Dear Donna:

We recently moved my mother-in-law to an assisted living community in Holland, Michigan. The process of downsizing for the move required her to part with many of her belongings, and it was still a tight fit to get her settled and find a place for everything.

With Mother’s Day approaching, we aren’t sure what to get her for a gift or how to plan a celebration. She doesn’t have very much space for more “stuff” and the community where she lives now provides almost everything she could want or need.

Do you have any suggestions for gifts? Or for planning our celebration? We feel like it is important to make the day extra special for her this year.

Kind Regards,



Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Seniors in an Assisted Living Community

Dear Tami:
Your question is one we often receive this time of year, especially from families who are new to assisted living.

Our first suggestion is to talk to the team at your mother-in-laws assisted living community. They can offer suggestions for reserving more space at the community if you need it, as well as for helping to make arrangements for food.

As far as gift ideas, here is a list of ideas we’ve noticed have been popular with our residents in past years:

  • A family calendar that has family members’ birthdays and anniversaries marked, along with family photos on each month’s page
  • A handmade coupon book with vouchers to trade in for outings to the mall or a local restaurant, help with their computer, a trip to a local spa or another favorite treat
  • A digital scrapbook or family video
  • A photo bouquet of family pictures
  • Gift certificate for the in-house beauty/barber shop
  • A custom gift basket with items she can use to pamper herself, such as essential oils, lotions and other beauty products
  • A gift card to a clothing store
  • A pedometer or fitness tracker
  • A fruit-of-the-month club membership
  • Gift cards to a restaurant and/or movie theater
  • Gift card to their favorite craft or hobby store
  • A tablet device they can use for connecting on social media and email
  • A bird feeder to place outside their window along with seed
  • A basket of DVDs, games and puzzles to enjoy when the grandkids visit

Finally, don’t overlook the more traditional Mother’s Day gifts. A potted plant, a bouquet of flowers, or a box of chocolates might be the perfect treat!

Best of luck to you and your family, Tami! I’m sure your mother-in-law will appreciate your efforts.