19 Gifts for Nursing Home Residents That Show You Care

Brighten their day with these thoughtful and practical gifts.

Published November 30, 2023
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Finding the perfect gift for a nursing home resident can feel overwhelming, but the key is considering the personality of the recipient. Even though grandma may say she doesn't really need anything, there are some gifts that will make life easier for those in care facilities. Whether you choose a practical gift like a walker bag or a meaningful present like a custom photobook, it is the thought that counts.

When it comes to choosing gifts for nursing home residents, it's important to think practically. While flowers are attractive and bring a feeling of warmth, they often come in containers that are too cumbersome for the resident to move about the room. Before purchasing or making gifts for nursing home patients, consider space and what your loved one will need. We've compiled a list of 19 gift ideas for the special people in your life that are perfectly practical without sacrificing fun. 

Many nursing homes have art therapy as part of their regular programming, but even so, your loved one may not get enough of this creative time. Several studies indicate that creating art can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression in the senior population, and it may even reduce cognitive decline. This 162-piece art set offers lots of different options that are easy to explore, including colored pencils, watercolor paints, art papers, and more.


Elderly people often feel cold throughout the day. A wheelchair blanket like this one can solve this problem. The plush fleece fabric feels incredibly soft against their skin, and the built-in pocket keeps their hands toasty warm. This blanket is a functional, comfortable, and thoughtful gift that doesn't just take up space.

Throughout life, your friend or loved one has taken care of growing things like children, pets, and garden plants. This experience of caring for something living can help someone feel useful and fulfilled, but it's difficult to replicate in the nursing home setting. This six-piece succulent garden requires minimal care, so your loved one can watch it thrive without worrying about forgetting to water it. 

While a walker is great for those with mobility challenges, it makes it difficult to carry things in your hands. You can provide practical help by giving them a walker bag like this one to store personal items. Not only is it convenient, but a bag encourages getting out of the room because your grandparent or parent can move about the assisted living facility with everything they need right within reach.


Help your loved one welcome people to their room with this beautiful door decoration. The wood and metal construction adds a rustic touch, and the sweet bird accent has beautiful detailing. The built-in chain makes it easy to hang, and the durable design is a great choice for a nursing home door since other residents may touch it or bump it. 

Grippy socks can help avoid falls, and they don't have to be boring. This set of seven colorful pairs features a fuzzy polyester and elastane fabric that makes them supremely soft with just the right amount of stretch. Rubberized details on the soles keep them from slipping and prevent serious injuries. Feet get cold during the night, but if slippers aren't at the ready, socks with grips can make all the difference.

A personalized photo book like this one from Shutterfly can make a great gift for elderly friends and family. Tell about fun life events, such as family trips and adventures, or make a storybook about how your loved one met his or her spouse. You can even create multiple storybooks to tell about a person's life. These books make great gifts for dementia patients in nursing homes, too, since they can prompt the person to remember special times.


Everyone loves the challenge of crossword puzzles, and this book of large print puzzles would make a fun and affordable gift. In addition, they're also practical. Studies reveal participation in crossword puzzles by elderly people as a factor in the delay of memory decline. The spiral-bound style is perfect for elderly people who want to fold back the book or even rip out pages.

A variation on a crossword puzzle book or an art supply kit, this adult coloring book can keep your loved one creatively challenged. This book is also available in large print, so even those with failing vision will be able to enjoy it. If your parent, grandparent, or older friend or relative is struggling with manual dexterity, this simpler coloring book can help keep them from getting frustrated.

The air conditioning and heat in care facilities can be drying for the skin, but hand and body lotion like this one from Avalon Organics can help. It's formulated with organic botanicals and essential oils, and the deeply moisturizing plant-based formula hydrates delicate skin without causing irritation. The soothing lavender scent creates a calming effect that makes it perfect for their nighttime routine.


Just because your loved one is aging doesn't mean she doesn't want to be pampered or feel feminine. Nail polish is an inexpensive and special gift for a nursing home resident, and it's even more meaningful if you paint her nails for her. Pick up a few bottles of pretty polish (like this set from Nicole Miller) and stop by the care home to apply it. You can chat or just sit together as you paint her nails, and she'll be excited about the new shade.

Monthly subscription boxes make excellent gifts for the elderly in nursing homes since it gives them something to look forward to every month. This flower subscription box from BloomsyBox sends a fresh new bouquet of gorgeous flowers right to her door, and you can choose from monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly delivery schedules. 

Photo companies can make any family picture into a jigsaw puzzle, and this one from Shutterfly can make a thoughtful gift for nursing home residents. Choose a puzzle with a level of complexity that's appropriate for the person, and then select a family photo that will be wonderful to see when the puzzle is constructed. You can even laminate the puzzle or mount it to a backing for display in the nursing home room.


This digital photo frame offers an ever-changing display of photos for your loved one to enjoy. You can pre-load it with photos before gifting it and continue updating it remotely so they can feel close to you even when you're far away. Help the resident set the frame up in an easy-view location on an end table or nightstand. This one can hold over 80,000 photos, so they'll never be stuck looking at repeats.

Add this bird feeder to the outside of your loved one's window. It sticks directly to the window via strong suction cups, which gives your loved one a front-row seat to birds right outside the window. The large capacity means they won't have to re-fill it with seed as often, and it comes pre-packaged in a beautiful box for easy gifting.

Keep your loved one warm while helping him or her feel loved with a custom photo blanket from Snapfish. This gift will keep your giftee warm and spark memories and nostalgia as she looks at the faces and the places that she loves. Choose from a variety of blanket options and upload up to 30 photos to create a truly unique gift they'll love cuddling up with.


If your loved one is in a wheelchair, it can get very uncomfortable sitting in the same position for long periods. A well-made cushion eliminates discomfort and even protects the skin, and this water-resistant option adds everyday comfort. The gel core relieves the pressure in their joints, and the built-in handle adds a convenient detail. It comes in a variety of sizes, so you can find a customized fit.

Many care facilities have a large laundry area where residents' clothing can get mixed up. To prevent items from going missing, give that special person some name labels for clothing like this 108-piece set. The no-iron design is perfect for nursing home residents because they won't have to maneuver a hot and heavy iron that could lead to injury. They cannot be removed from items easily and are safe for both the washer and dryer.

Provided it doesn't conflict with any dietary restrictions, a great gift for a nursing home resident is a favorite home-cooked meal or snack. Even if the care facility has good food, it can't beat a special recipe or comforting dish. Why not gift them this cookbook of classic comfort meals and let them pick out a dish for you to make for the two of you? You'll both get a delicious dinner out of it, so this gift is a true win-win.

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19 Gifts for Nursing Home Residents That Show You Care