It’s important to let seniors, older parents, and aging friends know how much they mean to you while they’re still around. Calling and visiting on a regular basis can be incredibly meaningful but sometimes it makes sense to give your loved one or friend a gift.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Holiday and Birthday Gift Ideas for Older People
- Gift Ideas for Older Women
- Gift Ideas for Older Men
- Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Older People
- DIY Gift Ideas for Older People
- Practical Gift Ideas for Older People
Feel free to add a personal touch to any of our gift suggestions. If your friend or loved one has grandchildren or even grandpets, try to involve them in the gift-giving process, too.
Holiday and Birthday Gift Ideas for Older People
As your loved one gets older, every holiday or birthday you spend with them is arguably more special. Though you don’t have to pull out all the stops and spend a fortune on a lavish gift, try to at least make it as personal as you can. Here are some ideas.
1. Painting or art supplies
Does your friend or relative love art? Consider updating his or her supplies. Activities like art projects keep your friend’s mind sharp and can be a fun way for your loved one to connect with grandchildren, too.
2. A planned night out on the town or a brunch outing
Not every holiday or birthday gift has to be wrapped. Your older relative may cherish a planned outing with friends, family, and loved ones.
3. A wardrobe update
Your loved one may not solicit your advice but would probably love an updated outfit or two. Help him pick out a new lounge outfit or one for a special occasion.
4. A user-friendly tablet
Can your loved one handle a device like a tablet? Tablets are a great tool as an e-reader, for games or for stimulating apps.
5. A memory box
Does your loved one have a lot of photos or small trinkets lying around? Consider consolidating these items into a decorative memory box or two.
Some varieties can be made of glass and hang on the wall and others can be placed on a display table or made into a memorial collage.
Gift Ideas for Older Women
Have an older lady in your life that deserves an expensive gift — but you can only afford a small one? Don’t worry. The following ideas are a great jumping-off point. If you don’t find the perfect suggestion below, you may at least feel inspired.
6. A new handbag
It’s no secret that women love handbags. Does your older friend or relative need a new handbag? Consider taking her shopping rather than picking one out on your own. You may find one with easy-to-use pockets and zippers to keep everything within reach and organized.
7. Prescription sunglasses
Help your friend or relative feel a little more glam with some prescription sunglasses. It’s important at every age to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. Help her look her best and see well at the same time.
8. A new tea or coffee set
Coffee and tea are simple pleasures, but they are a big part of a lot of people’s routines. Gift your friend or relative a new set of matching mugs or teacups.
9. Cooking or baking supplies
If your friend or relative loves to cook or bake but hasn’t updated her kitchen to include the newest gadgets or tools, help her out. Expand her collection or replace items that are worn or broken.
10. A spa day
Sometimes the best gifts are self-care and pamper days. Get a professional to help your friend or relative boost her mental health and confidence levels. You can plan a solo spa day or tag along with her.
Gift Ideas for Older Men
Help an older male friend or relative enjoy life with the following gift ideas.
11. Tickets to a favorite band or sporting event
You may choose to get your friend or relative tickets to go with his spouse or another family member — or grab a ticket and take him yourself. This is a great way to create new memories.
12. Accessories for his car or boat
If your friend or relative is into cars or boating, get him accessories or tools for these hobbies.
13. A new golf bag or set of clubs
Many older men (and women) enjoy golf. Consider getting your older friend or relative a new golf bag or a nice set of clubs.
14. Customized tools or a tool belt
Is your friend or relative a handy guy? Consider getting him some custom tools or a customized tool belt.
15. New slippers
Cozy, supportive slippers can make any day at home feel more luxurious. Consider buying some that are made of a natural material like wool to help regulate temperature.
You can also opt for a pair that has a reinforced sole so he doesn’t have to change out of them to take the dog out or walk to the mailbox.
Inexpensive Gift Ideas for Older People
You don’t have to spend a fortune to show someone you care. Here are a few gift ideas that are particularly budget-friendly.
16. An indoor plant
An indoor plant can bring some much-needed life and brightness to any space. Consider a low-maintenance variety that doesn’t require a lot of light or water if your friend or relative isn’t a confident gardener.
17. A framed photo or drawing
Frames and photos don’t cost much more than a few dollars. However, they’re a great gift to help your loved one look back on a favorite memory or drawing from a child or grandchild.
18. Help with errands or around the house
Spend an afternoon or two helping your loved ones with errands or organizing the house. You can even choose to select a specific day and make it a recurring event.
19. Fresh flowers
Many people don’t receive fresh flowers very often. This gift is even more special if you find a local variety in season or trim them from your own garden.
20. A bottle of wine, a cigar, or another small indulgence
Many grocery stores have expanded their private label wines and liquors to include high-quality items at low prices. If your friend or relative is into cigars or even artisanal chocolates, these are also an option.
DIY Gift Ideas for Older People
DIY gifts are a great opportunity to involve grandchildren or flex your personal creativity. Have some fun with it and don’t worry about making it perfect.
21. A favorite dessert
Some of the sweetest gifts are homemade. You can easily throw together a whole buffet of baked goods on a budget. Ask your loved one’s grandchildren to help decorate these baked goods.
22. A favorite meal
A home-cooked meal can be incredibly special and inexpensive. If your friend or relative also enjoys cooking, include them the fun and cook a meal together.
23. A custom card deck or board game
You can have your child help you with this or do it yourself. Grab a deck of cards or a favorite board game for inspiration. Feel free to get creative with custom card designs and game pieces that relate to your friend or relative.
24. A painting or other piece of art
If painting isn’t your medium of choice, choose something else that is. You don’t have to make something that’s museum-worthy for it to be special. Paint a rock, a planter, or go to a paint-your-own-pottery place. Draw a portrait of your friend or relative. Have grandchildren or a granddog help if possible.
25. A story or comic book starring them
Write and illustrate a short story or comic about a time or experience in your loved one’s life. You can go the extra step by getting it bound or laminating it yourself.
Practical Gift Ideas for Older People
Practical gifts that your loved one can get a ton of use out of are some of the best ones. Think of something your friend or relative does every day and go from there if you don’t find the solution below.
26. A custom eyeglass case and cleaning kit
Your friend or relative may have at least one pair of reading glasses. Put together a cleaning kit and case that they can take out of the house. Have a grandchild help you decorate a case to make it more special.
27. A chic sun hat or ball cap
Excess sun exposure isn’t ideal at any age. Help your friend or relative block harmful rays in style with a new sun hat or ball cap. They may already have a well-worn favorite but opt for something that’s special.
28. Upgraded socks
Treat your older friend or relative to some upgraded socks. It’s not uncommon for people to forget to replace socks. Look for a variety that has luxe features like cashmere, merino wool, or compression for added comfort.
29. An updated sweater or housecoat
Gift your friend or relative an updated cashmere or wool sweater or a new fleece housecoat. Opt for a more breathable material if your friend or relative lives in a warmer climate — though air conditioning can be frigid!
30. A maid or cleaning service
Even if you can’t afford a weekly cleaning crew to help an older friend or relative get his or her house in order, a few appointments can accomplish a lot. You can even do the cleaning yourself if you want.
Show Them They Matter While They’re Here
It may sound morbid to consider how you can spend time with someone before you begin to receive condolences for his or her death. But it’s important to show loved ones and friends that they matter. It’s also one way to start end-of-life planning.
Showering your loved one with meaningful gifts and gestures doesn’t mean you have to exert a lot of effort or spend hundreds of dollars. A small gesture can mean a lot.