It’s not always an easy transition when your parents, grandparents, or other loved ones move into a nursing home. This is especially true if you don’t live nearby.
When you can’t visit as often as you’d like, you still want to show you care. You want to let your loved ones know you’re thinking about them. Consider these 5 best gifts for a person you love in a nursing home.
Challenges for Nursing Home Residents
Elderly loved ones feel better and live longer when they enjoy a strong support system. That’s why reaching out and connecting with your loved one in a nursing home is so important. A thoughtful gift can convey that comfort and love despite the miles between you. It can show appreciation, alleviate boredom, and make them smile.
This is especially important when they first transition to a nursing home environment. Newer residents can feel lonesome or out of place. Consider these gifts during birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays as well. You can also send something “just because.” It’ll put a smile on their face, especially if you send items they can’t always find in their community.
5 Best Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
If your parents live in a nursing home, send them something special from time to time. In addition to phone and video calls, a thoughtful gift will brighten up their day. Here are some great ideas:
1. Digital Frame
The great thing about a digital frame is that it operates like a photo album, but it does the flipping for you! Digital frames show a slideshow of digital pictures on a continuous loop. A frame can go on mom’s bedside table or on top of dad’s dresser. Many frames can hold thousands of pictures and even play music if desired.
Ask friends and family members to contribute pictures from over the years. Choose a theme from a particular span of time or show pictures from the entirety of the recipient’s life. Be sure to show your loved ones how to set it up. If they’re interested, you can even show them how to change pictures whenever they want. Some digital photo frames allow you to add images through the cloud so friends and family can send updates from anywhere.
2. Take a Trip to Visit
The best gift for parents or grandparents in nursing homes is time together. Most would love to simply spend more time with their children, grandchildren, and other loved ones. You can take them out to eat, or see a movie or concert. But oftentimes, just sitting with an older person is ideal.
Some things you can do with them while visiting:
- Read a favorite or new book to them
- Play cards
- Play board games
- Put together puzzles
- Interview them about their lives
- Write their life stories
- Watch television together
- Take a walk or push them in their wheelchair
- Talk about their friends or your family history
- Listen to music together
Just being present with them is a gift that will stay with them for a long time.
It’s not always easy to go clothes shopping when you live in a nursing home, assisted living, or retirement community. Elderly folks don’t always feel safe driving a car. Many communities have a van to take them places, but it still isn’t easy to get around for people using wheelchairs, walkers, and canes.
Sending them clothes is not only thoughtful, but can also be a practical gift that feels like a luxury. Consider some of the mobility issues that older loved ones may have. For example, small buttons can be difficult and older people often feel colder. Appreciated clothing items might include:
- Comfortable coats
- Gloves or mittens
- Soft socks
- Fuzzy socks with grips
- Sweaters with easy-to-use buttons
- Leisure clothes
- Shorts with elastic bands
- House or patio shoes
- Bathing suits
As we age, we get colder more often, and it’s not always easy to get a good night’s sleep. Our sleeping habits and circadian rhythms can sometimes get disrupted. When your loved ones get older, they may also worry more—and that can keep them up at night. Consider a weighted blanket. It can help reverse feelings of anxiety and promote a much deeper sleep than just a sheet and comforter.
You can also send soft, cushiony blankets if that’s their preference. They can keep smaller ones on chairs or sofas for when they get chilled reading a book or watching television. You can find quilts with beautiful decorative sections that make gorgeous decorations. You can even get one made with patches from their favorite old sweaters or pictures of grandchildren.
5. Gift Baskets and Packages
Everyone loves receiving gift baskets or packages from someone they love. Depending on the number of items, this can easily be something they share with others in their community or enjoy alone.
Spoonful of Comfort has gift baskets to match everyone’s taste or preference. We ship directly to care centers and assisted living homes, too! Here are some ideas you can put together that they’re sure to love:
- Baked goods: Cakes, pies, cookies, muffins, bread, donuts, and cupcakes are especially fun around the holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays.
- Self-care: Try scented candles, hand cream, socks, body scrubs, essential oils, lotion, lip balm, bath salts or bubbles, and gift certificates for local spa services.
- Comfort food: Feed the soul with soup, rolls, casseroles, dark chocolate, wine, cheese and crackers, and cookies.
- Movie nights: Send some popcorn, candy, gift certificates for local pizza delivery, and their favorite drinks!
- Coffee and tea: Try a variety pack of coffee, or add some extras for your tea lover to love, including lemons, cinnamon sticks, and honey. You can also pack mugs and cookies for dipping!
Be sure to include a charming notecard with a personal message.
Loving Gifts Are the Best Gifts
Your loved one doesn’t have to be lonely. These gifts for a person in a nursing home will let your parents, grandparents, or any elderly relative feel loved. They’re a reminder of home and that they have a support system of people connected to them—even from far away.
Visit Spoonful of Comfort for more ideas today!