Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for People in Nursing Homes

December 22 23:39 2021
Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for People in Nursing Homes
Here are some gift ideas, from the mind of an Occupational Therapist.

Homey Gifts

Try a decoration blitz. Hang light-weight, safe decorations on walls, doors, mirrors, or all of the above. Bring in a mini tree or menorah that can be lit by battery power or plugged in. Focus on lightweight decorations, which are easy to hang up and safer if dropped. Try plastic or gel window-clings for both windows and mirrors.

Create a welcome blitz. Families can decorate the door facing the hallway for everyone to see. Try durable wrapping paper designed specifically to wrap doors. Use a wreath hanger to hang a welcoming wreath or sign on the door for everyone to see.

How about a memory blitz! Print out snap shots of favorite pics from the year to put up on the walls. Or create a memory book about the year. This gives your friend or loved one the chance to socialize by inviting people in to see the pictures, and to show off the book to staff and other residents in other parts of the nursing home. Families find that being able to show the physical pictures around is very meaningful for nursing home residents, and can help those with failing memories refresh their minds daily.

Warm Gifts

People become less tolerant of cold as they age because of normal age-related changes (e.g., losing the fat under the skin surface), or because of health problems such as diabetes. Warm someone up for the holidays! The blankets in most nursing homes tend to be thin. A comforter or two is a great gift. Nothing says, “That’s mine, not yours” louder than a bright, patterned blanket. Make it colorful so that it’s easily identifiable. Other families chose to have a photo blanket made using a photo the resident finds meaningful.

Experiential Gifts

Many families love giving gifts that create an experience. Some families give an essential oil diffuser to change the mood in that bedroom. Sometimes friends who live far away have food sent in once a month (check with the nurse for dietary restrictions). And of course, most people who live in nursing homes find the best experiential gift is…their families and friends.

Finally, families who are stumped on holiday gifts often just ask.

For more information go to:

Our Safe Senior, founded by an Occupational Therapist with extensive experience, provides Occupational Therapy, home safety evaluations, joint replacement prep, and case management.

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