Andrea Ivins

Andrea Ivins

Question: What are some gift ideas for a senior in my life?

Answer: Give a meaningful gift with these simple yet personal ways to show your love and appreciation:

· Call and talk about memories or favorite stories and write them down in a book for them and the family.

· Arrange for balloons, a teddy bear, or fresh flowers with a heartfelt message to arrive outside of their door. Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned surprise?

· Write a letter, paint a picture, or create a personalized key chain or decoration for their door.

· Plan a fun video chat with friends, family, and, of course, beloved pets.

· Send a personalized GrandBox (, filled with senior-friendly gifts, snacks, a note from you, photos, and more.

· Upload pictures of family members and favorite memories on a brand new digital photo frame.

· Try out a DNA test — such as Ancestry DNA, which often offers holiday deals — to learn more about family history and origins.

· Order a custom photo book from a photo website, or use prints of family and friends to craft your own scrapbook.

It never hurts to give a gift that can either simplify daily tasks, provide knowledge, or add enjoyment. Think about their personal likes, hobbies, and consider these options:

· Water flosser or electric toothbrush

· Multipurpose reach tool with rotating rubber grip head for grabbing items

· Handheld vacuum cleaner

· Foot spa to soothe tired feet

· Plants or gardening tools for nature lovers

· Pair of bird-watching binoculars or a species informational guide

· Keurig, coffee mug, or special blend for coffee lovers

· Calendars with a favorite theme or customized with family photos

Gift giving is challenging because older adults have diverse and evolving needs. Some seniors don’t want a lot of “stuff” just sitting around or taking up space. For loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living, physical health issues, memory loss, and lack of space may make some gifts impossible to use. But other gifts that bring joy or address day-to-day needs could be lifesavers.

Andrea Ivins is a Community Educator for the Alzheimer’s Association as well as the Sales Director at Brookdale Senior Living in Palestine, TX. To submit a question for future articles, please contact the author at or 903-948-7367

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