group home for elderly

Serving Illinois and Wisconsin

Celebrating the holidays with seniors can be challenging. Senior Living Experts is sharing these ideas for gifts for seniors and activities for the seniors in your life.

Holidays with Seniors in Long Term Living Facilities

If you’re loved ones are in a senior living facility (assisted living, nursing home, etc.) we have some great ideas for gift giving and activities. These ideas can be adjusted to the needs and abilities of your loved one.

Gifts for Seniors in Long Term Living Facilities

  • Personal Services – If the facility offers personal services like hairdressing, barber shop, spa facilities, housekeeping services and such then purchasing a gift certificate may be an option. If you can’t get a gift certificate, you may be able to put money into their spending/flexible account.
  • Gift Cards – Many times senior living facilities will offer regular trips to local stores for residents to shop. If you know where your loved one frequents for shopping you can purchase gift cards for those places.
  • Personal Hygiene Items – Create a basket with personal hygiene items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, and even a new set of towels. Buying higher end items would be nice too because they most likely don’t splurge on themselves for such items.
  • Note Cards & Stamped Envelopes – Many seniors still enjoy sending out cards to friends and family. A gift of various greeting and/or note cards with envelopes that are already stamped with “Forever Stamps” is a great gift.
  • Calendar with Visit Schedule – A calendar that you color in the days you are going to visit can be a nice way to help them look forward to something. Depending on their health & mental condition, they may enjoy regularly scheduled dates for reading a book together, game day once a month, or visits when you dine together. This technique is also a great way to set your own schedule so that you don’t allow a busy life to take time away from your senior loved one.

Holiday Gifts for Seniors That Keep Giving

These gift ideas will be gifts that they can continue to enjoy throughout the year.

  • Audible Books (books on tape/CD)
  • Movies (find older movies or TV series on DVD that you know they’ve enjoyed)
  • Music CD (begin a small library of some of the types of music they enjoy & mark the CDs with pictures that will allow them to easily understand what type of music is on it) – This article on how music affects the health and mind is an excellent resource.
  • Large Print Books and Puzzle Books
  • Bathrobe and Slippers
  • Flameless Candle (these are an especially nice, safe gift for those who used to love burning candles)

Senior Activities for the Holidays

If your senior loved one lives in a senior living facility they will most likely have options available to keep them active. However, these options are a nice way to celebrate the holidays with seniors before, during and after the season.

  • Enjoy a Family Movie Night – A wonderful way for the entire family to enjoy the holiday season together is to bring a holiday movie to watch together. Most facilities will have a common area that has a DVD player available for you to use.
  • Decorate Cookies – Purchase store bought cookies or make a batch yourself and take them to their residence to decorate together. Purchase containers of frosting, tubes of frosting, and various sprinkles and decorations to use.
  • Crafting – Making a craft is always fun and can be based on the ages and abilities of everyone involved. Here’s a great video with 5 DIY craft ideas for senior people of all ages. The “Fairy Glow Jars” are especially mesmerizing. Tip: use plastic jars instead of glass for a safer senior craft.

Senior Living Experts wishes you and yours a very happy holiday season! We hope these tips, ideas and activities will help you enjoy the holidays with seniors.

Photo by katesheets

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