Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

The holidays are coming up, and you may be wondering what gifts to get for the seniors in your life. It can be difficult during these busy times of year to find gifts that they will enjoy.

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

We have compiled a list of 10 great gifts for seniors– including ones for those who live independently or with family, as well as gifts for nursing home residents.

Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

Are you having a hard time buying a gift for a senior loved one? Gifts are really hard to buy for people as they get older, but gifting a senior citizen doesn’t have to be hard, it just needs to come from the heart.

The easiest way to gift a senior citizen is to give something that the senior citizen could not so easily buy. Here are ten gift ideas for your favorite senior citizen:

Homemade bread.

A senior citizen often likes something sweet with coffee for afternoon snacks, so why not whip up a loaf of homemade banana bread or homemade apple bread for your favorite senior citizen? Wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and top it with a bow. This makes a perfect anytime gift for your favorite senior citizen.

You can try a variety of baked goods to keep things fresh – like some of these great ideas we found:

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

A Casserole.

Cooking a meal is sometimes exhausting for a senior citizen, so why not bake a delicious one-meal casserole and deliver it up as a gift for your favorite senior citizen. You can leave the casserole dish as part of the gift, or you can offer ongoing refills on a weekly/monthly basis just for your favorite senior citizen returning the dish each time.

May I suggest breaking it down into smaller portions first? That way a few can go into the freezer for later use. Who wants to eat the same thing night after night? If you did this for a few months with different casseroles, eventually they would have a freezer full of a nice variety.

Lawn mowing.

It’s a tough job to mow the lawn in the heat, especially for a senior citizen. So, why not save your favorite senior citizen the trouble by gifting a lawn mowing? Not only will this serve as a helpful gift for your favorite senior citizen, but it’ll also make you feel better about yourself, and you might even get a glass of tea out of the deal.

Lawn mowing

Trip to the beauty/barbershop.

Is your favorite senior citizen on a fixed income? If so, he/she might not be able to afford that special attention from a beauty shop/barbershop. So, why not take your favorite senior citizen for a haircut, hairstyle, or a permanent one? You drive; you pay. This is one of the best senior citizen gifts as it helps their self-esteem too!

Even a manicure or pedicure could be a huge treat – pedicures are great if they have diabetes, it helps you subtly keep an eye on their health.

A hand-delivered meal.

A senior citizen often enjoys getting a home-cooked plate of food cooked by someone else, so why not dish out a plate for your favorite senior citizen when you cook your own family a meal? You might want to be careful with the spices. As a person ages, spices tend to agree less with the digestive system.

It can be nice to whip up a few that only need a quick zap in their microwave – and they often taste better than the options from meals on wheels.

A hand-delivered meal

Outing to a senior dance.

Give your favorite senior citizen the chance to mingle with people his/her own age by taking your favorite senior citizen to a senior citizen dance. You can dance, too. The evening will provide both of you with some good exercise and some good company.

Trust me – some of those seniors might easily out dance you – after all, they know every step!

A Night at bingo.

A night at bingo can really pep up the spirits of your favorite senior citizen. Bingo helps with thinking/reaction skills, and the good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to spend an afternoon at bingo. Play a card or two while you both sip on sodas, and your favorite senior citizen will walk away with a smile stretched across his/her face.

If it is at your local casino? Go for the buffet too!

A Night at bingo

Visit the senior citizen center.

Many towns provide senior citizen centers, and these centers offer a variety of activities, so treat your senior citizen to a ride to your local senior citizen center. Your favorite senior citizen will have the chance to play dominoes, shuffleboard, or other activities during the visit.

If you don’t have a senior center, check our local parks and recreation guide for different activities. Often they have great bargaining power and get amazing deals for all participants.


Want a fun time with your favorite senior citizen? Why not gift your favorite senior citizen with a nice set of dominoes and then set up a weekly domino night. You can build on that gift by baking a loaf of banana bread, etc, and run on over one night a week for some good clean fun with your favorite senior citizen.

If Dominoes aren’t your thing – there are so many other great games for 2 people to play: GO is a great example. It originated in China in ancient times. It was considered one of the four essential arts of a cultured Chinese scholar in antiquity and is described as a worthy pastime for a gentleman in the Analects of Confucius. Maybe Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Cribbage? Maybe try a new game every month!


Day of housecleaning.

Even a senior citizen who lives in a small apartment might have a hard time keeping a clean house due to mobility/energy issues. Worse yet, with declining eye issues they fail to see how bad things might really be getting.

Worst-case scenario? They have bugs in their pantry and aren’t even aware that they are getting extra protein with their daily cereal. I only mention this as it is something we had to deal with. Even the couch my mother-in-law practically lived in had little creatures living off the crumbs she had dropped.

So, why not share your abundant mobility/energy by helping out with some household chores. You don’t even have to completely clean the house. Just do the dishes or vacuum the floors.

Day of housecleaning

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How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents? As we get older our parents get older as well. You don’t think about it much until the time comes around when you are forced to have that tough conversation. What happens when my parents aren’t able to take care of themselves? 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

This is very difficult to talk about or think about for both you and your parents. The ones who have cared for you your whole life now need you to take care of them. It’s a surreal feeling and can be emotional for some. 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

You essentially reverse the roles and take on the responsibility of supporting them, worrying about them and caring for them. Most of the time families don’t talk about this part of their lives but this leads to all kinds of stress and miscommunication. 

It’s important to talk about this with your parents. You need to touch on topics such as finances, medical care, and estate planning. 

Do they have a will set up? Are their finances in order for emergency care? What are their final wishes? 

It’s important to have this convo SOONER rather than LATER no matter how much they fight you on it. 

The best time to start the conversation is now

The best time to start the conversation is now

Once your parents start aging into the years of 55+ they most likely start thinking about a will and what to do when that time comes for assistance. It’s not fun but we all have to face that topic eventually. 

Many parents will talk about this once they start having children in case something happens unexpectedly. They have the reassurance that their children are set up years ahead of time. 

Your parents may be handling these topics as they age but more than likely they aren’t talking to their children about it. It’s a difficult topic to talk about and many families don’t want to speak of it because it’s “too soon”. 

The reality is that it is never too soon. You never know how life will end up and it’s important to start that conversation as soon as possible.

Always make sure your parents know how much you love them before it’s too late!

Start the conversation with a question

Start the conversation with a question

When approaching this situation you want to make sure you don’t offend your parents. You want to let them know that you care about their well-being and you want to be there for them. You aren’t trying to hurt their feelings, you want to make sure you are prepared to care for them if anything may happen. 

Come prepared, and do your research on the topic of caring for aging parents. You can find some good questions and topics to touch on. This will make it easier on you and you will feel more confident and less overwhelmed. There is a lot of important information to remember when talking about this topic. Having questions prepared will make the conversation smoother for all of you.

Start the conversation off with non-threatening questions. These can be questions like:

  • How is the car treating you? Have you had any issues driving it?
  • The house is looking great, how much maintenance is needed for this size home?

Start it off with these conversational questions and easily transition into the questions you came there for. They may get emotional and upset throughout the conversation but this is normal. This isn’t an easy topic. 

Are They Prepared?

Are They Prepared?

It’s hard to think that one day your parents won’t be able to care for themselves from day to day. Things like driving a vehicle, walking up the stairs and cooking dinner become a struggle for them.

You need to be sure they are prepared for this time. Find out who they have named as an emergency contact, doctor, or lawyer. Ask if they have a medical plan of action.  If possible, set up in advance any medical appointments they need so that everything is taken care of without stress. 

Work together on a plan of action for when the time comes. This could include setting up power of attorney and wills. It can get costly for you or for them if they don’t get the necessary care needed at the right time. You can come across scams, high insurance bills or accidents. 

Studies have shown that many aging individuals have cognitive impairment when they age and this causes damaging financial decisions. They stop paying their bills, stop paying their taxes and make poor financial decisions. 

This is a dangerous situation and things like this need to be planned out ahead of time. 

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them 

Remember that this might not go smoothly at first – but it will get easier! Be patient with them and don’t give up. It may take some time for your parents’ perspective to change on these topics but remind them that this is for their safety. You only want to help. 

Be kind and understanding while still keeping things clear and direct. Don’t forget to ask questions about what else your parents are worried about or uncomfortable with. 

Offer more compliments and resolutions rather than stating outright that eventually they will need to go to a home. Set the tone for the conversation in a positive tone rather than a negative and accusatory tone. You can get a pretty good feel on how your parents are feeling about certain topics and questions by their body language. 

If they seem anxious, fidgety or get silent you should probably pull back a bit and focus on a different area. 

Finally, keep in mind that your parents may feel more comfortable talking face-to-face than over the phone or through email; consider going to your parents home next time you’re able.

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

In Conclusion

Remember that you may not be able to have the entire conversation at once. It may take a few conversations with your parents over dinner to gather all of the information you need to feel prepared. 

If you have siblings or close relatives, ask them to help you address this conversation. The more support you have the better. This also shows your parents that they have people who love them and want the best for them. Be patient, be understanding and support them no matter what. 

10 Great Books On Aging Parents

Great Books On Aging Parents? Whoever said it was easy to care for your elderly parents may never have experienced the real deal when it comes to their demand and overall – living! They can either prove to be difficult, be restrained, segregate themselves, or cooperate and let life takes its course.

Either way, you will need help as a child who is taking care of your elderly parent. As such, those who have dealt with it or are dealing with it have put their feelings into words to help guide you and let you know what is happening.

10 Great Books on Aging Parents

Here are a few books you can consider reading through to help you along the way…

How to Care for Aging Parents

This book will help you get all the answers you need to questions you wished you didn’t have to ask. How to Care for Aging Parents is a resourceful material prepared by Family Caregiver Alliance and is a strong source of information, support, and stability.

It is regarded as a compassionate and comprehensive caregiver’s bible that guides you through the changes to be expected, the adjustments you must make, how to avoid being “a parent to your parent,” as well as how to deal with any potential difficult issue or crisis that may arise. If you have the time for only one of the Great Books On Aging Parents, this would be it.

Reading this book will guide you on how to cope with chronic issues such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other memory loss illnesses. They will not easily adjust to you (even if they lived with you), and this book provide a guide on how to work through this.

Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent

If you have to deal with a parent who always blamed you, doesn’t want to be alone, is obsessed with sickness, or finds pleasure in pulling your legs the wrong way, then you need this book. Of course, it is stressful to deal with an aging parent who does not find it easy to adjust to life because of the crisis health or other conditions may bring.

You can aid in helping them to transition from one stage of life to another and dealing with anger, guilt, frustration, and blame. This book is seen as a “common-sense guide” from a team of professionals who have had firsthand experience in dealing with people who go through this condition. Reading this book also helps you to:

  • Have the talk with your parents about not being able to live with you
  • Handle negativity from your parents
  • Deal with a parent who is impaired from one condition or the other
  • Decide the best options for living when your parents can no longer live alone.  

A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents–and Ourselves

When you are thrown in the position of taking up an instance caregiver role, you will understand how difficult and stressful it can be to take care of your aging parent(s).

Writer Jane Gross was put in a similar situation and is the ultimate reason which prompted her to write her book, A Bittersweet Season: Caring for Our Aging Parents and Ourselves. The book tackles issues such as:

  • Dealing with their health conditions and which medical providers may be the best.
  • The truth about assisted living and how to handle hard situations.
  • Family medicines and therapeutic aids for selected health conditions.

Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind)

When looking for Great Books On Aging Parents, it is because you realize Caring for your aging parents is a job all by itself, so if you have a full-time job while doing this…it is inevitable for you to become overwhelmed. In the book Tips for Helping Your Aging Parents: (without losing your mind), the writer made it straightforward what it is like to live and deal with them. The book guides you on how to:

  • Deal with their medication
  • Create a safe environment to protect them from hurting themselves
  • Not become overwhelmed while caring for them
  • Deal with a crisis should one arise
  • Have critical discussions with your parents
  • Deal with parents who refuse getting paid assisted help at home.  

Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging

If you dealt with caring for an aging parent or you are going through it, this book will be perfect for giving you the solace you need to keep going. It can be a challenge to care for them, especially if you don’t understand the needs and conditions that come with being old.

This amazing book, Holding the Net, provides a full practical guide on how to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to deal with health decisions, rehab, living arrangements, and so much more. It encourages you and advises from experts on how to handle and manage every situation.

Role Reversal: How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

This book is designed to give the best advice to caregivers and potential caregivers who are faced with the reality of caring for their elderly family. It guides you on how to care for your loved one amidst the challenging pressure you are facing. There is valuable information on critical topics you will need to guide to guide you along the way.

The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents

Caring for your elderly parents is stressful, hard, and challenging, and it is a season of your life that will never be normal and will forever change your life. The Caregiving Season: Finding Grace to Honor Your Aging Parents details every practical advice you will need to cope and handle the situation at hand.

Dementia or Alzheimer’s?: A Daughter’s Guide to Home Care from the Early Signs and Onset of Dementia through the Various Alzheimer Stages

While there are many suggestions and references for others to use, the book never falls into a dull recounting of lists of books or items to pursue. Instead, as Ms. Gail recounts her memories, she shares the helpful things she found that aided her mother during what can be a difficult time for everyone.

This loving memoir is a touching reminder to all of us that even though it can be painful watching a loved one go through this difficult time, there are rewards in helping them in whatever way we are able.

Children of the Aging Self-Absorbed: A Guide to Coping with Difficult, Narcissistic Parents and Grandparents

This book provides you with awareness on how to deal with your parent’s self-absorbed behaviors and attitudes as they get older. It shows you how to develop strategies in dealing with your parents based on the current situations you face while caring for them. Also, it shows you how to set limits with your parents for you to remain focus and sane during the process.

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope)

30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents (Gifts of Hope) gives you a chance to live and maintain stability while you care for your elderly parents. It has a spiritual guide to it in terms of caring for your parents in a way that is pleasing to God and at least shows honor to them amidst the possible stress they are causing. You will maintain dignity and sanity with the guidelines presented in this book, and, of course, they are easy to implement.

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What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent

People will inevitably get old if life doesn’t decide otherwise before then. As such, certain things will happen as the elderly transition from one phase of their lives to the next. Of course, it is not the easiest thing as many people have lived their lives a certain way and then now have restrictions on what they can do, eat, or even where they can go. While they may not be ready for a nursing home, or have funds available for a senior community, moving them into your own home may be the best option. When Moving in an Aging Parent, there are many things to consider and prepare for.

What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent cover photo

But, as the days roll in, children are the ones who have to make most of the decisions, and one of these includes having your parents move in with you. Most children prefer if their parents don’t live alone and whether they take them in or put them in a shelter, as long as they have someone to look after them, it is okay.

When Moving in an Aging Parent

However, there are so many things to consider when you plan to move them in with you. You may need to:

* Make Your Home Handicap-proof

Most older adults have to move around with assistance, so having your home altered to suit their needs is the best. There are multiple ways to handicap-proof your home, such as: 

Installing stairs or wall rails.

Going up the stairs may be a struggle for them, so adding rails will give them ease of movement and more stability in going up and down. Also, wall rails will help to provide balance as they move around the house.

How do I move my elderly parent?

Shower bars.

This tip is, by far, one of the most important features to implement as they tend to be scared to use the shower in fear of falling. The shower grab bars provide some level of security in knowing they have something to hold on to in case they may slip.

Get elevated toilet seats.

Bending can be a major issue for most older adults, and as such, reducing the chances of this is best. Elevated toilet seats will enable them to access bathroom facilities without having any fears easily.

Being careful with throw rugs.

We understand that you want to have the best indoor decor, but bear in mind, you now have an older person living with you. The rugs can be an issue if not careful as they can cause slippage and other dangerous actions. If you must have rugs, it is best to buy non-skid kinds. 

* When Moving in an Aging Parent Incorporate their Their Items Where Possible

The best way you can get them to fit in comfortably is to have a few items they own around them like a piece of furniture or some other physical items. When they have access to some of their things around them, they will feel at home even though it is a new environment.

They will be able to settle in quicker and easier as they will sense that level of trust and comfort and knows how to handle what they are used to. Also, you can start by taking their bed (if possible) as well as a few other items like utensils, sheets, or even cushions. At their age, it will not be so easy to adjust to everything new and cause more issues in them not wanting to move in.

How do I cope with my elderly parents moving in?

* Set Limited Rules, But With Caution

When Moving in an Aging Parent, this can be a tough issue to consider. After all, as their kid, it is hard to take on the role of the parent. You may want to set some rules with limits but ensure you don’t impose too much on your aging parents’ privacy for freedom. Bear in mind, they don’t usually sit well with being treated like children, so you want to consider their feelings as well.

Of course, everyone in the home will have new or adjusted rules to work efficiently with the permanent change now in effect. You can implement rules such as for your parents, such as:

  • Being able to go out but with supervision.
  • Friends may be allowed (senior citizen friends from the previous hometown), but some activities may be supervised.
  • Someone will always be at home with them (even though they would prefer to stay home alone).
  • No access to anything flammable (cooking not allowed, someone has to light the fireplace if needed, etc.)

Other occupants’ rules may include changing their schedules to accommodate the adjustments. They will be assigned certain roles like taking them out, assisting them with doing their various tasks, and more. Once again, bear in mind never to treat them like a child, they may get negative with such actions.

What You Need to do When Moving in an Aging Parent
Nothing says “I really want you here” like making their bedroom as welcoming as possible. Get our FREE Printable here:

* When Moving in an Aging Parent Your Life Will Change

Before taking your parents in, you must ensure you do your relevant research and make the necessary preparations to accommodate them. When they come home, your life, in general, will change as your schedule will get altered, and your expenses will increase (rapidly in some cases).

Their diet may be different from yours, so you will have to increase the amount you spend on food each month. Also, the utilities will increase as they will have to use the air conditioning more often, the heater will have to be on as well, and other electrically-used appliances will be added to the monthly bills.

Depending on where you live, they may be further from their medical center, so that means more gas and potentially more medical expenses. To better manage these financial changes, you will have to rearrange your budget and, where possible, include the entire household budget to match the changes.

Consider too that your time will have to be spent more strictly. You may have to put off some of the yearly vacation plans until you settling in with the changes better.

If you are unable to accommodate them and you feel hiring help will be cheaper, you can let them stay home with the live-in assistance and visit while you can. It is no joke as their health and well-being will be completely in your hands, and the plans you make will impact them positively or negatively.

Also, you have to plan ahead of time so you can make the physical changes to accommodate, get public education on their potential illnesses, so you know what measures to take in handling them.

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Tips on Bathroom Safety for Elderly – with FREE Printable Checklist

Bathroom Safety for Elderly is important! There are some simple options to create an easy access bathroom, but the key is in the planning and preparation. If we could all build from scratch, it would be easy.

bathroom safety precautions for elderly

New bathrooms and renovations are very complex. Almost every trade is involved, and as most of their work is behind the walls, you need to have an excellent idea of your final room layout before you start.

Tips on Bathroom Safety for Elderly

Sadly, most of us can’t start from scratch and have to work with what we have. There is usually a budget in mind too, but we want to make the space fo our parents as safe as possible.

Safe bathtubs for seniors

A custom shower enables you to have a level entry. Often this is done by cutting the floor beneath the shower to get a slope towards the drain. There are also flooring systems that can be installed over the existing floor, which gently raise the floor level towards the shower so the water can drain inside the shower.

This will allow a user to slide or roll into the shower. Remember to position the shower mixers lower than usual so they can be accessed from a lower level. The key to getting this right is making sure you have the position of the showerhead and ledge or seat worked out and installed before the water-proofing is done.

Tips on Bathroom Safety for Elderly Bars

Again, if you aren’t blessed enough to build from scratch, then there are other options. Grab bars should be installed, and at several different angles and levels. Think both horizontal and vertical.

While thinking “sturdy”, people often grab the thicker bars. This can be a mistake if they are too big for your parent to grab onto easily and prevent slipping or falling. We like this one on Amazon. Makes sure you have one handy for people to hang on to when they get in and out of the shower.

Bathroom Safety for Elderly: Elevated Toilets

As simple a thing as setting on a toilet is, it is a bit challenging when you get older. That stool can seem lower than they might remember, and it is a little harder to get up and off of it than it used to be. A simple fix is a glorified booster chair. We found that this elevated toilet seat was the best tool for getting the job done, so to speak.

Also, items that are wall-mounted, such as vanities or towel racks, should be anchored in for better support. They often end up being used as a quick stbility support and won’t help much if they come off of the wall.

How to make a bathroom safe for seniors

Get our FREE printable bathroom safety checklist –

Anti Slip Floors For Seniors

Wet feet mean accidents foremost people. Stepping into the shower may be easier with that grab bar, but a good anti-slip shower mat is important too. We like this gem from Amazon that is under twenty bucks.

Let’s not forget an anti-slip bath mat for when they step out of the shower! We don’t want them to fall before they get dried off either! This one comes in three different sizes and a huge range of colors! See it here.

If standing for a while is an issue for your parent, might we suggest getting a shower seat? Once they get in the shower, they can have a seat to get clean. We like this one with a backrest and handles for stability.

Remember, always work to a plan, and consult your builder, plumber, bathroom professional, or home health group for more tips. We want to help them keep their dignity as they age and their body starts to fail them.

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