Inexpensive Christmas gifts for older people

Finding the perfect gift at Christmas can be frustrating. If you need to buy a present for an older person it can be particularly difficult to know what to get them. But it shouldn’t have to be! Why not get creative with your gifts this year, and avoid the shops, the stress and the expense! Spread some Christmas holiday cheer with these wonderful, inexpensive gift ideas.


Take a selfie

Well, maybe not a selfie, but grab as many old photos as you can find and create a special photo album for your loved one with all those happy memories. Photos are a fantastic gift for older people, as they can act as visual stimulants, especially for persons with dementia. The positive image association can provide older people with a peaceful sense of nostalgia and can be a very calming and soothing activity. You may choose to theme the album, for example, recent photos of family, or photos from when they were younger, or pictures from their sporting days. If you don’t have time to cut and paste, you can use an online site, which can be relatively inexpensive. Simply upload a selection of pictures, and they post you out a ready-made album.



At any age, it can be difficult to remember all the important dates throughout the year, so why not create a personalised calendar for an older friend or neighbour. Add in dates of interest, such as family birthdays, holidays or special occasions.  You can even customise it with pictures and photos for each month.


Make a video

If you live far away from your relative, you may not get to see them at Christmas. Why not create a goofy little video featuring all the family with a special message.



It may be old fashioned but it’s a great present for an older person. Very often, they may find it difficult to purchase CDs from some older artists they enjoy, so why not make them a homemade CD with old-time songs they will remember? Music can be a very therapeutic and beneficial to a person’s mental health. It can positively affect a person’s mood and help reduce stress. It’s also the perfect gift for a partner, sibling or friend. You can decorate the CD case with a special message (use a sharpie pen) for that extra special touch.


To read more about the music therapy in our care homes click here.


Christmas mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness is a very soothing pastime that creates a sense of wellbeing and connectedness. Giving a gift of a mindfulness colouring book and some colouring  pencils can act as a stress reliever, as colouring can help to focus the mind and inspire creativity and happiness. Try to avoid mindfulness colouring books with very small pieces, and opt instead for lager print templates which will be easier for older persons to colour.


A scented gift

Smell can be a powerful tool to assist older people to remember, particularly those with Alzheimer’s. Why not give your older friend a gift that will remind them of older times, when Christmas smelled like cloves and oranges. A basket with some scented potpourri satchels is a lovely gift, or surprise them with a familiar smell, or fragrance in the form of a perfume or a scented soap. Avoid objects like candles or incense which could be dangerous.


Frame it!

Everyone has a frame floating around in the attic that they never use, so pull it out and put it to good use. There are endless ways to fill a frame without having to find the time to go and get photos printed. You can print off an inspiring quote in quirky font at home or get the kids to draw their finest work of art. Use these to fill the frame and wrap it up for a unique and wonderful present that will take pride of place on their mantel piece. For a spouse or friend, swap out the kids’ paintings for a montage of photos, or concert and travel tickets of things you have done together.


Jolly Mason Jars

You can pick up jars of all shapes and sizes in your local euro or Dealz store. Fill them with a selection of items for an inexpensive gift. If your older relative lives in a care home, you may choose to fill the jar with handwritten activities, such as “complete a Sudoku” or “swap a magazine”. Your relative can select an item prior to your visits during the year and it will give them anticipation for each meeting. Tie a nice bow around the lid, or stick on a handmade label and voilà! You have your present.



The last gift, and the most precious of all, is the gift of time. Simply spending a short amount of time with an older relative can really make their day, so do try to make a special effort to pop in and say ‘hello’ during the Christmas season.



For more ideas on how to help combat loneliness among the elderly this Christmas, see our top ten tips here.


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