christmas gift ideas elderly

16 Christmas Gift Ideas for Your Elderly Loved Ones in Singapore

Looking for Christmas presents for your elderly loved ones? Get some unique ideas on what to gift your loved ones this Christmas season.

by Elaine Francis, R.N.

Christmas is a time for loving and giving, but it can be hard to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, especially as they get older. To make the season of giving that little bit easier on you this year, here are 16 things you can get as Christmas presents for the elderly folks in your life.

1. Medicine organiser

Pill organizer

Source: Amazon.com

A medicine organiser can be a thoughtful, practical gift for organising a complex array of medication tablets or vitamins. Say goodbye to boring medicine boxes labelled from Monday to Sunday — you can now find medicine organisers in more fun designs! These include those that beep when it is time for your grandparents to have their daily medication or those that dispense pills automatically at a set time every day. 

2. Massage pillows

A home massage doesn’t have to mean employing a masseuse — massaging cushions, seat covers, and pillows are widely available! Soothe aching muscles with movement and pressure and choose a gently heated option for arthritis pain. There’s a huge range of home massage equipment available, so there should be a choice to suit most budgets.

3. Insulated water bottle

When it comes to a practical gift, an insulated tumbler or water bottle is hard to beat. Your elderly loved ones can use them to keep their drinks hot or cold for up to 24 hours, depending on which you get. Best of all, they’ll be more inclined to make the best use of your gift — a win if your loved ones don’t hydrate themselves enough!

Source: The Planet Traveller

Many insulated tumblers also come with larger bottle caps that have a handle, which are easier to open for older folks who may find it challenging to open up small bottle caps. Some even have a built-in straw for even greater accessibility.

Get yours from local retailers or order one from Shopee or Lazada.

4. A photo album

In this digital age, most of us would no longer have the habit of printing out our photos. After all, our digital photos are easily accessed on our mobile phones and digital devices. But having a hard copy of our memories in a photo album just makes for better reminiscing.

An image of a family sitting together to look at a photo album

Source: Pexels

Consider compiling photographs of your elderly loved ones and you — for instance, from birthday parties, family dinners, vacations, and more special moments you’ve shared with them — and printing them out to keep in a photo album. If you’re feeling particularly creative, there’s the option of creating a scrapbook or decorating your photo album! A gift like this is sure to make your loved ones feel special and remind them of all the great times you’ve spent with them, and a subtle way to tell them just how much you appreciate their presence and love in your life.

5. Ancestry records

Going a little beyond the immediate family tree, you can also get records of genealogy based on DNA tests. This usually involves taking a little swab from inside a cheek or a small specimen of saliva, so it won’t be a total surprise when you gift your loved one their results. DNA-based ancestry records can give you fascinating insights into your family’s cultural and geographical origins which may bring up some interesting conversations. You can even choose to connect with people who share some DNA with you, and people have found long-lost relatives this way.

Genetic ancestry records can show you how your most ancient ancestors migrated around the world, as well as where your more recent forbears came from. DNA websites can also use your genetic makeup to tell you a little about your own health and traits. This ranges from the fun stuff – whether you’re genetically predisposed to like the taste of coriander, or to have wet or dry earwax – to more serious things, like whether you have a genetic likelihood for developing certain diseases.

6. Donate to a charitable cause

What to get for the person who seems to have everything they want and need? It doesn’t have to be a material gift to contribute to the piling clutter at home. Why not give a gift of giving? Choose a charity that’s close to the heart of your loved one and make a one-off or regular donation. Some charities even send photographs and updates on how your donation is helping their cause! The National Heritage Board might be of interest to older residents who are keen to support the upkeep of Singapore’s cultural heritage.

7. Memory boxes

For a truly personalised Christmas present for elderly folks, there’s nothing better than a DIY memory box. Our older loved ones have a wealth of experience to share, and we can help to secure those memories. That’s not to mention that we might get a few good stories out of it too.

Fill a lovely gift box with things that will mark important times in your relatives’ lives. It could include newspapers from the day their children were born, a keepsake from their wedding, photographs and letters from old friends, nostalgic jewellery and personal items that will bring back happy memories.

For those of us whose loved ones haven’t kept many items from their earlier lives, perhaps something like a reproduction of a loved childhood game – even a bag of marbles or some favourite childhood snacks could be a thoughtful and fun gift. Adding in popular magazines, music, and television programmes from your loved one’s younger days can provoke some fascinating memories, and give them something interesting to do, too!

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8. Books or an e-reader

For book lovers, a personalised choice of reading material can be a lovely gift. It could be a novel that you think would interest the recipient, or one of your favourites to share. A non-fiction book may be of interest too, and you could consider one that would be relevant to some significant historical events that your relative lived through or one of their interests or hobbies.

Book subscription packages are also available, specially curated according to taste. Some send out new books every month!

An image of a person holding an e-reader in the outdoors. An example of a Christmas present for the elderly.

Source: Pexels

It’s important that our loved ones can enjoy their presents, and it may be helpful to find a book with a large print or other accessibility options built in. For instance, a Kobo or a Kindle may be useful if your loved one finds it difficult to read small text, as digital e-readers allow you to zoom in or out of a text depending on your preferences. 

9. Audiobook subscriptions

Audiobooks can be especially invaluable for those whose eyesight isn’t quite what it used to be, or when our levels of alertness and concentration can be unpredictable. There’s huge value in being able to lose yourself in a good book; it opens up a world beyond our reach – we can learn, enjoy escapism, fantasy, nostalgia, and find ourselves connecting deeply with an author we’ve never met. Amazon’s audiobook platform Audible has a comprehensive range of audiobooks on subscription or single purchase, or you can set your loved one up with the National Library Board’s Overdrive app for free listens.

Reading takes a certain kind of effort and requires some dexterity and visual acuity that aren’t always easy – simply having enough time to sit and read isn’t always possible for all of us. A lot of people find audiobooks more accessible and particularly enjoy the flexibility of being able to enjoy a book while pottering around the home or engaged in other activities. With a subscription to an audiobook provider, your loved one can choose a new text every month, and relish the relaxation, education, excitement or any other of the benefits of a good book.

10. Bedding, throws, and cushions

Hygge is the concept of comfort, of being cosy and comfortable. It’s the Scandinavian sensation that’s sweeping the world!  It’s no surprise that the concept of being snug as a philosophy for life comes from some of the coldest countries in the world, but in sunnier climates, we can still take a leaf out of their book. Creating contentment through comfortable spaces for our elderly loved ones is a lovely idea. A gift of a rich fabric throw or some soft cushions can help create a sense of comfort in their living environment and improve their well-being.

A luxurious gift set of new bedding is always welcome at Christmas, and with a thread count and design to suit every taste and budget, deluxe bed linen sets are widely available. Kapas is just one of the vendors offering special bedding sets for Christmas.

11. Freshly baked goodies

Log cakes from Delcie's Desserts and Cakes. Example of a christmas present for the elderly.

Source: Delcie’s Desserts and Cakes

The smell of freshly baked bread and pastries can’t be beaten, so a gift of a delicious basket of oven-fresh treats is bound to go down well. Konditori’s baked goodies are delivered freshly baked and are delicious. For diabetics who need alternatives to sugar-filled treats, these diabetic-friendly cakes and bakes might just do the trick. For a personalised touch, you can add a handwritten note with festive greetings as well.

12. Christmas hampers

Image of a christmas hamper from Simple Hampers in Singapore. Example of a christmas present for the elderly.

Source: Simply Hamper

What’s more exciting than a hamper? You can get them ready-made to suit almost any taste and budget and with a range of choices for different dietary requirements and age groups. Simply Hamper’s Christmas range includes wine, chocolate, biscuits, and even fresh-cut flowers with speedy delivery.

Alternatively, you can buy a wicker basket, some fancy tissue paper and cellophane and create your own, with a hand-picked selection of treats. The good thing about making a hamper yourself is getting to choose the items you think the recipient of the gift will like best. It also means you can avoid some of the generic items that are commonly found in shop-bought hampers. That’s because some of your loved ones are better off avoiding alcohol, or may have specific dietary requirements.

13. Sweet scents

Interest in self-care has taken the gift industry to new heights when it comes to scented gifts. Beyond the standard boxed bubble bath and shower gel gift sets, you can now find the most fabulous treats for pampering your loved ones. Find out whether they prefer baths or showers, and whether they need any support with personal care to guide your choices. Perfumes, sprays, talcs and scented candles are always welcome for those who find bathing a more practical than enjoyable activity! A Handmade Heroes build-your-own gift set can be tailored to suit any taste, and you’ll know you’re supporting an ethical, sustainable business.

14. A home-cooked meal

Hampers and luxury subscription boxes are wonderful, but you can’t beat a practical gift. A homemade meal made with love and boxed up in individual portions so that they can warm up a nice dinner for themselves can be a lovely gift. As we get older, especially with some of the health conditions that become more common as we age, we can suffer from fatigue and simply not have the energy or inclination to look after ourselves. Giving our elderly friends and family a gift of a nourishing home-cooked meal that they can easily heat and eat is good for their physical and mental health.  

On top of a home-cooked meal, professionally prepared meals at home are another great practical way to help your older relatives stay happy and healthy. For this, Nutrition Kitchen offers a fantastic meal delivery service, with food created and prepared by top chefs for your loved ones.

15. Tipples and drinks

The occasional cocktail, glass of wine or spirit can be a relaxing treat, and a nice bottle of your loved one’s tipple of choice can be a great gift. The paraphernalia that accompanies some drinks can also be very beautiful, so a bar set, ice bucket or set of lovely glasses alongside their favourite boozy drink is a good addition to a responsible gift.

Subscription boxes can provide your loved one with a regular bottle of something special, delivered to their home every month and with a wide range of packages to choose from. The Wala Club’s sake and wine subscription might be just what you’re looking for.

Remember, alcohol can cause serious problems for some people and can interact with some medications, so be sure that it’s right for the person you’re buying the gift for.

16. Anything that’s made with love

The cost of Christmas gifts can soar, especially for larger families. There can be a lot of pressure to spend extravagantly during the holiday season. If you’re trying to keep the costs manageable this Christmas, hand-made cards and crafty gifts are always welcome. If you have a young family, getting children involved in making presents or baking a cake for a grandparent is a lovely way to bond and forge closer connections. You can show your loved ones that their family cares about them while teaching younger members of the family the importance of kindness and thinking of others.

Key Takeaways

Giving gifts and showing love to our loved ones during this yuletide season is a way of keeping the spirit of Christmas alive. Aside from the material things that we could give our loved ones, we can also show our love to them by providing the best care possible.

Homage provides caregiving services for your loved ones at every stage. Our trained care professionals are able to provide companionship, nursing care, night caregiving, home therapy and more, to keep your loved ones active and engaged. 

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About the Writer
Elaine Francis, R.N.
Elaine Francis is a registered nurse with 17 years’ experience in healthcare. She turned to writing to follow her passion for realistic medical communication. She loves translating medical jargon into accessible language for the people who need to understand it most. When she’s not writing or working on a busy cardiology unit, she spends her time telling her children to hurry up.
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