Shopping for our parents and/or grandparents can be quite the challenge. Senior loved ones have received a lifetime of gifts, but over the years, their needs have changed.

STOCKING STUFFERS
Stocking stuffers are a favorite part of Christmas shopping, but many people get stuck in this area, especially with buying for senior citizens. Find a good balance between items that are fun and practical.

It’s okay to throw in a gag gift or two as long as you know it won’t hurt their feelings, and it’s okay to come up with something boring that you know they need, like a pair of socks.

The nice part about stocking stuffers is that you can use the same list year after year, since many of the items will need replacing.

A few ideas to get you started:

- Lip balm
- Small flashlight
- Button pins (“World’s Best Grandma”, etc.)
- Key chain (photo, quote, favorite animal)
- Shoelaces
- Magnets
- Change purse
- Hand exercisers
- Perfume
- Knitting needles or crochet hooks
- Lotion
- Gloves
- Stress balls
- Magnifying glass
- Winter hats
- Candy
- Air freshener plug-ins
- Socks
- Walker bags
- Playing cards
- Sunglasses

PRACTICAL GIFTS
If you’re looking for practical holiday gifts for loved ones in assisted-living, consider these suggestions:

- Activity books for visiting grandchildren
- Lap desk
- Reusable water bottle
- Custom photo book from a photo website
- Wall or desk calendar (Consider making a custom photo one!)
- Personalized coffee mug
- Memory box with pictures and mementos
- Cozy bathrobe
- House shoes/slippers (non-skid soles)
- Humidifier
- Neck pillow
- Postage stamps
- Heating pad
- Handheld shower head
- Throw blanket
- Christmas quilt
- Touch lights
- Gel soles
- Stationery
- Novelty pill organizer
- Wheelchair tray
- Foot spa
- Ultrasonic denture cleaner
- Holiday themed mug
- Arthritis-friendly eating utensils (The Arthritis Foundation has a list of easy-to-use exercise, hobby and home items for seniors with arthritis or limited joint mobility.)

Spending time with the senior, whether it’s a lunch or dinner out, or even just an hour spent listening, can be an amazing gift. Beyond that, here are some other ideas for items you can purchase or make for a senior loved one:

- Trinket boxes
- Pretty serving trays
- Table cloth
- Desk accessories
- Word search
- Audio book with a CD player
- Decorative plate
- Framed art prints or photos
- Homemade gift basket of their favorite cookies, candies, jams, crackers, cheeses, meats or other snacks
- Coin bank
- Puzzle
- House plant (non-toxic)
- Clock
- Knitting and crochet materials
- Stuffed animals
- Retro candy
- Children’s art projects
- Adult coloring book
- Silk flowers