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Gift Ideas for Seniors

Category Adults
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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November 30, 2011

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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November 11, 20130 found this helpful

You have some great ideas here, thanks! I've used many myself, but I never thought of gift cards to their pharmacy! Or paying for internet/cable! Thanks for the ideas & reminder!

When my former in-laws (whom remained my family) both retired & were on very limited incomes, they began to really pinch pennies at the grocery store & stopped buying the shrimp, oysters & steak they used to occasionally splurge on. So, I began giving them gift cards to their favorite grocery store, with the instruction that it was to be used to create an amazing meal from their favorite food! They liked that even better than restaurant coupons, because they'd rather cook at home, & their 'money' would go farther at the store :D

Other gift cards I've bought for senior family & friends are Home Depot, Starbucks, gas card from their favorite gas station, movie theatre(with enough extra for concession), book store.....anyplace I know they like, but don't frequent as much on a fixed income.

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May 31, 20170 found this helpful

Gift Bag Stuffed with Gifts

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Making up some gift bags of items for people in a nursing home is sure to brighten the day of anyone receiving this thoughtful gift. This is a guide about gift bags for seniors in nursing homes.

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By 7 found this helpful
December 2, 2014

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.

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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.

Comment Was this helpful? 7
December 4, 20141 found this helpful

Thank you for putting this problem so clearly. As a diabetic with kidney failure, the diet is not covered by $138/mo. So you say use some of my SSI cash? I live off of $704/ mo which has to cover everything. Give cash, toilet paper, detergent, pet food, and all the rest not covered. If it can't be swallowed, food stamps don't cover it. No OTC meds/vitamins are covered.

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December 21, 2016

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. 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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June 7, 20170 found this helpful

Christmas GiftS Being given to Elderly Dad

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Choosing the perfect gift for an elderly parent is easy if you think about what they would really enjoy, such as special foods, a chore jar, books, and such. This is a guide about Christmas gift ideas for elderly dad.

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December 4, 2011

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, 20041 found this helpful

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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By 7 found this helpful
November 20, 2009

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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December 20, 20070 found this helpful

If you are wondering what to give older friends/relatives for the holidays, here is an idea: Consumable gifts are always welcome since seniors do not want to get things that will end up collecting dust or ending up in a yard sale!

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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.

By 0 found this helpful
November 17, 2015

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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By 0 found this helpful
October 15, 2007

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
By guest (Guest Post)
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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By guest (Guest Post)
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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