An excited male resident receives a christmas gift in a box with a bow.

11 Easy Gift Ideas for Seniors in Assisted Living


The holiday season is magical, filled with giving and receiving gifts and spending quality time with your friends and family. Sometimes, buying holiday gifts can be challenging. You want to purchase something that shows the receiver that you care, that you know them, and is also something that they will enjoy.

Finding the perfect gifts for seniors that live in an assisted living community can present additional challenges, after all, they have already received a lifetime of gifts! We’ve assembled some ideas to help you think outside the box this holiday season and show your loved one that you care.

Gifts from the heart

Heartfelt, simple gifts are some of the best things you can give your elderly loved one. Here are a few ideas:

  • Time together. When asked what they would most like for Christmas, many assisted living residents said they would most enjoy time together with their family and friends. This Christmas set aside some time and have an intentional visit with your loved one at their place. It will mean the world to them. You can bring games, photos, puzzles, etc., to entertain and facilitate conversation.
  • Photo albums or framed photos. Photo albums make the perfect gift for your friend or family member in assisted living, especially if you live far away or are unable to visit often. Try writing captions or memories for each photo, so that your loved one can relive some of your best memories together, even when you are unable to be together in person.
  • Handmade card with a heartfelt letter. Sometimes nothing is better than a good old-fashioned letter. Get creative and make a card and write from the heart. Better yet, hand-deliver your card and get in some quality time.
  • Homemade baked goods. Residents of an assisted living community typically have all of their meals provided for them, but that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t love some homemade goodies! Try making some treats that remind you of time spent with them in earlier years, or an old family recipe. If you’d rather not bake, assembling a goody basket of their favorite snacks and sweets works too!

Practical Gifts Ideas

Practical doesn’t equal boring. In fact, giving gifts that people need is one of the best things you can do!

  • Help them pay their bills. Contact your friend or family member’s assisted living facility and see if you can put money on their account to contribute toward their bills.
  • Frequently used items. Purchasing items for your loved one that you know they use frequently is a great way to show that you know them, and also will save them time and money down the road.
    • Blank cards & stamps. Does your loved one enjoy sending cards to friends and family members? If so, gifting them a couple boxes of blank all-occasion cards and a sheet of stamps is the perfect gift!
    • Craft supplies. Craft supplies like yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, scrapbook supplies, etc., are perfect for the resident who loves to craft.
    • Activity books. Crossword, word search, sudoku, and even adult coloring books are great for residents who like to keep their mind sharp and active.

Experience Gifts

Give the gift of experience! Assisted living communities provide fun social activities for residents, but going out on the town with their friends and family members is a treat that everyone enjoys.

  • Tickets to a movie or a play. Is there a movie or theatrical production happening in your area that your loved one would enjoy? Gift the tickets and take them out for a day of fun and togetherness.
  • Gifts cards. Gift cards make great gifts! You don’t have to worry about it not being useful, and your loved one is able to use it as they please, and treat themselves to something that might not otherwise.
    • Salon Gift Cards. Does their assisted living community have a hair solan? Purchase a gift card for your loved one. This makes a great gift for residents who might not want to spend money on themselves.
    • Restaurant Gift Cards. Is there a restaurant that you know your loved one enjoys or would like to go to? Get them a gift card! You can take them out to dinner or let them take their friends.

Don’t overlook your friend or family member in an assisted living facility this holiday season. Remember, out of everything, the most important gift you can give your loved one in an assisted living community is the gift of your time. If you are unable to be with your loved one over the holidays, no matter the reason, let them know that they are in your heart and mind by sending them a thoughtful gift.

If you have any questions about visiting a resident or to learn more about life Culpepper Place, contact us!

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