Finding the right gift for anybody can be tricky business — but specially when searching for something special for a friend or family member who resides at a nursing home. Although your loved one’s limited personal space may appear to be a barrier to gift-giving, the key to success is to remain focused on two things: practicality and sentimentality.
Socks with Staying Power
Falling can be a catastrophic event for an elderly person, so preventing slips and trips is of primary importance at every nursing home. Socks with rubber-grip treads can go a long way toward keeping residents both safe and cozy. They’re available at nearly all department stores and now come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Find a few pairs that suit your loved one’s personality, and you’ve found a fun, thoughtful and useful gift. Bingo!
With age, many people experience diminishing eyesight and waning fine motor skills. You can address these concerns with a meaningful gift if you just think “big”!
Consider books with large-sized print or a nifty and unique magnifying glass with a big, sturdy handle. Or maybe wrap up an oversized button telephone, which can make calling friends and family a satisfying experience instead of an uncomfortable, frustrating struggle.
Let Mother Nature Be an Inspiration
Getting seniors outside the walls of their care center is beneficial to their overall wellbeing. Contemplate luring your loved one outdoors with a birdhouse or birdfeeder.
Ask the nursing home staff for help with strategic placement outside the window, so the gift recipients can admire winged visitors from the comfort and luxury of his or her own bed. This may be all that is needed to nudge your senior outdoors for a healthful stroll in the fresh air.
‘Keep-it-Easy to Keep-in-Touch’ Kit
Help your loved ones stay engaged with family and friends by creating a kit of greeting cards for them to send on important occasions.
Make it simple for your nursing home resident to complete the task by including a beautiful calendar premarked with birthdays and anniversaries. Laminate a large-print list of names and addresses and provide a wide selection of greeting cards with lots of stamps for mailing.
Finally, find a pretty box to keep all these goodies in one place to create a gift your loved one can use to maintain ties with the important people in his or her life.
Homemade is from the Heart
Homemade presents speak volumes of the thought and time you’ve put into your gift. Fortunately, anything made in the home is homemade, so there are endless possibilities for giving your loved one a heartfelt, homemade gift.
Consider framed photos, laminated photo collages and photo albums. Ask your children or grandchildren to create artwork and cheerful cards. Or bake up something simple, but scrumptious, like a batch of cookies or maybe banana bread.
Nearly everyone appreciates fresh, new clothes. They make great presents for nursing home residents, too.
When selecting items, however, it is important to remember a few things: Because care center residents’ clothing is communally cleaned, clothes are washed in extremely hot water. Be sure to choose items and fabrics that can stand up to this abuse!
Additionally, you will want to make efforts to avoid your gift from being lost among all that laundry. Check with the nursing home on its specific policies, but generally, all clothing gifts you bring to your loved ones should by clearly labeled with their name.
Lastly, select items that are attractive and comfortable, especially when choosing clothes for seniors who use wheelchairs and walkers. Cardigan sweaters, sweat suits, pajamas and ladies’ housecoats and dusters are popular wear at nursing homes, but don’t forget to include fresh undergarments and socks (with grips!), too.
It is said, “A present is an item given to someone without the expectation of payment or return.” This may indeed be very true. However, by wisely choosing a perfect gift that is appreciated by your loved one living at a care center, you may find that you’re the one who ends up feeling most rewarded of all.