Ultimate List of Stocking Stuffer Ideas for the Elderly

Red sunglasses as a stocking stuffer for senior citizens
Sunglasses protect senior's eyes from sun and snow glare, and are a great stocking stuffer.

Make a Fantastic Christmas Stocking for a Senior Citizen!

Christmas is almost here, and if you are a caregiver, you may be wondering what to get your elderly loved one this year. 

If they live with you, chances are they have everything they need already, right? You may be all set on the big gifts,too (perhaps you are buying your lucky loved one a pretty new bedding set, or that hand-carved chess set they admired in a catalog).

But are you stumped on what to put in the stockings?

Whether your loved one lives with you, lives alone, or lives in assisted living, you are sure to find some good ideas on this list of stocking stuffers for the elderly.

The items listed below are just ideas, and are not in any order. You should always take into consideration your elderly loved one's health, physical and mental capabilities, and special likes and dislikes. If they live in a long-term care facility, make sure certain gifts are not against policy!

Read on to make those stockings the hit of the holiday:

1. Disposable Camera

These are cheap and easy to use. I recommend setting up an elder with a decent digital camera (my Nikon Coolpix camera is lightweight and takes awesome photos!) for everyday use if they like to take lots of photos,  but a disposable camera is a better gift for the person who just wants a few family snapshots.  

Having it in the stocking gives them the opportunity to use it to capture fun photos for the rest of Christmas day.

2. Candy 

Who doesn't like getting candy in their stocking? Regular or sugar-free candy is a sweet treat sure to delight. "Theater" style boxed candy fits nicely into stockings, and individually wrapped pieces dropped into the stocking make for a yummy treasure hunt.

There are dozens of sugar-free options as well.

3. Wrapped Snacks

Small packages of dried fruit, crackers, chips and other snacks are perfect for the stocking too. You can also include individually wrapped cookies, pastries or muffins.

4. Wallet

For her or for him, a wallet is always a nice gift. Just remember to put a dollar or a gift card inside for good luck throughout the year!

5. Change Purse

Small, cute change purses are fun for the ladies. Even better if matches the new wallet.

6. Cologne

There are so many inexpensive perfumes, colognes and body sprays for men and women. The small bottles are perfect for the stocking, so add two or three so they last awhile.

7. Candle

$1 jar candles from the dollar store are petite enough to fit in a stocking. Almost everyone likes a candle, and those frugal grandmothers out there can always find a use for the empty glass jar once the candle is gone.

8. Essential Oils

Safer than candles, essential oils can be used in so many ways. Perfect for  potpourri warmers, sachets, and relaxing baths. Essential oil bottles in the stocking and an essential oil diffuser under the tree make the perfect aromatic gift set.

9. Zodiac Keychain

Most of the senior citizens I know love their horoscopes. Treat them to a keychain that proudly displays their birth sign. No keys? A magnet or coffee mug is a nice alternative. 

10. LED Flashlight

Small flashlights fit well into a purse or nightstand drawer. They can be kept in a sewing basket or beside a hobby table. Very useful for finding small, dropped items, and LED lights are much brighter than standard bulbs.

The best kind have large rubber push-buttons on the end that are easier to use than sliding switches, twist-on lights, and those with hard to find (and press) buttons. 
11. Jewelry

Earrings, necklaces, watches, bracelets, rings... Men and women both like jewelry, but the elderly might not want to "waste" money on trinkets for themselves. Surprise them with something special this year!

12. Pens

A nice pen doesn't have to be expensive. For seniors who struggle with grasping utensils, a pen with a large barrel and comfortable rubber grips may be more appreciated than a slim, elegant pen.

13. Sunglasses

Protective eyewear is just as important in the winter. It never hurts to have spare sunglasses, either! Shield your loved one's eyes from sun and snow glare with a pair (or two) of shades from the dollar store.

14. Mints

Who doesn't like mints? They taste good, freshen your breath and help soothe sinuses during the cold and flu months.

15. Cocoa Packets

Warm cocoa means warm hands, warm tummy, and warm heart. Its also a delicious and soothing way to end an exciting Christmas day.

16. Keepsake Ornament

Pick something with personal meaning, such as a favorite instrument or icon. Or have any ornament personalized. A photo frame ornament is also a nice keepsake. Turn it into a tradition by adding one every year.

17. Stress Ball

These are handy to have around for exercising the hands or just for fiddling when bored. These can really be fun, since they come in all sizes, shapes, and novelty prints.

18. Puzzle Book or Game

You can find crossword, word search and Sudoku books at dollar stores. If your loved one enjoys more variety, spring for the bigger books with numerous types of brain-challenging puzzles.

Besides books, there are puzzle games that seniors might enjoy, like puzzle balls or Rubix cubes.

19. Hobby Supplies

If your loved one has a hobby such as sewing, you can add supplies to the stocking. These can be things they don't yet own, or replacements for old, worn out supplies they've been hanging onto for years.

20. Photo album with Prints

Print out some great photos or make copies of family favorites and tuck them into a small, cheap photo album. These are especially nice for those with dementia.

21. Stamps

For someone who would love to write letters or send cards, a book of stamps would be a welcome gift. You can also include a package of blank notecards with envelopes.

22. Magnets

Big, bold magnets can help your loved one keep up with notes, lists and other items they need to keep on hand. Magnets with clips serve a dual purpose. Calendar magnets offer another way to help seniors keep up with the days, appointments, birthdays, etc.

23. Cosmetic Cases

Small, vinyl cosmetic cases are a pretty way for an elderly lady to sort and store things like nail care tools. They also add some organization for her purse, if she wants.

24. Small Tools

Think eyeglass repair kit, small screwdriver set, ice scraper, soda can opener and other gadgets that your loved one might need or want to have on hand for every day fix-it situations.

25. CD

Pick up a CD or two of your loved one's favorite music. Or mix your own as per their unique tastes.

Still Need More Elderly Stocking Stuffer Ideas? 

Here are a few more!
  • Flower seeds
  • Watch
  • Pedometer
  • Playing Cards
  • Popcorn
  • Books
  • Tea
  • Gourmet coffee
  • Magnifying glass
  • Calculator
  • Phone case
  • Zippo
  • Pocket knife
  • Fishing lures
  • Plug-in Air Freshener
  • Nail polish
  • USB drive
  • Compact umbrella
  • Slipper socks
  • Flavored lip balm
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Manicure set
  • Bath bombs
  • Lanyard
  • Camera Strap
  • Hair pins
  • Scented hand sanitizer
  • Roll of quarters
  • Gift Card
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Address book or organizer
  • Belt or suspenders
  • Shoelaces
  • Comb and brush set
  • Spare phone charger
  • Deer whistles
  • Safety whistle
  • Personalized checkbook cover
  • Wireless mouse
  • Gloves
  • Hats
  • Headphones
  • New glides for walker/cane
  • Bath poufs
  • Arthritis friendly gadgets (eating utensils, jar openers, grabbers, cup holders, etc.)
  • Gel ice packs
  • Hand warmers
  • Batteries

Stocking Stuffers Should Be Fun as Well as Practical

Although it is tempting to go straight for the most useful items, receiving practical gifts year after year can get pretty boring. Spice things up by finding a great balance between functional items, fun items, and sentimental items.

Need more ideas? Check out this article on tech gifts for the elderly!

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