Holiday Gift Ideas for Senior Hoosiers

Holiday shopping can be tricky. Do you lean more towards practical or personal presents? Older loved ones can be especially hard to shop for, as they seem to have it all — lifetimes of knick-knacks and keepsakes. How can you shower them with gifts that are new and different but also avoid cluttering their homes?

To keep up with its mission of being “local, helpful and personal,” CarDon & Associates — an Indiana-based senior living management company — compiled these staff picks of presents for seniors this holiday season! From space-saving gifts with universal appeal to Hoosier-specific ideas, you’ll surely find something for your loved ones on this list.

Aura Frame (pictured right): “Imagine a digital picture frame with rotating photos added in real time, and you have the Aura Frame! To capture and share life’s many happy moments as soon as they happen, family members can simply email photos to the frame, where they will show up in a matter of seconds. This is an especially great gift for keeping loved ones connected to festivities if they won’t be able to visit during the holidays.” With a premium subscription plan, you can also include photo captions, create photo albums and send videos. Perhaps best of all, a digital frame is a great space saver for collecting memories. You can order this product here. — Kendra Fauth-Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer

The Simple Music Player: Reminiscent of an old-fashioned home radio, this music player instantly takes listeners down memory lane. Research shows that listening to familiar music improves mood and awareness in older adults facing memory loss. This music player works right out of the box with pre-loaded American classics, but gift-givers can also upload songs themselves, gathering all of their loved one’s favorites. “We loaded a mixture of my mom’s favorite songs, and she absolutely loves it! It keeps her company and brightens her spirits. We can also enjoy it together by reminiscing about when we first heard and fell in love with these songs.” Manufactured by SiMPL Technology, the Simple Music Player is available on Amazon, and it also ships for free from the MindCare Store and the Alzheimer’s Store. — Susan Bonner, Director of Marketing

Photo Shoot: The Internet has made it easier than ever to book photographers. Try Honeybook or PhotoSesh, and plan your own holiday-themed family photo shoot for grandma, grandpa and the whole family to enjoy!

Storyworth: This is a great gift for engaging a parent or grandparent’s memory. With a Storyworth subscription, they are emailed a question each week, and at the end of a year, Storyworth will bind their life stories into a beautiful hardcover book. “I love the book because it brings back good memories and allows my loved ones to share them with future generations.” Go to to start a book for your loved one. — Jen Barnhart, Director of Product Integration & Business Development

Personalized Picture Blanket: Go online or head to Bed Bath & Beyond or Walmart to wrap your loved one in a warm blanket of memories over the holidays. What better way for them to curl up on the couch than with a cozy collage of pictures? This is an ideal gift, as it’s practical and personal, and it doesn’t take up as much room as photo albums. (Jen’s parents and children pictured on the right.)

The Gift of Experience: Make new memories over the holidays with experience-based gifts for your loved ones. These are great alternatives to material gifts if you’re having trouble filling their stockings. “Visit the Indiana Historical Society’s Festival of Trees with them or take them to the Indiana Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration. Getting tickets to fun, festive events like these will surely help make the season bright!” —  Beth Cattoi, Regional Director of Marketing (pictured with her mother below)

Book Club for Two: A book is a more traditional, physical gift, but you can make it special by sharing the reading experience with your loved one. Buy a copy for yourself, set mutual reading goals and schedule a time to meet with them — either virtually or in person — to discuss the book. What a beautiful way to bond!

Splurging on Something They Wouldn’t: “I love to find dependable splurge items for my parents — stuff they’d never spend the money on. Ugg is my go-to brand for slippers and cozy blankets. My parents fussed at me for ‘spending so much on slippers,’ but now it’s something they can’t live without. The slippers are nonslip, durable and super warm and fuzzy! The following year, I found the Ugg sherpa blanket for my dad, and it was another winner.” — Laurie Lasbury, Director of Community Engagement (Laurie’s mom pictured above)