Finding the perfect gift, especially for senior citizens and nursing home residents, can be a challenge. Ultimately, it’s not about spending a lot of money or going overboard, but about being thoughtful and picking something simple.
Since a little humor and cheer can brighten most days, we’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, remind them of great memories, or encourage a little fun.
Who can get away with NOT smiling when someone has a clown nose? If your loved one has a silly sense of humor, this is a great gift idea that’s super simple and unique. 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. And, they can double as Rudolph noses during the Christmas season!
View red foam clown noses on Amazon (paid partner link)
Birthday Fortune Telling Book
A fortune-telling birthday book 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.
View fortune-telling birthday books on Amazon (paid partner link)
Personalized Cards & Fun Pens
If your loved one enjoys writing notes or sending cards, consider a set of monogrammed note cards and unique pens. Bright or funny ballpoint pens will add an extra touch of joy any time your loved one writes a note.
View monogram note cards on Amazon (paid partner link)
View floral ballpoint pens on Amazon (paid partner link)
Fun Colorful Socks
Colorful socks are a cheerful and useful gift for friends or family members in nursing homes, bringing both warmth and style as temperatures fluctuate. Choose an animal print, art-inspired socks, or an American flag print, depending on your loved one’s interests.
View dog-themed socks on Amazon (paid partner link)
View art-themed socks on Amazon (paid partner link)
View flag-themed socks on Amazon (paid partner link)
Dried Lavender & Vase
Flowers are a popular go-to gift and can be an instant mood lifter. Unfortunately, fresh-cut flowers only last so long. Consider high-quality dried lavender — it’s beautiful and stays fragrant for a long time. You can display a bunch of dried lavender in a vase on a windowsill, table, or any surface in your loved one’s room. Choose a vase made of thick-walled glass for extra durability.
View dried lavender bundles on Amazon (paid partner link)
View vases on Amazon (paid partner link)
Digital Photo Frame
Photos and videos can help uncover a lot of great memories. Consider making your loved one a custom slideshow or series of slideshows featuring awesome pictures 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. Choose a photo frame that comes with a remote control so your loved one can flip through the memories at his or her own pace.
View digital photo frames on Amazon (paid partner link)
Essential Oil Diffuser & Happy Oil
Different blends of essential oils are said to help boost moods. An essential oil diffuser and happiness-themed oil will add a relaxing vibe to your loved one’s room, scent the room nicely, and hopefully lift their spirits. Look for scents with fruity notes like grapefruit and lemon or blends that contain peppermint oil.
View essential oil diffusers on Amazon (paid partner link)
View happiness-themed essential oils on Amazon (paid partner link)
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 have fun together. Choose a beautiful scene of songbirds, a seaside landscape, or any other design you think your loved one will enjoy.
View jigsaw puzzles on Amazon (paid partner link)
Fun Bath Puffs
Brighten up your loved one’s daily routine with something fun! Shower or bath time can be mundane, so think about surprising your loved one with a pack of colorful, kitschy exfoliating puffs that will bring charm to any tub or shower. The loofahs below look like different pieces of fruit — equal parts useful and adorable.
View shower puffs on Amazon (paid partner link)
Bulletin Board for Photos and Fun Push Pins
Help your loved one bring a little more style and fun to their bedroom. A cork bulletin board is not only useful for pinning photos and cards, but it can also help add a focal feature to the room.
Pair the bulletin board with some printed photos and a pack or two of bright, fun pushpins. Pushpins come in a great variety of colors, shapes, and patterns, from animal themes to retro polka dot prints.
View cork boards on Amazon (paid partner link)
View animal pushpins on Amazon (paid partner link)
View bright and patterned pushpins on Amazon (paid partner link)
Fun & Happy Pillows
Super goofy pillows are 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 fun pillow or two that would make your loved one smile.
A bright and happy emoji pillow is a cheerful accent. If your loved one loves sweets (or is a sweet person), a giant cupcake pillow could be the perfect gift. And, if your loved one loves animals, a pillow featuring a dog or cat’s face will bring smiles and chuckles each time they look at it.
View emoji pillows on Amazon (paid partner link)
View cupcake accent pillows on Amazon (paid partner link)
View cat pillows on Amazon (paid partner link)
Looking for a non-material gift idea? Perhaps one that will last a long time? See our article detailing how much it costs to buy a star and how to do it.