15 Cheery Gift Ideas for Nursing Home Residents!

Finding the perfect gift, especially for senior citizens and nursing home residents, can sometimes be a challenge. Ultimately, it’s not about spending a lot of money or going overboard, but it’s important to be thoughtful and pick something simple.

Since a little humor and cheer can brighten most days, I’ve come up with 15 gift ideas that are fun, bright and happy, and will be sure to bring joy to your loved one. Consider a gift that will fit your loved one’s personality, help surface great memories, or encourage a little fun.

1. Clown Nose

This gift might seem a little silly, but that’s the point! Who can get away with NOT smiling when someone has a clown nose? Especially if your loved one has a funny personality, this is a great gift idea that’s super simple and unique.

This is a set of 12 clown noses, and each nose is 1.75 inches in diameter. They are perfect for both kids and adults. Consider selecting a set of red clown noses and encourage your loved one to wear one and pass them out to friends and neighbors at the nursing home. We promise, these will have a ripple effect of joy!

Red Foam Clown Nose

View these Red Foam Clown Noses on Amazon

2. Birthday Fortune Telling Book

Who doesn’t love telling fortunes? This is a small but mighty gift, and will be appreciated by a loved one who enjoys remembering facts about family and friends. It’s a special gift because it keeps on giving throughout the year — with a new fortune each day.

Your loved one can ask friends, family, and neighbors to share a signature on the page with their birthdate and have fun reading the fortunes together. The book also has nostalgic illustrations and is super durable, too.

Fortune-Telling Birthday Book

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3-4. Personalized Cards & Fun Pens

For a fun way to spice up a regular handwritten note routine, consider a classy set of monogrammed cards and funny pens as a cheery gift. These won’t go unappreciated as each time your loved one writes a note with a funny pen, they are sure to smile.

Each of these high quality monogrammed cards is made with linen paper and displays an embossed monogram in gold foil. The set includes 10 cards and envelopes. The insides are blank and are ready for personalized notes!

Designer Greetings Monogram Boxed Note Cards in Gold

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Consider bright or funny pens to accompany this beautiful monogram stationary. These flower ball point pens are beautiful and bright. With assorted colors to choose from, your loved one could use a different pen, depending on his or her mood.

Lilac Flower Style Ball-point Pen

View these Flower Style Ball-Point Pens on Amazon

5. Fun Colorful Socks

Colorful socks are a super fun and useful gift for friends in nursing homes. While the temperature can fluctuate in nursing homes, these duds will be really appreciated because of the instant warmth and style they bring.

These three sets of sock options are well made and eye catching. The adorable socks with animal faces are perfect for warming the heart of your loved one. Or, consider a pack of 8 classic art-inspired socks that will surely help strike up some conversations with family, friends, and nursing home neighbors and staff members. Have a super patriotic loved one? The American flag socks will definitely bring on the cheer.

Cartoon Cotton Dog Crew Socks

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Men's Women's Colorful Art Patterned Casual Crew Socks

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Men's Celebrating Americana

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6-7. Dried Lavender & Vase

We all know that flowers are a popular go-to gift and an instant mood lifter. Unfortunately, cut fresh flowers only last so long. Consider a gift of high quality dried lavender — it’s beautiful and stays fragrant for a long time. This dried lavender is from the 2016 harvest at a local farm in Sequim, WA. 

Royal Velvet Lavender Bundles - 14" - 16" Long

View these Lavender Bundles on Amazon

A bunch of dried lavender can be displayed in a vase on a windowsill, table or any surface in your loved one’s room. Pair with a beautiful glass vase to make a statement piece that will be enjoyed every day. This glass vase is handcrafted and has thick walls, so it’s really durable.

Flower Glass Vase Decorative Centerpiece

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8. Digital Photo Frame

Photos and videos can help uncover lots of great memories. Consider making your loved one a custom slideshow or series of slideshows featuring awesome photos and videos to display along with a new digital photo frame. This kind of gift will be appreciated because those memories will be even easier to cherish when they are easily accessible.

This photo frame also comes with a remove control so your loved one can flip through the memories at his or her own pace.

8 inch Hi-Res Digital Photo Frame with Motion Sensor

View this Digital Photo Frame on Amazon

9-10. Essential Oil Diffuser & Happy Oil

Think about giving your loved one a gift that will inspire natural happiness. Different blends of essential oils are known to help boost moods and spirits. This essential oil diffuser has two different mist options to make the aroma strong or weak. Plus, it’s equipped with timer options. The Happy Synergy oil blend is a mix of Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, Cassia, Ginger, and Peppermint oils and was designed to lift spirits and bring zest to a daily routine.

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Wood Grain

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Happy Synergy Essential Oil Blend 10 ml

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11. Big Puzzle

Colorful jigsaw puzzles can be great gifts to help encourage activity and fellowship with neighbors and friends. When days seem long in the nursing home environment, games, and activities can be a good way for folks to get involved and have a little fun. This quality puzzle has a beautiful scene of song birds and is made with 300 pieces and will be a finished size of 21.25 x 15 inches. Plus, this puzzle comes with a poster that can be used for helping solve the puzzle.

300 Large Piece Jigsaw Puzzle of Birds

View this Songbird Menagerie Jigsaw Puzzle on Amazon

12. Fun Bath Puffs

Brighten up a daily routine with something fun! Shower or bath time can be mundane, so think about surprising your loved one with a pack of really fun bath exfoliating puffs that will bring charm and joy to any bathroom, tub, or shower. These puffs are designed to be different pieces of fruit. They are super adorable, high quality, and create a great soap lather.

5pcs Bath Balls Cute Cartoon Animal Bath Sponge Mesh Pouf Shower Balls

View interesting Shower Puffs on Amazon

13-14. Bulletin Board for Photos and Fun Push Pins

Help your loved one bring a little more style and fun to a nursing home room. A stylish bulletin board is not only useful for pinning photos and cards, but it can also help add a focal feature to the room. This fashionable bulletin board is made with natural cork with a modern design pattern and is finished with a wood frame, and measures 20 x 16 x 0.7 inches.

Cork Bulletin Board

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Look at these fun push pins! Pair the bulletin board with some printed photos and a pack or two of really fun push pins. Rubber chicken and mustache push pins will be sure to get some laughs. Plus, they will look super cute on the modern bulletin board.

Rubber Chicken Pushpins - Boxed Set Of 8

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Mustache Push Pins, Set of 8

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15. Fun & Happy Pillows

Super goofy pillows are awesome gifts perfect for bringing some laughter and fun to a nursing home environment. Plus, they can easily be moved around any time to adorn a bed, couch, or chair. Think about buying a really fun pillow or two that would make your loved one smile. I want to suggest a trio of really funny pillows to consider.

A bright and happy face pillow is a cheerful accent, and will definitely help your loved one think of you. The smiley face pillow is 12.5 inches in diameter.

EvZ 32cm Emoji Smiley Emoticon Yellow Round Cushion Stuffed Plush Soft Pillow Toy

View this Emoji Stuffed Pillow on Amazon

Or, is your loved one a fan of sweets or a super sweet person? A giant cupcake treat pillow could be the perfect gift. The yummy pillow is 17 inches high and 17 inches wide.

Pink Icing Cupcake 17" x 17" Photoreal

View this Cupcake Accent Pillow on Amazon

Last but not least, we’re pretty sure this funny cat pillow will bring lots of chuckles — even if your loved one isn’t a cat fan! Seriously, look at that face?! This pillow is 14 inches by 14 inches.

Tache Cute White Persian Cat Microbead Realistic Throw Pillow

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In Summary

Now you’ve got some fun and funky ideas for gifts for your loved one or friend who lives in a nursing home. Think about which gift or kind of gift would make the biggest splash with the person receiving the gift(s). Sometimes, it’s fun to give something really unexpected, so dare to think outside the box. 

We know you’ll choose the right gift for your loved one, so have fun thinking of the reaction these 15 gift ideas will bring and shop away. Remember, shopping is just part of the fun…the feeling you get when you give the perfect gift is really the best part!

Looking for a non-material gift idea? Perhaps one that will last a long time? Here’s our article detailing How Much It Costs to Buy a Star and How to Do It.

Think they would appreciate a gift basket? See our article: Gift Basket Theme Ideas: 25 Under $25!

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  • Many of the residents where my parents live receive no gifts at Christmas. My brother, sister and I would like to make sure every resident gets a gift. What is something you would recommend to give to someone we don’t know or don’t know well?



    • Hillary M. Miller says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Marcy,

      That’s a wonderful idea! For non-personal, fairly universal gifts, I know a close friend of mine who did a Christmas version of the “dried lavender in a vase” gift to make little holiday-themed vases or jars for all of her coworkers. These can be used to hold flowers, decorative branches, or tealights (real or battery-operated). Pinterest abounds with variations on this theme. Another great option is the increasingly popular hot cocoa mix ornaments, maybe along with a fun holiday mug. These are both pretty simple to make or buy and I think they would be great holiday gifts for people that you don’t know very well. I hope this helps (and thank you on behalf of those residents)!