights are available to purchase, including motion night lights, lights with timers and touch-based night lights. Avoid using bedside lamps with switches, as lamps have been pulled over at night.
Portable massage gun
Invest in a portable massage gun for on-demand massages. Massage therapy helps individuals to relax and reduce stress and pain. It is essential to ensure the massage gun is used correctly, so make sure you read the instructions provided.
Before purchasing, please consult a healthcare professional, especially if your loved one is living with a specific condition. You want to ensure that the massage gun doesn’t cause more harm than good.
If your loved one is struggling with their mobility, you may gift them a walking aid to help support them around the home and outdoors. These can include canes, walking frames, rollators, mobility scooters and wheelchairs.
No spill cup/beaker
If your loved one is living with a specific disability affecting their motor skills, having a cup they can use independently will positively impact their lifestyle. It can reduce the risks of spills and allow them to enjoy a hot cup of tea without any worries.
Personal alarm – pendant/wristband
A personal alarm allows your loved one to feel safe in their home, especially if they live independently. With the touch of a button, your loved one can access emergency services if they have an accident at home. It will reassure you that your loved one has access to help when needed.
Alternatively, you can purchase a basic alarm. This sends out a loud sound when you press the button on the device and alerts people within hearing distance, for example, a family member or carer.
No matter your age, it is always helpful having a handheld hoover. We all end up spilling a few crumbs on the floor and making a mess. With a handheld hoover, there’s no need to get the vacuum cleaner out; your loved one can grab the handheld hoover and clear it up. It’s light and portable too! However, it is recommended not to rely on a handheld hoover as it can involve a lot of bending and cause stress on the back and knees.
Gifts for elderly parents
Is the coffee table taking up too much space? Get your mum or dad a couch coaster – a drink holder for your sofa. It wraps around your sofa’s armrest, and your loved one can place their favourite drink in the holder and relax.
Photo mugs are always a winner. A picture of loved ones on a mug always puts a smile on anyone’s face while drinking their cuppa. They are affordable, personalised and would make a great stocking filler.
A bedside organiser or caddy can declutter bedside tables and keep your loved one’s essential things in one place. It can hold books, magazines, phones, glasses, iPads and tv remotes.
Afternoon tea voucher
Treat your parents to an afternoon tea experience. Plenty of vouchers are available online, and if they are hosted at a hotel, why not book them a stay too?
We all love a hamper! There are plenty of hampers available from high street stores and online. For a personal touch, make your own. You can fill it with your parents’ favourite Christmas treats, including crackers, a box of mince pies, Christmas pudding, and much more.
Smart device for video calling
Invest in a smart device if your parents live far from loved ones. Smart devices are the ideal gifts for making video calls. Your parents could call their loved ones instantly, and seeing them would lift their mood. Plus, with smart devices, you can check emails, explore the internet, play games and much more.
Gift card for experience days and breaks
If you want to make memories, gift an experience day or break. These can range from car experiences and cooking classes to spa and weekend breaks; the choice is endless. Making memories can make the best gifts.
For that odd cramp in the neck, a neck massager should do the trick. Massages, in general, can help enhance well-being and quality of life. Ultimately, it is always nice to have a bit of a pamper. It is also essential to seek advice from a healthcare professional to see which neck massage suits your parent.
Adult colouring books
No matter your age, we all love to sit and colour. It’s relaxing, calming and makes the perfect gift for any adult. Plus, it can provide hours of fun and help stimulate the brain. There are plenty of adult colouring books to choose from, and they can be purchased from various retail stores. You can even throw in a pack of colours.
Reusable rice-filled heating pads
These are the perfect gifts to treat those aches and pains in the colder months. Just place the heating pad in the microwave for about a minute and put it on the body part that needs treatment. You can buy one or even make your own. They are also portable, so your parents can take them anywhere they like. Please ensure you use these with care and follow the instructions.
Gifts for grandparents
It’s always nice to reminisce about your memories with the grandchildren; creating a photo album is the perfect way to do this. Pick out your favourite photos and make a collage or a photo book – this is sure to put a smile on nan’s face.
Mugs with ‘The Best Grandpa’ or ‘World’s Greatest Nan’ gives that extra personalised touch and are always lovely to receive. You can even add photos of the grandchildren to the mugs.
Framed family tree
For grandparents, it’s always an outstanding achievement to see your family grow and what better way to showcase this than with a personalised framed family tree? You can make one yourself or get one designed. There are plenty of online retailers that offer this service.
Personalised Christmas baubles
Personalised Christmas baubles are popular and can make the perfect keepsake gift. You can add initials, names and photos. There are plenty of designs and colours to choose from too.
If you have a grandparent with a busy schedule, a photo calendar for the new year can be a great way of organising their time. Printed with your favourite photos, these calendars would be great to view all year round.
Temperature control smart mug
If your grandparents love a cuppa and are looking to spoil them this year, consider a temperature-control smart mug. It will allow your nan or grandad to keep their cuppa warmer for longer. You can control the temperate by an app, but with most of them, you can control it from the mug itself.
Keepsake journals are perfect for noting down those special memories. It’s always a positive mental boost when you revisit these happy memories. You can start by writing a few memories you have had with your grandparent and they can continue to add to it when they receive the gift.
Bathtub tray or bath caddy
If your grandparent likes to take a soak in the bath, a bathtub tray can be the gift they need. It allows them to keep all their favourite things within arm’s length. Some are simple, while others come with different compartments where you can place your tablet, phone, drink, book or candle.
Memory foam slippers
Memory foam slippers are great to help relieve aching feet. They provide comfort, support and mould into the shape of your foot. Comfortable and healthy for the feet.
Design your own glasses case for your grandparents or buy a personalised case with ‘grandma’ or ‘grandad’ written on it. This way, you know they’ll never lose their glasses.
Gift ideas for people with Alzheimer's or Dementia
Living with dementia can impact your loved one’s memory, which is why a password book is an ideal gift. It’s a logbook that allows your loved one to note all their passwords/addresses, so they don’t forget. There are many available with alphabetical tabs, making it easy to organise.
A pack of playing cards
A pack of cards is a great way to stimulate your loved one’s memory. Card games can help strengthen your loved one’s thinking and memory skills. These include solitaire, card matching and even snap. It’s also very sociable and allows your loved ones to interact with others – a great source of companionship.
There are specific jigsaw puzzles made for those living with dementia. These tend to have fewer and larger pieces, making them easier to grip. Puzzles help exercise the brain and allow your loved one to have fun and interact with others. You can even get photo puzzles made, which gives it a nice personal touch.
Compilation of favourite music
For many, music is a great healer. Listening to your favourite song instantly boosts your mood, makes you feel calm and takes you back to a memory you are fond of. So, creating a playlist of your loved one’s much-loved songs would be a lovely gift to receive on Christmas day.
From crosswords and word searches to sudoku and dot-to-dot, puzzle books are a great tool to help sharpen your loved one’s mind and memory. Plus, they are very therapeutic and provide a sense of accomplishment.
Stress balls are perfect for reducing anxiety and can enhance emotional stability. You can even play ball games with your loved one, such as catch or a stress ball hunt. Plenty of designs and colours are available to purchase; you will be spoilt for choice.
A house plant
We all love receiving flowers or a house plant; it exposes us to the natural world. Particularly for those who can’t explore the outdoors as often as they would like. Plants also create a calming environment and can reduce stress levels too. They can also make excellent home décor.
Board games such as chess, checkers, dominoes, Monopoly and battleship are just some of the games that your loved one may have played whilst growing up. They are great for mental stimulation and can help prevent cognitive decline. Plus, it allows the whole family to get involved, making it the ideal gift for a game night.
Non-slip shower mats
Non-slip shower mats can allow your loved one to safely move around the bathroom and reduce the risk of slips and falls. There are a variety of shower and bath mats to choose from, so you are sure to find one that matches your loved one’s bathroom décor.
A personalised memory blanket is a perfect gift for the winter months. Not only will it keep your loved one warm, but a collage of precious photos printed on the blanket can also help with memories and provide the comfort they need.
Gifts for health and fitness
Acupressure foot massage slippers
Say goodbye to foot pain with these acupressure slippers. Wearing these slippers is said to have many benefits, including promoting sleep, improving blood circulation and the overall health of your loved one’s feet.
Invest in a smartwatch if your loved one loves to take regular walks. This way, they can track how many steps they do in a day. You can even get their competitive streak going and see who gets the most steps in the day – you or your loved one?
Bike pedal exerciser
Those who struggle with mobility or can’t go out for a cycle, don’t have to miss out. With a pedal exerciser, your loved one can continue to keep fit by staying indoors. They can exercise their legs and remain healthy while watching tv, sitting in the garden, living or dining room. Plus, it’s portable and easy to move.
Eating a balanced and healthy meal is a big part of our lifestyle, particularly for the elderly. So why not gift a recipe or cookbook? There are plenty out there with top nutrition tips. Plus, it will keep them busy in the kitchen.
Keeping hydrated is very important, and we understand water isn’t everyone’s favourite drink. But why not get your loved one a Sodastream to help spruce up their drinks? Add a splash of fruit and your loved one will be able to make fresh sparkling water in seconds.
Hamper with healthy snacks
A personalised hamper with your loved one’s favourite healthy snacks always goes down well. You can add a pot of hummus with carrot and breadsticks, fruits, nuts, rice cakes and raisins; the list is endless. Go on, get creative!
Acupressure mat and pillow set
For a peaceful night’s sleep, buy your loved one an acupressure mat and pillow set. Perfect for reducing pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, and joints. It also helps with stiff muscles.
Fitness class subscription
Whether your loved one is into yoga, Pilates or water aerobics, sign them up for a fitness class. They will be able to keep fit, increase their well-being and make a few friends along the way.
If your loved one enjoys hiking, walking or cycling, invest in compression tights or socks. They are designed to help maintain blood flow and reduce swelling. However, seek advice from a healthcare professional before purchasing.
Does your loved one enjoy the outdoors and go for regular walks? Invest in a pair of gloves to keep their hands warm. You can even throw in a hat and scarf too.
Gifts for people with arthritis
Key turners are the perfect solution for those living with arthritis or who have limited hand movement. These turners are attached to the end of the key and allow your loved one to grip the key and turn it without any hassle comfortably. You can even get extra wide key holders.
Copper compression gloves
Copper compression gloves are designed to enhance blood circulation, relieve pain and soothe the joints. They are available online, and you can find some at an affordable price too.
If your loved one has limited hand strength and struggles with those pesky jars, get them a jar opener. It will save time and make their cooking experience a lot easier. Automatic jar openers are also available to purchase.
Extended shoe horn
There’s no need for your loved one to struggle whilst putting on their shoes. An extended shoe horn will allow them to slip on their shoes without any hassle and reduce the pressure on their knees.
Raised indoor/outdoor planters
Raised indoor and outdoor planters are the ideal gift for those budding gardeners. Your loved one won’t need to keep bending over to tend to their plants or vegetables. It also releases pressure on the knees.
Gifts for elders who are deaf or hard of hearing
Vibrating alarm clock
If your loved one is hard of hearing, a vibrating alarm clock is a great way to get them up in the morning. Place it under the pillow and it will vibrate or sound an alarm at the time they choose to wake up.
Wi-fi digital doorbell
If your loved one can’t hear the doorbell, they can receive an alert on their mobile phone with a wi-fi digital doorbell. You can also purchase doorbells with a video feature so your loved one can see who is at the door before answering it.
TV listening device
TV listening devices help with boosting sound through headphones or hearing aids. This will allow your loved one to enjoy their favourite soap, sport or series without distractions.
Strategic games like chess and scrabble are great visual games that don’t rely on people talking. They also help improve memory and enhance vocabulary. Let’s see who comes out as the winner.
Allow your loved one to express their creativity and emotions through painting. Gifting them with a painting set will benefit your loved one immensely. It will definitely bring out their creative side.
Gifts for visually impaired
Foldable magnifying glass
A foldable magnifying glass can help your loved one to read fine print. Whether that’s a letter, restaurant menu, or newspaper, this will help make a real difference. Your loved one can even pop it into their pocket, handbag or purse.
Talking alarm clock
Purchase a talking alarm clock that features large buttons. It also states the day, time and temperature too! A great winner.
Walking stick cane
A walking stick cane helps support your loved one with walking. You can also purchase foldable ones.
Big button phone with braille
Phones with more oversized buttons with braille will give your loved one the confidence to call their friends and family without hassle. It will make it a lot easier for them. Many come with flashing LED light indicators.
You can purchase a cutlery set that is specifically designed for people that are visually impaired. They have rubber handles, providing a better grip for your loved one.
Large printed puzzle books
If your loved one enjoys completing word searches or crosswords, you can purchase books printed in a larger font. This will make it easier to complete and provide your loved one with hours of endless fun.
The most beautiful gift of all
Company is the best gift, so if your loved one can’t travel this Christmas or you need support with their care, consider homecare from Helping Hands.
We provide all types of care tailored to your loved one’s condition. Our empathetic carers will provide your loved one with compassionate care and ensure they are well looked after.
Page reviewed by Kathryn Mahon, Regional Clinical Lead on December 6, 2022