Gift Ideas for Seniors, Grandparents and Elderly Parents who Don't Want Anything
Thinking of gift ideas for grandparents, older parents and other elderly loved ones can be a real headache for many people. Most seniors have more stuff than they could possibly ever use, and don't want additional items to add to the clutter. So what do you give your elderly loved ones who seem to have everything?
We have found that while many seniors may not want things that will simply sit on their shelves, there are lots of "outside of the box" ideas that they love. Here is our round up of our 18 favorite services and creative gift ideas for seniors and grandparents who seem to have it all, organized by category:
Everyone has to eat-- So getting a senior a gift that makes meal prep and eating easier can be a huge (and greatly appreciated!) help.
1. Take care of the groceries: You can set up a recurring weekly food order for Grandma's favorite products on Peapod or FreshDirect or whatever local grocery delivery service is available in their area. This thoughtful gesture makes life a little easier by giving your older loved one, one less thing to worry about.
2. Meal Kit Services: Over the past few years many meal kit delivery services have popped up across the country. Services like Blue Apron, Plated, HelloFresh, and others provide a rotating menu of healthy, simple recipes and the exact ingredients needed to complete them (so Mom doesn't need to buy a large container of thyme if she only needs a sprig).
3. Treat them to a personal chef: We know this sounds extravagant, but thanks to Chefs for Seniors, this is a lot more affordable than you would think. Currently serving the Wisconsin, South Florida and Chicago areas, Chefs for Seniors brings a certified professional chef into your older loved one's home to prepare a week's worth of fresh, healthy meals. The chef takes care of the grocery shopping and food preparation and just leaves the meals ready to microwave for the rest of the week. Such a great idea!
Learning never stops-- most seniors are very curious and love the idea of continuing their education and expanding their horizons. Help them do that!
4. Enroll them in an online course: These days you can take an excellent course on virtually any subject right from your computer. Does your senior like to craft? Get them a course through Creativebug! Are they more interested in photography? Let them hone their skills through a Lynda course. Does your older adult have a variety of interests? Udemy and Coursera offer online courses on subjects ranging from history to music to marketing. Has Grandpa always talked about wanting to learn a new language? Rosetta Stone offers award-winning lessons on more than 25 languages.
You get the idea... there is a lot to be learned from the comfort of your couch!
5. Museum membership: Museum memberships are a great way to give the gift of art and education to your elderly loved ones. Memberships often include access to complimentary members-only events including tours and lectures, and many museums have discounted senior memberships.
6. Books: Enroll your grandparent in the Book of the Month Club which provides a monthly curated selection of five books for your loved one to pick from. The book they choose is then mailed directly to their door! You can gift 3, 6 or 12 month subscriptions-- The perfect gift for the avid reader.
7. Oral history: Recording family stories is a great gift for the whole family. Seniors in particular have lots of knowledge and wisdom that they want to share. StoryWorth is a service that makes it easy for older adults to record their stories through weekly emails (sent for a year) with questions family members might not think to ask.
The weekly emails feature unique questions meant to get your elderly loved one talking about their life, such as,“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever seen?” or “Have you ever pulled a great prank?” All stories are securely stored on the family’s private StoryWorth account and can be easily shared with additional family members, if desired. After a year, StoryWorth's team will create a bound hardcover book containing all of the stories shared within the past year. Such a great present for the whole family!
Sometimes it's the little things that have the biggest impact. Here are some ways to make your elderly loved ones' days a little bit easier.
8. A clean home: Give your elderly loved one the gift of a clean home. This could not be easier with on-demand cleaning services like Handy (currently available in 35 cities) which brings a thoroughly vetted professional cleaner to your senior's house at a reasonable rate.
9. Odd jobs: Does your grandparent have a seemingly never-ending to-do list of odd jobs for around the house? Then give them a TaskRabbit gift card. TaskRabbit is a service that matches customers with people capable of performing a broad range of activities around the house (from snow removal to moving to assembling furniture to hanging paintings, the list goes on and on).
10. Transportation: Just because your older loved one may be unable to drive does not mean they should be home-bound. With on-demand ride sharing services like GoGoGrandparent, Uber and Lyft now available throughout the country, seniors can easily get to where they want to go. These services offer gift cards and are used to serving older customers.
11. Medication Management: Is your grandparent or elderly parent on multiple medications? Is it hard for them to keep track of it all? PillPack takes guessing out of the equation by bundling your loved one's medications into clear, easy-to-read packets sorted by date and time. This is a great present for caregivers and older adults, alike as it simplifies the daily medication routine. Best of all? It's free! PillPack's services are covered by insurance so your senior only pays the same co-pay they would with any other pharmacy. All you need to do is help your elderly loved one transfer their prescriptions and get set up with the new online system.
12. Pedicure: Giving your elderly loved one a gift card for a pedicure (or better yet, going with them!) can be an excellent present. Many older adults have difficulty bending down to cut their toe nails, which become increasingly brittle with age. As a result, this simple gesture can go a long way in providing relaxation and helping with hygiene.
13. Movies: A movie theater gift card (or if possible an actual trip to the movies with you!) can be a great senior-friendly present. For older adults not based in major cities, consider purchasing them tickets to a Fathom Event at their local movie theater. Fathom Events bring important cultural events to theaters across the countries-- showings range from live screenings of Metropolitan Opera performances to screenings of oldie classics.
14. Netflix subscription: A fan favorite, a Netflix subscription (possibly paired with a Roku or Chromecast) can make a great gift for seniors who love TV or spend a lot of time at home. With thousands of TV and movie options spread across every genre, there is definitely something for everyone. Better yet? Choose a series you both are interested in to watch together and discuss weekly.
Can't be with your elderly loved ones for the holidays? You can still let them know you care.
15. GrandBox: GrandBox is a monthly subscription service that sends a box of curated gift items for the 65+ crowd. GrandBox lets you customize your gift box by adding family photos and a personal note to make it extra special.
16. ShareMail: ShareMail is a new subscription service that helps you stay in touch with your older loved ones by turning your digital messages and photos into letters that are printed out and then mailed directly to them.
17. Help them Plan a Trip: Does your older parent have the travel bug? Help them plan their next trip and book them a stay through the The Freebird Club a new Airbnb-like service designed specifically for seniors. The Freebird Club offers safe, affordable homestays for older adults traveling all around the world.
If you really want to "wow" them...
18. Your time: As we've already alluded to, the best gift you can give is your time. Older adults love spending time with the people who matter most to them. Take them out to dinner or give them a "coupon book" good for various activities with you (e.g. a trip to the movies together, a date with their granddaughter, etc, etc). Promise to call them more frequently, and then actually do it! The best thing you can do is show you care.
Have additional gift ideas? Leave them in the comments below. Interested in more traditional gift ideas for seniors and grandparents? Shop our selection at Boomly.