Elderly Gift Ideas

Gifts Ideas for the Elderly and Caregivers

I am pondering a big question these days — what to give someone who has limited space in the home, a limited income and occasionally limited mobility? Yes, what do I give my aging parents to let them know I love and care about them?

If you are like me, your parents now live in a smaller space and are giving away appliances, knick-knacks and heirlooms. Desire for the latest technology, fashion or gadget has given way to practical concerns.

I researched online and here are some suggestions I found on various non-commercial sites across the Internet:

  1. Time. It is almost always the No. 1 item listed. I know as part of the “sandwich generation” caring for both kids and aging relatives, we are always running here and there, but how about taking your elderly relative with you to dance class or basketball practice?
  2. Household chores. Try to be specific. Chores such as changing light bulbs, cleaning gutters or cleaning upper shelves in the kitchen are always helpful and keep your loved ones safe.
  3. Meals. Make their favorite foods and freeze portions for later.
  4. Convenience items. Look for gadgets that help with manual dexterity, such as playing card holders, easy grip items for the kitchen and large-buttoned phones and remote controls.
  5. Entertainment. Here’s a good one – a subscription to Netflix or satellite radio. A wide selection of movies and music is always available.
  6. Home safety. Help install handrails in bathrooms and hallways to help prevent falls.
  7. Family pictures. Calendars with family photos and digital photo frames are always a nice touch. Just be sure to load the pictures in a digital frame and be willing to update them periodically.

So I found some great ideas for my parents, but then I started to wonder about my aunt, who has become the caregiver for an older sibling. She is a wonderful giver, but is having a hard time on her limited budget. Here’s what I found for caregiver gifts:

  1. Help around the house. Give them your time by doing their household chores. Caregivers often are so busy providing for their family member that their own laundry and house cleaning is left undone.
  2. Give prepaid gas cards. With the rising cost of gas and the extra travel they do going to doctors and shopping,  paying for gas helps offset added expenses.
  3. Plan a day out. Invite the caregiver to lunch or a concert. Provide someone to stay with the person needing care during the outing.
  4. Hire some help. Arrange for a professional service  to handle lawn care, home repairs or run errands.
  5. Prepare meals. Cook meals and freeze them for later use.
  6. Send a care package. Show you care with a gift of flowers, home spa items or healthy snacks.

I hope you find these ideas helpful as you make your way through the holiday buying season.

Happy holidays!


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