Gift Ideas for Seniors

As family members and friends get older, they tend to want less material things as gifts. People have years of accumulated things and are starting to downsize their possessions and living space. This is a guide about gift ideas for seniors.
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December 21, 2016 Flag

Need a Christmas/birthday/anniversary gift idea for someone who is on medicare and often gets prescriptions? Get them a gift card to their pharmacy. I work in a pharmacy, and once someone hits the gap each year, they often go without filling important prescriptions. If you give them a gift card for their pharmacy or a prepaid visa, they can use that to pay their copay on something they may otherwise go without.

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Don't assume they won't appreciate it because "they have money". I will give you an example. A woman who had a normal copay of $42 on her monthly insulin hit the gap. Her copay jumped to $582. Medicines are costly. For some to go without important medications, it can severely endanger their health.

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November 30, 2011 Flag

We all have someone on our gift list who is hard to shop for because they already have it all, or have limited space, such as someone in a nursing home or assisted living home. Most often, without being too nosy, you usually have an idea of their income as well. Here are a few gift ideas (many can be used year around, not just at Christmas time), of items they will really appreciate, want, use, and that won't take up a lot of space.

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By April from Plattsburg, MO

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December 2, 2014 Flag

Despite claims that the economy has improved somewhat, it has worsened for those on fixed incomes and on social services. For every penny their traceable income goes up, their services drop by a penny, BUT for every $2-300.00 their income drops, their services (food stamps) only go up by a few dollars. It's not the same calculation allowance both ways. Cash gifts go uncounted unless tied to some traceable source.

These are people already living on the edge and being pushed further off it every day. Have mercy, tell you representatives to use calculations that go both ways, tell them to use lower spenddowns and higher income allowance calculations. Tell them to put a stop to the law that says food stamps (SNAP) cannot take medically necessary diet costs into account in their calculations. Those on such, as many seniors, disabled and limited-income recipients often pay up to FIVE times more for the food they must eat to survive; a fact conveniently ignored by our well-fed officials. AND, tell them to leave COLA alone.

Every January COLA enriches the system rather than those who are awarded them when, for these recipients. So much of it goes back into the system to increased Medicare costs, decreased food stamps (dollar for dollar), higher spenddowns, skewed allowable income calculations, and increased private insurance costs that they end up even further in the hole. A fifteen dollar COLA can put one $25.00 further in the hole, given the systems calculation sleight of hand where what one hand gives the other takes away. Smoke and mirrors obscuring the systemic cheating of those most in need.

For years (going back to when Paul Wellstone was in office), I have written articles and letters and made calls to bring this to the attention of media and to many of our representatives, both State and Federal, about this, only to be ignored in that. This is crucial! Please care enough to demand an end to this most cruel practice and deceit. And, hand them some cash in private, some ones, fives and even some tens and twenties if you can. Trust me, it will be well-spent and so deeply appreciated.

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January 31, 2011 Flag

My sister-cousins and I make gifts bags for the Senior nursing home every Christmas and the seniors love these. We use items from freebies and small items we collect on sale, off-season, or after a holiday.

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December 4, 2011 Flag

I live in Senior Housing/low income housing. I do not have a car nor do a lot of the people that live here. Although we have a marvelous Council On Aging that has a bus for different trips there are still places that we are unable to go.

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December 18, 2004 Flag

It is not easy to find a gift for elderly friends and relatives. I give them stationary, a ball point pen and stamps. By Jean Sterling

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November 20, 2009 Flag

When buying an appliance such as a coffee maker for a senior citizen, make sure it has an automatic shut off in case they forget to turn it off.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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November 17, 2015 Flag

I have to buy to presents for the senior citizen part, one for a male and one for a female. I don't know what to get. I need help, but I really don't have a clue what to get.

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November 18, 20150 found this helpful

Why not make something, Dolly? The personal touch is always appreciated and the Internet is full of ideas no matter what your budget. I'd recommend consumables, something they'd use and enjoy.

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November 19, 20150 found this helpful

It is simple, buy something you would really like to get if you were to receive it. If you like it others will to.

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November 19, 20150 found this helpful

Both good ideas. Why not give them some nice frames. Seniors have tons of photos they love to show off and admire. It's a start!

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November 29, 20150 found this helpful

I agree. I work with a lot of seniors, something thoughtful as well as usefully! The easier to use the better.create a crackers and cheese snack basket, or make a lap throw blanket...

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December 15, 2010 Flag

Any Christmas present ideas for an elderly dad? Hes 90 but is still very much with it.

By Moereen

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

Stamps for bills, correspondence. Music CD's or photos, old redone photos of someone or something special to him... and photos of the family. Pay for a cable TV line, a comfy chair or good light for him to read by. Planned visits from family and friends, and candy! DVD's of old TV shows he enjoyed and gift cards from favorite places so he can select his own time and gift. Don't forget hugs and notes of love!

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

I love the "chore jar" idea! At 90, I'm sure your dad has enough "stuff," Even though I'm still under 50, I'm more likely to ask for time with my kids than anything else. Here's a thought: perhaps your dad would enjoy a tape recorder and cassettes, or a digital recorder? Then, at his leisure, he could turn it on and record all those stories he's probably told a hundred times before. Someone who's good at transcribing from a recording could later gather those stories into a book. Whether commercially produced or not, someday you might appreciate reliving dad's old stories. I only wish I'd had my mom do this before cancer took her from us, back in 2006.

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

Who cuts his hair? if he goes to a particular barber, go and get some free hair cuts for him; cab companies have gift certificates too. Does he play any kind of cards, a couple of new novelty decks (I saw one that has 100 dollar bill printed on the back of each card) They also have cards that are a little bigger with larger imprints for those who may have some trouble seeing. Most of all, he would probably enjoy some spontaneous visits through the new year.

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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

My dad is in his 90s and we have found that paying for the things he needs, but thinks are too expensive, works well. His idea of prices for services is about 20 years out of date, so snowplowing, lawn care, and a newspaper subscription, are some of the things we do. We make up 'gift certificates' and put them in gift bags, and then he has something to open on Christmas Day.

We'd love to take him out to eat, but he doesn't enjoy it. So we make meals and bring them to him, or go to his house and make a meal with enough leftover for another meal.

Enjoy the time with your with-it Dad, it is priceless.

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October 15, 2007 Flag

My grandpa just lost his wife (my grandma) three months ago. I don't know what to get him for Christmas now. When my grandma was alive I usually got them a gift card to go out to dinner somewhere nice. Any ideas of what to get him would be appreciated. Thank you.

April from Henderson

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November 8, 20070 found this helpful

As soon as I read your letter, I thought just do what you always do, but now you be his date. When someone close to us dies, we just want things to be "normal" again. The same gift you always gave would be nice...I'm sure that a date with such a considerate granddaughter would be something he would love. He may cry, but it will be a good cry and I bet it will be a time you will both treasure and not soon forget. Be ready with a lot of stories of your memories of your grandmother. Our memories keep loved ones alive. Talk about the happy times you remember, the times you laughed together. This way your grandmother will be with you too.

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December 6, 20070 found this helpful

i was with my mom when she passed as was my dad. she did everything for him. he didn't even know where the toilet paper or paper towels were!

i would suggest you spending more time with him and help familrize himself where your grandma kept everything. i remember my dad calling me all the time to ask me if he had pot or pan to make something or where something was. then he slowly started calling less putting things that were comfortable for him. but never ever lose touch with him that is what will break his heart.

robin from nebraska

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April 25, 20080 found this helpful

Hi

Have lost my father I know what you mean for gift ideas and I want to share one with you... I do genealogy and one of the best things to do for someone is a memory book of their childhood to adult life with wife kids and grandkids and greats if there are any... memories are precious and the forever kind of stuff...

Vicki

Im a native West Virginian and doing genealogy has helped me with the loss of my Grandmother my Father and my Husband

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December 1, 20110 found this helpful

Give him the same gift card and make a cute note saying you will be his date when he uses it. He will be thrilled, I imagine.

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