12 Awesome Gifts For Seniors In Nursing Homes

You have a senior citizen on your gift list. You want an elderly-friendly gift to take to the nursing home. But you are clueless? Don't panic! This guide is for you!

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Really, buying for the elderly is easy, and can be so much more fun than just another pair of slipper socks. Don't believe me? Read on for some inspiring gift ideas:

1. Essential Oil Diffuser

Why not let your loved one benefit from the healing power of aromatherapy. There many great diffusers out there, but the InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser combines aromatherapy with a cool mist humidifier. 

It also has color-changing LED lights (for a relaxing night-light) and an auto shut off function (for safety). 

Perhaps the most perfect combination of therapy and fun. 

2. Digital Photo Frame

Digital picture frames are an affordable way to provide familiar photographs, without cluttering up a small space with countless frames. 

Even the cheapest frames have clear screens, and various settings so that you can control how fast a slideshow moves. You can even change the pictures to a static mode or arrange the viewing order. 

A huge perk of digital frames is that the photos are stored on an external drive. That means you can constantly provide new photos without having to worry about prints or frames. 

Don't forget to include some pictures of places your loved one liked to visit, beloved pets, nature scenes and other non-human subjects. 

3. Therapeutic Foot Bath

What could feel better on a cold day than a warm foot bath? They can be fancy or simple, depending on your loved one's needs. This foot spa has toe-touch controls so your elder doesn't even have to bend over to mess with the controls. 

(Please speak to your loved one's doctor before giving this gift. It may not be recommended for someone with dementia, diabetes, or other health conditions.) 

4. Automatic Air Freshener

Nursing homes are often haunted by the scents of people, cleaners, medications, and cooking odors. 

Better than a plug-in air freshener, a mechanized version spritzes a room with fragrance on a cycle. This is a good way to provide a little personalized scent into a room, without obstructing an outlet or dealing with aerosol cans. 

They run on batteries, and last longer than regular sprays. 

5. Mini Fridge

Pamper a senior in a nursing home with their own private fridge. Perfect for stashing some favorite snacks or beverages, (and the best way to keep any uneaten holiday chocolates from melting.)

6. Cosmetic Set

Some ladies never get too old to play with makeup. Charm a fashionable senior this year with cosmetic gift set, or make your own by assembling brands and pieces you know they would love. Don't forget to throw in an emery board  and some pretty polishes. 

gift ideas for senior citizens

7. Jenga

This game has easy rules, and can be played by people with hearing and vision issues. Stacking the pieces can help with concentration and motor skills, and create a little excitement if played with a friend. 

8. Chess Board

There are so many beautiful, themed chess sets available today. You can easily find a perfect chess board to match a senior's needs, style, and interests. 

Chess boards make wonderful gifts-they never go out of style and they challenge the mind (which could delay dementia). Sets are made from a variety of materials some have large easy-to-grip pieces. 

Some styles may be more suitable for small nursing home rooms, such as this vinyl chess mat that rolls to store pieces. These are also very portable, in case your loved one would like to play a game at an outdoor table or challenge a friend to a game in a common room. 

9. Long-Handled Back Massagers 

For more than just achy backs, long handled massagers make it easy for the elderly to reach any painful muscles. 

Electric versions often include various speed settings and vibration patterns, as well as different textures on the heads. Some even have a heating element. 

If a heated massager is not a safe choice for your loved one, they also make long-handled wooden versions with either rubber nodules or wooden roller balls. 

10. Rolling Storage Cart

Almost everyone has at least one plastic storage cart with drawers. And for a good reason! They are sturdy enough and roomy enough to hold a variety of items, plus they can be rolled out of the way whenever you need more floor space. 

For the same reason that you might have and use one, they make great gifts for senior citizens too. They are an easy storage solution for extra items. For hobbyists, they provide a place to stash supplies without using up precious closet and dresser space in a small room. 

11. Mobility Aid Personalization

One of my grandmother's favorite gifts is very small. It is a bicycle "license plate" with her name on it, to go on her Rollator. To be funny, we also gave her a bicycle horn. She thought it was hilarious. 

There are other fun ways to make mobility aids more fun and practical. For instance, a pocket organizer to hang on either a walker or a wheelchair allows the elderly to keep their important items near at hand wherever they travel. 

You can have these made by an artisan in a fun print your loved one will enjoy. 

Tray tables to go across wheelchairs, or just an ordinary lap-desk, are useful too. They provide a place to work small puzzles, rest a book, write a letter, eat a snack and much more. 

12. Coloring Supplies

Coloring books for adults are trendy right now and linked to reduced stress levels. Publishers are working hard to produce books with more "grown-up illustrations". These books are very beautiful, and you may have a hard time convincing an elder to mark on the lovely line art!

If so, you can make copies of the pages so that they can enjoy coloring them over and over again. 

Don't neglect color books meant for children either though. For the vision impaired, or those with shaky hands, the small lines and cramped spaces could prove frustrating. 

Look for children's coloring books that have generic pictures anyone might enjoy (animals, flowers, educational themes, etc.)

Provide crayons, markers, and colored pencils so your loved one can choose their favorite medium, or mix it up for more creativity. 

Good Gifts Make Happy Senior Citizens

The elderly often say they don't want anything for holidays. Sometimes that means that what they really don't want are more useless knick-knacks or supplies they won't really be able to use. 

Since senior citizens have limited room in a nursing home, they may be worried about accumulating so much stuff they can't find anything. 

That is why you should choose gifts with care and common sense. Not all gifts will be appropriate for all seniors, but finding the perfect match will let your elderly loved one know that you truly care.

If you need more ideas, read these other gift-giving articles: