Seven Fun Gift Ideas for a Senior Who Doesn’t Need Anything

dog perfect gift for dementia patientPerfect Gifts for any Older Adult

The neighbors get a plate of brownies.
The dog gets the 10-inch rawhide bone.
Friends get a bottle of wine.
Co-workers get . . . nothing. You’re not with them in person and you don’t have their address anyway.

Your mom receives . . .  Hmmmmm. She’s hard to shop for anyway and these days it’s even more complicated. 

We hope to make things a little easier for you with seven fantastic holiday gift ideas for your senior, even if they are in a nursing home or hospital.

  1. Especially if your senior has a good sense of humor or a solid desire for mischief, these stick-on mustaches will likely bring far more entertainment than you can imagine.
  2. You can easily gift an audible book from These three audiobooks are fun:
    1. In Such Good Company” Eleven Years of Laughter, Mayhem, and Fun in the Sandbox By: Carol Burnett
    2. “What’s So Funny?” My Hilarious Life By: Tim ConwayJane Scovell
    3. “Murder Under the Sun” 13 Summer Mysteries by The Queen of Crime By: Agatha Christie
  3. Have a picture of your senior printed as a canvas wall print (choose a photo from a season in their life they loved). Shutterfly and Canvas World have lots of options and they are easy to hang, especially if you include some “no damage” sticky wall hangers.
  4. How about a butterfly temporary tattoo pack? How can you not smile at the butterfly on your arm? There are usually enough in the pack for the entire nursing home staff or visiting family to be covered in butterflies and frogs too.
  5. Fill out a Ways & Wane “Who I Am” printable to hang up in their room. We created one of these for my dad and it always sparked conversation with the staff who enjoyed a glimpse into his life. 
  6. This heart shaped warm/cold pillow is soft and washable. Older people frequently have cold hands so a microwaveable pillow can be a good way to warm one’s hands without trying to manage a cumbersome mitten design.
  7. A diffuser with essential oils offers aromatherapy. This compact diffuser comes with 6 different oils and has a waterless auto shut off. (Not recommended for shared room situations.) 

Maybe this year your budget allows for a nice Hallmark card. That’s just fine too! Remember, people may forget what you did or the gift you gave them, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.

May you find joy in loving one another well.

Elizabeth Dameron-Drew is the co-founder and president of Ways & Wane. She walked closely with her own father through his years of waning. She lives near Seattle with her two teenage sons, husband and two rescue dogs. When she’s not working on this platform she’s probably creating books, doing research work or planning a dinner party while listening to the rain and thinking about her next creative endeavor.