Original Gifts Ideas for A Senior Who Doesn’t Want Anything

Laurel McLaughlin

When the holiday season rolls around, finding the best gifts becomes top of mind. Some family and friends might be easy to shop for or provide a list of needed (or wanted!) items to choose from. However, there may be some family members or friends that are more difficult to shop for.

So what do you get for the loved one in your life who says "I don't want anything" this year?

Finding a good gift can be a stressful part of the holiday season. This guide will help any family caregiver find the perfect gift for their senior loved one.

Here are 8 creative and unique gift ideas that the senior in your life is sure to love.

8 Unique Gift Ideas for the Senior in your Life

1. Personalized Puzzles 

Does your loved one have a favorite photo with family members and friends? Turn it into a jigsaw puzzle!

Depending on your loved one’s abilities, you can have pieces made larger to recreate that favorite photo.

If your senior enjoys crossword puzzles or word searches, create a personal one. Use stories from their life or favorite hobbies as clues. Making your own puzzle also allows you to create a large print puzzle to accommodate visual impairments.

A personalized gift such as these puzzle ideas will keep your loved one busy through the long winter months!

2. Personal Biography Journal 

Documenting family history is fun for the whole family. 

A personal biography journal encourages and guides the older adult in your life by documenting their life for future generations to enjoy. If your loved one has a visual impairment add on a magnifier or sit down to dictate their replies.

Not only will this be a thoughtful gift for your elderly family member, but also be a keepsake for the rest of the family.

3. Digital Picture Frame 

A digital photo frame like Skylight can help long-distance family caregivers stay in touch by sending photos to automatically upload onto your loved ones' digital picture frame. They will be able to stay in the loop and receive fun, exciting photos. 

4. The Practical Gift

If your loved one is the more useful gift type, consider tools that might make their life a little more comfortable or easier. 

Gadgets like electric can openers, magnifying glasses, or grabber tools help your loved one to stay independent at home. Alternatively, slippers or a new robe are classic, comfortable gifts sure to be appreciated in the winter months.

5. A DIY Unique Gift Basket 

A gift basket is a great option for older adults, especially those living in nursing homes. 

Put together an assortment of favorite snacks, toiletries, and small gifts such as an adult coloring book or personal playing cards to surprise and bring a smile to your loved one.

6. The Latest Tech Gadget

Many older people love to stay up to date with the latest technology. Consider getting them a new cell phone or tablet to help your loved one stay connected and engaged.

An Amazon Echo or “Alexa” has many practical, yet fun features for a senior citizen, such as weather, easy contact, and voice reminders (great for someone living with Alzheimer’s!). This is a must-have for any holiday gift guide.

7. A Gift Card to An Old Favorite 

Does your loved one have a favorite store or restaurant, perhaps out of the way of where they usually travel?

Consider a gift card and use it as an opportunity to spend quality time together and reminisce over favorite memories.

8. Spend a Day Together 

Spending quality time with your loved one shouldn’t be underestimated in the value of a gift. Think of activities that perhaps you previously enjoyed doing with your loved one and adapt them for any challenges your loved one may have now. 

Consider trying a new hobby together. This can be an inexpensive gift that makes your loved one feel appreciated and valued.


Not only are these great gift ideas perfect for Christmas gifts and other winter holidays, but this list can be revisited throughout the year for birthday gifts, Father’s day, and Mother’s day to find a creative gift for the older adult in your loved one.

Whatever you choose, the best gifts for seniors are things that they can use and enjoy.