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senior women and caregiver wrapping holiday gifts

Gift Ideas For Your Loved One as a Resident in a Senior Living Community or Nursing Home

The time and attention you spend visiting loved ones in senior communities or nursing homes are treasured moments. 

But when memorable occasions, such as birthdays or holidays, come around, gift-giving for senior living or nursing home residents can be a wonderful way to do something special. 

The best gifts for residents bring an improved sense of enjoyment, comfort, and ease. 

Still looking for great gift ideas for the holiday season?

In our latest event, we partnered with Melissa Long, Certified Recreational Therapist & Dementia Practitioner from Insight Memory Care, to host the “Ultimate Caregiver’s Gift Guide!”. This free, interactive demonstration of gifts for senior living or nursing home residents was aimed at helping attendees review great gift ideas—you’ll be able to touch and feel each item—to better understand which ones might work best for your loved ones. 

Melissa shared these ideas in her complete gift guide from her more than 17 years of hands-on experience and expertise in delivering individualized, goal-oriented therapy for those with multiple diagnoses. 

She also addressed how these purposeful gifts can promote an increased sense of joy and personal connection during holiday visits. And if you find the perfect gift, you can choose from the selection available. 

Magazine gift subscriptions

In a world of ever-increasing technology, analog has its charm—and can offer increased accessibility for anyone struggling to remember passwords or navigate websites—not to mention anyone who wants to spend some time offline. 

Magazines are great gift ideas that provide entertainment, education, and access to the world beyond your doorstep. 

And because they arrive at regular intervals, they can also be something to look forward to—each issue bringing with it a reminder of your thoughtfulness. 

Digital photo frame

When it comes to gifts for nursing home residents, it’s easy to understand why digital photo frames top the list. Their convenient size and easy-to-use technology allow for almost effortless enjoyment. 

Digital photo frames can display preselected photos in a slideshow or continually show a single static image. 

A single digital photo frame can hold thousands of treasured photos. Consider preloading photos of special moments to make an even more memorable gift for your elderly family member.

We love this affordable Skyzoo Frame, available on Amazon. 

Puzzles, games, and adult coloring books

Puzzles, games, and adult coloring books are all great gifts for senior living and nursing home residents. 

Some puzzles and activities we love include:

Not only do they help stimulate creativity, but they can also help improve memory and have been found to assist visual and spatial cognition. 

Crossword puzzles can help with word recall, while jigsaw puzzles focusing on different locations can be a great way to revisit favorite vacation destination memories while keeping hands busy and boredom at bay. 

We also recommend “America: An Activity Book for Seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients and Other Memory Loss Conditions.”

Bird feeder

Bird feeders are a continuing source of entertainment for young and old alike. 

Watching birds at window feeders can have a calming effect on many people. A quick internet search will reveal information about local birds and the type of seed they prefer. 

Additionally, feeders can encourage interaction with others as people come together to enjoy the view—the thrill of seeing an uncommon visitor at the feeder is a joyful moment shared by all. 

Quilt, blanket, or knitted throw

The winter months are always a bit more comfortable when you are snuggled in a comfortable quilt or blanket or have a knitted throw tucked over your legs or around your shoulders. 

A quilt or blanket adds a sense of home while providing much-appreciated warmth. Aim for lightweight materials that provide warmth while being easy to wash.

Bonus points if you’re a knitter, like to crochet, or know someone who does. After all, the most valuable gift is the one that is handmade with love and effort. Homemade gifts add an extra “homey” feel to any space.  


Audiobooks are among the best gifts for senior living or nursing home residents, especially if your family member finds reading challenging. 

They can be especially entertaining when read by favorite actors or entertainers. Audiobooks offer a great entertainment alternative to traditional physical books or magazines.  

If your loved one is comfortable with technology and already has a device that plays audiobooks, consider giving a subscription to a preferred audiobook service. 

Giving a preloaded audiobook player can be a fun way to introduce new technology and enjoy endless hours of entertainment.

If they’re still comfortable with and able to hold a physical book, we recommend books by Emma Rose Sparrow which are specifically designed with seniors and Alzheimer’s patients in mind. 

Adaptive clothing

Anyone with mobility issues can appreciate the ease and comfort adaptive clothing delivers. Adaptive clothing offers a thoughtful—and practical—gift. 

Created specifically to make it easier to get dressed or undressed, adaptive clothing allows recipients to enjoy fashionable, comfortable clothing while maintaining dignity and independence. 

Popular adaptive clothing options include:

  • Socks and slippers with grips on the soles to prevent slips and trips
  • Shirts, tops, pants, or skirts with velcro closings, which eliminate the need to wrestle small buttons into tight buttonholes

Personalized calendars

A great memory aid and gift is a calendar, pre-filled with important dates such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc. This can be as simple as a calendar of their favorite sports team or even a custom one filled with family photos. 

This not only helps your loved one feel included in the goings on in everyone’s life, but it can help reduce stress by helping them remember key dates. And you can update the calendars as new events take on significance over the year. 

Once the year is done, the calendar can be used to help remember special moments.

Model and kits

If your family member liked to tinker when they lived at home, they might enjoy working with a model or assembly kit. 

From Lego sets to biplanes, birdhouses to gingerbread towns, assembly kits come in as many variations as you can imagine. Kits can also help seniors improve motor skills, complementing ongoing rehabilitation therapies

Once assembled, the finished product can often help with a sense of accomplishment and an overall feeling of well-being. 

How The Kensington Falls Church makes the season merry and bright

At The Kensington Falls Church, our senior life enrichment programs prioritize helping seniors living with memory loss to find joy and meaning in daily life. 

Adaptive activities allow seniors living with memory loss an opportunity to engage in activities help them to enjoy a sense of accomplishment and personal success.

Our residents enjoy year-round life enrichment activities, such as fine dining services that cater to specific diets, live music, and an ever-changing calendar of events focusing on social relationships while supporting physical and emotional well-being. 

The Kensington Falls Church has a single goal—to ensure every resident is happy, healthy, and comfortable. 

As part of our commitment, we offer year-round life enrichment activities, health and wellness programs, 24/7 care, on-site nursing, and much more

Contact us today to schedule your tour of The Kensington Falls Church and learn about programs, caregiver resources, upcoming events, and career opportunities.

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