Residents of nursing homes enjoy receiving gifts and celebrating holidays just as much as anyone else — maybe more so, because of the cheer and excitement it brings to a life that can otherwise feel monotonous. Because of space limitations and various health and lifestyle restrictions, it can be difficult to select a gift for your loved one. Here are 10 gift ideas for nursing home residents:
- Slipper socks. Many elderly people struggle with poor circulation and cold feet. Slipper socks are an ideal remedy because they provide warmth but, unlike regular socks, they have rubber grip on the soles to prevent slipping on tile floors.
- Books or magazines. Some reading material can be great to pass the time. Whatever you choose, select items with large print or include a magnifying glass with the present. A year-long subscription to a favorite magazine is a great way to make the gift last longer.
- CD’s with old hits. What era of music does your loved one prefer? Burn a CD of popular hits from that time period and let them relive the good old days with some of their favorite songs.
- Hand massage. A common ailment in the elderly population is a lack of human touch. A hand massage can provide a comforting experience for your loved one, and you can give them some scented lotion to keep.
- Blanket. Whether you buy it or make it yourself, they are sure to love the personalized way to keep warm. A flannel blanket with tied edges is quick and easy to make if you’re short on time.
- Photos. For those lonely hours when no one can come visit, a photo album or framed picture can be a treasured possession. It will also provide a good conversation piece for your loved one to share with fellow residents.
- Art supplies. You know best what your loved one’s skill levels and abilities are, so you can choose art projects best suited to them. Some simple ideas include rubber stamps and paint-by-numbers.
- Puzzles. Whether it’s a jigsaw or crossword, puzzles can be stimulating for elderly people and promote continued cognitive functioning. Caretakers can help you evaluate what skill level is most appropriate.
- Foreign memorabilia. Did your loved one enjoy traveling? Foreign coins and postcards can be a great way to help them reminisce on their adventures and spur memories and stories.
- Treats. Check with your loved one’s caretaker to make sure you follow any diet restrictions before bringing treats, but a home-cooked cake or cookies can be a wonderful surprise.
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