If you find yourself searching for last-minute gift ideas for seniors, don’t worry–the holiday hustle tends to sneak up on many of us! Fortunately, you’ve come to the right spot. Not only are we happy to share the top senior gift ideas we’ve compiled from our own experience, but we’ve also included related bonus and alternative gift ideas to give you even more options.
These practical senior citizen gift ideas are just as good for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa as other special occasions and milestones throughout the year. Happy gifting!
1. A Senior-Friendly Technology Gift: The GrandPad
A GrandPad is a tablet computer for grandparents, great-grandparents, and “grand-friends” alike. In our experience, it is an ideal alternative to a regular tablet. It is specifically designed for individuals less familiar with how the internet and social media work.
The GrandPad is similar in size to devices like an Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, or Microsoft Surface. It has an 8-inch screen and operates through a paid subscription. The GrandPad allows only those with permission (such as family members) to post photos, videos, and messages. Such a closed-loop social media environment can be a more secure option for older family members likelier to fall victim to phishing and fraud scams.
Additionally, as this is the first time we’ve recommended another company’s product on arrowlift.com, it’s worth noting that we have no financial or other affiliation with GrandPad. We are simply sharing a product that has strengthened and enriched our own experiences with elderly relatives!
A simpler alternative:
Gift an electronic photo frame. These devices are available at most major retailers. You can pre-load digital photos into the electronic photo frame, where the images will rotate onto its screen throughout the day. We recommend having a plan for battery replacements, if needed, and choosing an electronic photo frame that doesn’t change photos too quickly. The slower, the better!
A free alternative:
Create a homemade drawing or painting. Whether you produce the masterpiece yourself or commission a grandchild or other loved one, the artist’s work is destined to bring cheer to an older friend or relative!
2. An Assistive Device Senior Gift Idea: A Stair Lift
Of course, we are biased about this gift idea, because stair lifts have been our passion for over 38 years. Still, we recommend considering one at this time of year because we have seen so many families come together to help Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa (or Grammy, Grandad, Nana, Papa …).
The holidays are made for families to spend time together. What better gift than allowing an older person to enjoy the whole home when others visit? Incidentally, this gift works equally well for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grandparents’ Day.
However, be careful about pushing off your decision about a stairlift further and further into the future. We serve thousands of customers each year, and a common remark we hear after a successful installation is, “We should have done this a long time ago!” We never recall a customer saying, “We should have waited a few more months before buying this stair lift.”
An alternative upgrade:
Consider an outdoor stair lift. You may already have an indoor stair lift, whether it’s to access the basement or reach bedrooms on an upper floor. But what about the outdoor areas of your home, cabin, or other property? An outdoor stair lift may be the perfect holiday gift to bring your family together.
Outdoor accessibility/handicap lifts can help people with mobility challenges enjoy the backyard or garden or make the trip to the lake possible for the first time in years. Although outdoor stair lifts cost more than indoor ones, many people find them well worth the investment, given the quality time spent together.
A free alternative:
Take them to visit a local stair lift showroom. While we do our best to provide accurate information on our website, visiting a showroom can be extremely helpful for people eager to discuss stair lift safety, how stair lifts work, available stair lift options, and more. For this reason, Arrow Lift has several stair lift showrooms that you and the special senior in your life can visit in person. Best of all, it’s free!
3. A Simple Pleasure for Older Adults: Go on a Shopping Trip
Holidays are a time to serve others, like helping a senior have the opportunity to buy their own gift for a friend or other loved one. Your older relative may have a favorite store they’d like to visit, want to explore a new shopping area, or return to a location with fond memories.
Be together while doing something else meaningful. For example, enjoy an afternoon English tea service. Or perhaps take a trip to the casino if that is your loved one’s “cup of tea!”
A free alternative:
Get your quality time at home. Play a card game such as Bridge or Cribbage. Consider a child-friendly card game like Memory or Uno if children are present. Other ideas include doing a puzzle, baking Christmas cookies using a family recipe, or going for a walk.
4. A Personalized Gift for the Elderly: Write a Heartfelt Letter
Whether you meet up every day or haven’t seen each other in years, there is nothing quite like receiving a heartfelt letter from someone who loves you. This gift goes a long way because it can be cherished throughout the year. You might think, “I’m always saying nice things. Why should I write it down?” But there is something magical about reading someone else’s words of love when put to pen and paper.
Personalize a greeting card. If you really feel like you do not have a way with words, use someone else’s! Finding a particular card can convey your sentiments in just the right way. Plus, the card will likely add a touch of visual appeal that can warm the recipient’s heart.
A bonus alternative:
Write a postcard. Sending a postcard is less common than it used to be, but who doesn’t love receiving one in the mail? The postcard could be from a place you are traveling or a local shop near home. You can even make one yourself.
5. A Practical Senior Citizen Gift Idea: Make an Unrushed Phone Call
We might be used to calling our elderly relatives to say a quick hello or a speedy, “Happy birthday!” But what about purposefully setting some time aside on an afternoon with nothing on your agenda but to have a pleasant, unrushed phone conversation with your loved one? This could mean more to them than you know and really bring some holiday cheer!
An alternative upgrade:
Use FaceTime or another video-calling app. Take the phone call idea and kick it up a notch with a “face-to-face” conversation. This way, your loved one can see the warmth of your smile, even from a long distance. You can also do this on the GrandPad device mentioned earlier: your older family member would use the GrandPad device, and you would use the free GrandPad app on your smartphone.
Mobility: The Gift That Keeps on Giving!
We sincerely hope you enjoyed this list of last-minute gift ideas for seniors and that it was helpful to you. If there is any way that Arrow Lift can serve your family or another senior you know this holiday season, in the New Year, or “just because,” please let us know. Making homes and other spaces more accessible is what we do, and we love doing it. We’d be honored if you contacted us to find out how we can help!