The Best Holiday Gifts for Older Adults


If you’re looking for a wonderful gift that an older adult will use and enjoy, we’ve got you covered this holiday season.

We know that finding the perfect gift for older family or friends can be tough, so we rounded up some of our favorite gift ideas, ranging from products for independent older adults to gifts for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. You’re sure to find something your senior loved one will be thrilled to receive.

Best Gifts for Seniors 

1. Board games or activity books

Seniors playing a dice game laughingOlder adults at our residences love getting together to play favourite games like Cribbage or Rummy. It’s the perfect opportunity to have fun while reaping the benefits of playing board games.

Games are also a great way to connect and share, which is vital for senior health and wellbeing. The list of games below provides options that challenge the mind in different ways, provide varying levels of social interaction, and are accessible to a wide range of seniors.

  • Scrabble
  • Backgammon
  • Trivia games
  • Cribbage
  • Large print card games
  • Jigsaw puzzles

When purchasing gifts for older adults experiencing cognitive decline, go for matching games, or those with large-sized print or pieces. The level of game complexity depends on an individual’s ability, but checkers, dominoes, Scrabble, Battleship, Sorry!, and Yahtzee are likely already familiar to older adults, easy to set up, and still fun to play.

2. Gifts for the music lover

Music lovers derive great enjoyment and inspiration from listening to, playing, or even creating their own music.  Listening to music is a relaxing way for seniors to pass the time and recall favorite memories. It also has some highly beneficial effects.

Here are a few ideas:

  • MP3, CD, or record players will likely delight music lovers.
  • Noise cancelling headphones filter out unwanted background noise.
  • A big button or traditional portable radio
  • Consider a Google Nest or Amazon Alexa device for listening to music. Set them up with a music streaming service and have the grandkids teach them how to use the devices.

Music is great for those experiencing all levels of cognitive decline – the effects can be dramatic and are widely recognized by dementia and Alzheimer’s professionals.  Explore products like the simple radio, which are easily handle and designed for people with dementia.

3. Give your loved one something to look forward to

Are there community activities they used to enjoy but haven’t attended lately? Purchase tickets or a gift certificate so that they can attend with a friend or family member. It’s exciting to have something to look forward to, whether it’s a museum, the zoo, the ballet, or a favorite sporting event.

Make inviting guests to lunch or dinner easy!  If your mom or dad lives in an All Seniors Care retirement residence, buy them a booklet of 10 meal guest passes. Ask for details at their building reception.

4. Practical gift ideas for your senior loved one

When it comes to gift ideas for seniors, the best choices offer practicality and functionality. These ideas simplify daily tasks, improve quality of life, or simply add enjoyment.

  • Bedside caddy/bedside organizer
  • Big-button universal TV remote
  • Keurig, mug, and a special blend for coffee lovers
  • Medminder or pill box
  • Multipurpose reach tool with rotating rubber grip head for grabbing items
  • Pair of bird-watching binoculars and a species informational guide
  • Plants or gardening tools for nature lovers
  • Tablets are a great way for seniors to keep in touch or read a book
  • Temperature control mug
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • Water flosser or electric toothbrush

For seniors who are less Tech Savvy, staff at our residences are happy to help your loved ones with FaceTime visits and how to use their technology.

5. Fitness gifts for the active senior

Today’s aging population is more focused on disease prevention through self-care, keeping fit and active, monitoring body weight, emotional well-being, and mental agility.  If you are buying a gift for someone who is taking a proactive approach to their health, consider these gift ideas:

  • Light weights, such as 2- or 4-pound free weights
  • Resistance bands
  • Seated stepper or pedal exerciser
  • A gift certificate for private exercise classes

6. Holiday gift baskets

A basket of goodies makes an impressive, feel-good gift. For seniors who love entertaining friends, snacks that are easy to share make a great gift basket idea. You might fill a basket with:

  • Cookies, chocolates, or candies
  • Coffee or tea
  • Spices and dips
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Meats and jams

Make elderly parents and loves ones feel pampered by putting together a self-care basket with items like body lotions, favourite soaps, back scratchers, foot baths, or even a gratitude journal!

7. Sensory activities for older adults with dementia

Sensory items or fidget toys are an effective way to reduce anxiety, calm nerves, and provide comfort. These are simple touch-based activities that help keep restless hands occupied in safe, soothing ways. Just be sure to let care staff know so that they can monitor its use for safety.

  • Touch quilt
  • Sensory toys
  • Fidget box with:
    • stuffed animal
    • brightly coloured plastic springs
    • piece of silk or faux fur
    • stress balls
    • socks to sort

8. Give the gift of memories this season

A necklace from a first boyfriend, a love letter, dried flowers, a lock of hair from childhood, a postcard from a friend, a seashell found on a trip. We all cherish memories, and this is especially true as we age. Create a wonderful gift that will stimulate memories and conversation about people, events, special places, and times.

  • Create a memory book or box
  • Customized personal birthday or year newspaper
  • Upload pictures to a digital photo frame
  • Photo coasters

For those living with dementia, a collection of objects in a memory box is a link to your loved one’s past. Treasured mementos can help draw out fond memories and reconnect them to their interests and identity. Scented items are powerful ways to trigger autobiographical memories – this can create a positive stimulation for people living with dementia.

All Seniors Care Open Houses During Boxing Week

Curious about how we are giving the gift of joyful memories this holiday season? Come see what our seniors home residences across the country are doing in 2023 and explore whether one of our residences is right for you or your loved one. On December 26th we’re having our Nationwide Open House, where you can visit any of our buildings from 1-4 PM.

We’ll be opening our doors at residences in AlbertaManitobaOntarioSaskatchewan, and Quebec, so wherever you are, there’s an All Seniors Care Living Centre near you. Come for a tour and see how independent assisted living really works.

There is always something exciting happening at All Seniors Care, especially during the holidays. If you’re curious about sensational activities that we are planning at our residences this year, visit our Facebook pages for updates and Instagram for pictures.


Writer  – Julianna McLeod

Julianna is a health and wellness expert at All Seniors Care. Her mission is to create content that empowers seniors to form sustainable solutions for lasting health and happiness. She is an experienced writer, editor, and Recreational Therapist living in Toronto.

Questions about retirement living?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent posts



Skip to content