This year marks the 30th anniversary of National Senior Citizens Day, a date first noted by President Ronald Reagan on August 21, 1988. The day is set aside to honor and recognize the senior citizens in our lives for their wisdom, their achievements, and their special place in our communities. With that in mind, we put together eight gift ideas for seniors to help you say thank you to your parents, grandparents, and or an elderly neighbor who might appreciate a kind word and thoughtful gift.
By Tim Murray, Aware Senior Care President & Co-Founder
Thoughtful and Unique Gift Ideas for Seniors
Find photos that represent special memories or special people – amazing vacations, a grand child’s birthday party, a family reunion. Print and frame the photos – or, if the photos are already printed, new frames may be in order. Photos capturing a lifetime of memories help remind seniors of their precious place in our hearts.
#2 Photo albums
My mother, Emily, has at least 7 photo albums from various seasons of her life. She loves them and occasionally she gets them out to reminisce. A few years ago, we gave her several little photo albums, including one filled with photos from some of her world travels with my dad, Jack. Those albums were simple and inexpensive, and they remain some of her favorite gifts.
As we age, many adults find themselves wanting to downsize their homes and their lives. In many cases, the furniture in the existing house is simply too big or too old to go to the new apartment. When we helped my mother move to a care facility, we worked with her to choose a few sentimental pieces of furniture. Then we created a budget and mapped out some new pieces she’d need in her new home. Together, we find some great furniture that fit her new lifestyle and her new home.
#4. A season pass to the ballet or theater
If your loved one or elderly neighbor loves going to the theater or a Broadway show, a gift pass to an upcoming production is a wonderful gift and provides a great opportunity to do something fun together!
#5. Occasional gift card at a favorite restaurant
My mother loved to eat out every now and then. Do some research to find the best restaurants in the area that correspond to your loved one’s favorite eating places and get gift cards or take them out occasionally for a nice meal.
#6. Framed artwork
On the wall in the living room of the home my mother lived was a framed painting. It depicted the town of Warrensburg, New York, near our childhood home. It was painted in the 1980’s, when my parents were still raising their children, and this is one of my mother’s most treasured possessions.
#7. A pet
A pet can be just like a member of the family. Pet companionship can give people purpose. A low-maintenance animal like a cat or a bird can be a wonderful, loving gift for a senior.
#8. A gym pass
REX Wellness in Cary has wonderful programs for seniors to stay fit. A gym membership can be one of the great gift ideas for a senior loved one moving to a new community. Or if they’re just looking for ways to stay healthy and connected to others. They offer senior fitness classes, healthy living workshops, and a variety of exercise ideas for seniors. For seniors, going to the fitness center provides more than just an opportunity for exercise. It gives them the chance to get out of the house and meet friends – and that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
Additional Gift Ideas for Elderly Parents