Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors

Holiday Gift Ideas for Seniors: How to Promote Mental and Physical Health        By Hazel Bridges  (

No, grandma doesn’t really want another sweater. This year, when you’re doing your holiday shopping, take a step back and try to think outside the box. The seniors in our lives may not tell us this, but they appreciate a truly well-thought-out gift as much as anyone else. One of the best ways to show a senior in your life that you care is to pick a gift that is not only thoughtful, but also serves to help promote better overall health. Here are some ideas.

Help them learn something new

The best way to stave off cognitive decline is to never stop learning new things. Reading, using technology, and playing games and puzzles all help with this. But this year, don’t take the easy route and simply get your senior loved one a new phone or a book (though books can be a great side-gift!). Think outside the box.

Has your senior ever discussed learning a musical instrument, or do you know that they used to enjoy playing one but fell out of practice? This holiday season, give the gift of music. You can buy them a guitar and lessons, for example. Some of the best online guitar lessons only cost $20 a month of so, and many offer a free trial.

Or maybe they would gravitate more toward a saxophone, piano, or violin. You can invest in their further musical education by either buying the hardware or scheduling them some lessons with a local tutor. Learning an instrument has tons of positive benefits like raising self-esteem, building friendships, and fine-tuning the brain in old age.

Help them better their diet

Do you know a senior with a relatively poor diet? What we eat is vital our whole lives, but it becomes increasingly important as we age and develop certain medical conditions and become at higher risk for others. One good way to give the gift of a healthier diet is to buy your senior loved one better or easier-to-use cooking equipment. The Instant Pot smart cooker, for example, combines the best element of a slow cooker and a pressure cooker to deliver easy, healthy, foolproof meals.

Thinking beyond cookware, you could always gift them a subscription to a food delivery service. Blue Apron is probably the most widely-recognized, but there are multiple other startups like it (HelloFresh, Plated). The general gist is that you sign them up, and they get pre-portioned, ready-to-cook ingredients alongside an easy-to-follow recipe. No more grocery shopping, just cooking and enjoying healthy food.

Help them get enough exercise

As we age, many of us begin to prioritize exercise less and less. Seniors have aches and pains, and many have illness and mobility problems. But exercise is just as important to seniors as it is to younger people – maybe even more so. This holiday season, give them the gift of exercise motivation.

One idea is a fitness tracker. Fitbit, for example, has a barebones tracker that even the most technologically-averse grandpa can figure out. A local gym membership is also a good idea, as it will not only encourage them to get exercise but also to be social (think group fitness classes).

Many fear that getting a gift that involves lessons, training, fitness, or cooking is more giving a chore than it is giving a gift. But this simply isn’t true. The best gifts are those that help the people you love live happier, healthier, fuller lives. And if you have a senior in your life, think about how to do this for them this holiday season.

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