Gifts for Seniors: Make Life Fun

(and maybe a little easier!)

Well-chosen gifts for active seniors
are fun to own, to use, or to do,
and good exercise for mind and body!

Seniors blessed with health and energy are good candidates for gifts involving some physical activity. But bear in mind that your senior may be starting to slow down just a bit, and be sure to match the gift to his or her abilities.

Gifts for Seniors: happy granddad It's fun to select gifts for seniors who are active, curious and rarin' to go - and who have the time to pursue their interests!
Gifts for Seniors: smiling grandma

Educational Travel. Beyond sightseeing and shopping, educational travelers share a desire to discover the history, culture and inhabitants of places they visit. Many long term friendships are developed on educational travel adventures - an added gift!

The whole family might join in giving an educational travel adventure to honor a major occasion such as retirement or a 50th wedding anniversary. (Tips when giving a group gift). Educational travel is a great intergenerational activity, too, and adventures with their grandchildren are wonderful gifts for grandparents.

Gifts for Seniors: 3-generation adventure
© Libby Graphics, all rights reserved.

Here are three excellent organizations specializing in educational travel:
  • Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel), "the world's largest educational and travel organization for older adults," has thousands of programs yearly, both domestic and international. They also offer intergenerational, volunteer, and floating educational adventures, along with day, weekend, and low activity level experiences. Visit the Road Scholar website for details about these exciting gifts for seniors.

  • National Geographic Expeditions often include visits to their research sites and an opportunity to meet the scientists and authors of their magazine articles. At National Geographic Expeditions, you can search by expedition type such as archaeology, family, photography, rail trips, wildlife/nature. You can also order an expedition catalog and sign up for a free e-mail newsletter with updates on new trips, special offers, and expedition reports.

  • Smithsonian Journeys offers both domestic and international programs - available to members only - which include weekends, family programs, and cruises. Their website Smithsonian Journeys has subscription/membership information and information about their journeys.

Gifts for Seniors: cycling
Many retirees are eager to take up a new interest or devote more hours to a favorite pastime. Do a little detective work to find out what they are doing or planning. You might even spark their interest in a new activity. A piece of gear or equipment, or some lessons, or a magazine subscription related to their interests are great gifts for seniors who have recently retired.

Your senior may enjoy one of these activities:

  • Gifts for Seniors: fish storyAstronomy
  • Birding
  • Boating, canoeing, kayaking, sailing
  • Caning chairs
  • Cooking or barbecuing
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Gifts for Seniors: music
  • Flying, gliding, ballooning
  • Gardening
  • Golfing
  • Home improvement
  • Needlework or sewing
  • Painting, arts & crafts
  • Photography
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Gifts for Seniors: tennis
  • Quilting
  • Scuba diving, snorkeling
  • Tennis or racquetball
  • Woodworking

Food-of-the-month baskets are excellent gifts for seniors who enjoy getting together with friends to play cards or other games. For example, a bridge player is sure to enjoy a "My Grandma's" Coffee Cake of the Month - and the company really was started by a grandma. When your gift has expired, your senior's bridge club may decide to all pitch in on a 12-month membership!

Gifts for Seniors: senior at computerA computer could be the perfect gift for a senior. The Internet is truly a window on the world that helps to combat feelings of isolation. If your senior resists this newfangled idea, schedule a few visits that include a half hour of tutoring about email and web searching. A written list of each and every step, in order - which key to press and exactly where to click - will encourage your senior to experiment by him/herself. Once the basics are demystified, your senior's confidence (and appreciation) will blossom!

Computer accessories or software are good gifts for grandparents who are already computer literate. Geneaology or garden planning software, crossword puzzles, or well-chosen computer games are entertaining possibilities, along with accessories like an ergonomic keyboard. Affordable for kids is a mouse pad imprinted with their original drawings.

Many seniors wish to earn an income after "retirement" - out of necessity, or to provide an occasional luxury, or for something interesting to do. Some wish to start a business at home but don't know where to begin. A website is a thoughtful gift for a senior that can make these wishes come true. We call it a Unique Gift that's Trendy and Versatile and invite you to check it out!

If they make life more fun, and maybe
a bit easier, your gifts for seniors
will be right on target!

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Explore online resources for the over-50 age group via SeniorsSearch at Wired Seniors.

Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, courtesy of
Other uncaptioned graphics courtesy of Microsoft.