group home for elderly

Serving Illinois and Wisconsin

It’s important to remember our seniors who are often isolated and lonely in terms of making sure we visit them enough, and the occasional surprise gift that we all love to receive from time to time. Recently, there was a national news story about a young girl who discovered what it was that residents in skilled nursing facilities would like as a small gift. You would think would be more than things such as Kleenex, hand cream, candy bars, and other simple toiletries that we all take for granted. The girl was able to raise enough money to supply all the residents with these basic needs that meant so much to them. Here are some other ideas to keep in mind for your senior loved one when deciding what special surprise you would like to get them:

Gifts for Seniors that Keep Special Memories

Photo Album

Who doesn’t like to reminisce about old times and great memories? It means so much to the senior to be able to recall all of the family and friends that made their lives so meaningful. Recalling family parties, momentous events, family vacations, and the kids when they were young. A date added to each picture would help to recall the exact time and could trigger even more happy memories the senior shared with their family and friends at the time. This, a truly meaningful gift for a senior.

Custom Photo Calendar

We have made these for my husband’s mom using pictures of all of her grandchildren. Each month, she gets to flip over a new picture and smiling face of her beautiful grandchild. You may be able to add some wording on the event in the picture, the names of who is in the picture, and their ages at the time. It’s definitely a conversation starter when guests come into the seniors home, and is great for those family members who live far away and can’t see each other as often. It’s a good way to highlight family traditions as the months go by and the events we share throughout the year.

Digital Photo Frame

Talk about technology, how about a digital photo frame that changes installed pictures every couple of seconds? It’s like a revolving photo album! Another great gift for a senior, and conversation starter. The movement of the photos really brings them to life, and helps the senior feel as if their loved one is literally in the same room as them. New pictures can be added all the time very easily.

Gifts for Elderly that Entertain and Engage


Another great gift for a senior, both in terms of working the brain through putting together a puzzle, but also doing so with the end result being a big picture of their loved ones! In most senior living communities, you will see puzzles being worked on by residents. It’s a popular activity. So, for the senior to have their very own, very personal puzzle to work on would be a highlight of their day! Once completed, the senior can have the puzzle framed.

CD of Favorite Songs

We made a CD of all of my mom’s favorite songs for her 70th birthday. She loved it! And, at her party, we played the CD and we all ended up loving it too! We remembered all of her favorite artists and songs, and it brought back so many memories. We all know how important music is to helping people feel calm, happy, and having the ability to trigger memories. Mom can play it anytime she wants to remember the times during the popularity of those songs, but also to remember the culmination of all of her favorites at her birthday party!

Gifts for Seniors that Provide Amazing Experience

Gift Card to Favorite Restaurants

Another great gift idea, is a gift card for the senior to be able to go out to their favorite restaurant, or for the family to arrive with their favorite meal once in a while. It could be a prime rib steak, or an old fashioned Chicago Style hot dog, but either way, the senior will love their favorite bite to eat!


It’s often hard for seniors to get around when driving has been given up. So, ride vouchers through the village they live in, or ride sharing services, may be a great gift to give an active senior who needs to get around.

Gifts for Elderly that Keep them Warm

Blanket with Family Pictures

Any picture can be put on just about anything, so why not a warm, comforting blanket? It’s great for seniors to literally feel wrapped up in their family’s love, and the senior will feel their family with them at all times. Some folks may not be aware of technology being able to print a picture on so many items, especially a blanket, so this gift may really be a showstopper!


Recently, during the holiday season, we received a request from a senior who wanted a warm, hooded sweatshirt. My mom is also someone who loves getting warm, fleece sweatshirts. Easy pull on pants are another good option for seniors, as well as slip on shoes. We all love new things and could use a new pair of clothing items as a great gift.


The best gift to give a senior is your time. When they see your face, they light up. They are so excited to catch up and see what you have been up to, how your family is doing, how your kids are, and just be in your presence. They have everything they want in terms of material possessions. Instead, what they want is your time, your arm while walking, your kiss goodbye, and your promise to come back real soon. So, don’t waste your time looking for the right senior living solution for your loved one, contact us at (773) 938-3772 and we’ll be happy to help you.

Back to Blogs
senior living housing directory

Hey, your browser is out of date!

We've noticed you're currently using an old version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft no longer offers updates to Internet Explorer, which may cause the site to appear broken. To view our site accurately, we highly recommend you update your browser.
Courtesy of
Senior living experts logo horizontal