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Nursing Home Gift Ideas

It is nice to give your friends and loved ones of all ages useful gifts. This guide contains nursing home gift ideas.

Elderly man receiving a birthday gift
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March 26, 2010 Flag
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Our Ladies' Auxiliary likes to make little baskets for the Veterans in our nursing homes and have run out of ideas for items. Most of the Vets cannot have candy and lots are in bed most of the time. I am looking for suggestions of small things for them, no sharp objects like pins allowed. All ideas are welcome. Thanks.

By GrandmaS from MD

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March 26, 20100 found this helpful
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My mom is in a nursing home and they love magazines, books, newspapers and videos. I am taking a bunch of costume jewelry to the ladies. I also take my dogs to visit them and they love that more than anything. She is in a brain unit (dementia, Alzheimer's) and my dogs have gotten some of them that never speak to talk to us. How about arranging for some animal visits. My son takes his guitar and plays music for them. It isn't about things you can give them but things they might enjoy. And take a camera and share pictures on your next visit.

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful
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We do Christmas baskets every year for our nursing homes. We put lotions, combs, socks, toothbrushes/paste, fruit, etc.

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July 13, 20160 found this helpful

Why not try non skid slipper socks which help prevent falls and are not expensive. $6.35 a pair or less if bought in bulk. Checkout Silvert's Adaptive Clothing & Footwear online.

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June 14, 2016 Flag
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This is a guide about Father's Day gift ideas for nursing home residents. Some nursing home facilities provide small gifts on Father's Day for their residents. Choosing something that will be appreciated and enjoyed can be challenging. This is a guide about Father's Day gift ideas for nursing home residents.

Man and elderly father

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June 11, 2010 Flag
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I work in a nursing home, and I'm in charge of Father's Day gifts this year (for 20 men). I was thinking of gift bags of some sort, but not sure. Any suggestions?

By Andrea from Wildwood, FL

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June 13, 20100 found this helpful
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Gifts are nice, but most folks in nursing homes are very lonely. How about arranging a special dinner and arranging for family members to visit?

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May 22, 20120 found this helpful

In regard to the first comment. I know a lot of men that would NOT enjoy a beer. We don't drink and neither do our friends, so that is a totally inappropriate suggestion. Also, recovering alcoholics would not appreciate it either.

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

Last year money was tight, so instead of buying a fathers day gift for my hubby, I printed off 'certificates', from the children. Some were promises from the children; clean out the rabbit cage, wash the car, from me I gave him 'me make a meal of your choosing'... the list is endless. We even had one for the children to be quiet whilst he enjoyed a whole episode of his favourite programme in peace!

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December 22, 2007 Flag
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I need gift ideas for an invalid nursing home resident.

Kim from Oak Hill, WV

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January 4, 20090 found this helpful

My husband is in a nursing home, and I now have friendships with many of the residents. Here are a few ideas that have proved popular in my experience:

- Personalized cards for birthdays, Christmas, or just Thing of You -- personally delivered.

- Pretty little doo-dads for ladies

- Snacks, as permitted. I know who likes what and try to carry a bag with a variety to give out.

- Hats. Ladies and men like them. I do fishing hats for the men.

- Handshakes. People like being greeted as if they're human beings rather than patients.

- Compliments. I tell all the ladies how pretty they look and try to compliment them on something specific -- a new haircut, a pretty shirt. You can tell the men how dashing or spiffy they're looking.

- Stuffed animals. You'd be surprised at the people who end up loving them.

- Videos on topics of specific interest to a resident.

The following ideas involve your time, which is more important than anything else to nursing home residents.

- Games. Play cards, hangman, tic-tac-toe, checkers, even charades... whatever games the person likes.

- Reading. My husband loves to be read to.

- 20 questions. Arm yourself with questions to ask and give the person lots of time to talk. Questions about his.her experiences are always winners.

- Grooming. ladies like to have their nails done. Light massages are nice. Just slowly brushing someone's hair is much-needed attention and physical contact.

- Music. If you play an instrument, try doing it room by room for those who are room-bound. There's a lady who does this at my husband's NH and the residents just love it.

- Silly games. This Little Piggy Went to Market with people's toes is popular with those whose minds have become more childlike.

- Playing ball. Men especailly love tossing a ball back and forth.

- In nice weather, rides outside in wheelchairs. In poor weather, do it inside. Stop to talk to others, look at and talk about bulletin boards and decorations, read menus, etc.

- Pet visits. Check the NH's policy, but residents just love, love, love visits from puppies, rabbits, even ferrets.

- Deliver and read mail. Talk to recreation directors.

- Art. Take a child-size easel on wheels and some water paints. Anyone who can hold a paint brush can create something.

- See what sort of games and equipment the rec department has. They often have stuff they've forgotten about that you can put to use.

Finally, one thing I see residents eat up is just being around other people having normal conversations. Invite a few people at once and just hang out in rooms gabbing. The resident may not participate but he'll still love it. it makes him feel connected to the real world and included among regular people.

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February 28, 20090 found this helpful

I volunteer at our local nursing home and I know first hand how difficult it can be when people bring in food. A little advice from me would be...(don't bring in food unless you know for sure that the resident(s)can have it) do something else such as bring in a pet, but make sure that you talk to the administrator or bring in games to play. Residents love to here people sing so you could make a binder with familar songs such as hymns that they remember. You can always just pop your head in and say hi. They LOVE to see people.

Just give them love! God bless you and I know the resident will love the visits.

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January 9, 20100 found this helpful

The majority of nursing home residents can no longer see well enough to read, but I found one gift that delights them all. Visiting an antique store during a trip once, I found old magazines from the 40's and 50's and even as early as the 1920's. I bought a stack of them for my Mom, who is also a resident, and she was completely delighted. She can't see well enough to read, but looking at all the old ads took her back to a time of great happiness in her life. She enjoyed many hours of happiness looking through those old magazines.

I have just begun a nursing home visitation program near my home doing room to room visits. I am hoping to find craft instructions to make silk flower corsages for the ladies with pins they cannot harm themselves with. I think that will be a big hit as well.

Visiting with the elderly is highly rewarding and though you go in thinking you will bless them, often is it you who leaves feeling blessed.

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November 6, 2007 Flag
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I really need input ASAP. I work at a nursing home and I really want to make the holidays extra special for all. Not everyone has family so not everyone gets a Christmas gift. I want to get something for everyone. I was going to get a big screen T.V. but the nursing home just bought one. I will be raising the money and I will guess an amount around $800-$900. Please give any ideas. I am looking for one big gift if possible but any input would be great. Thank you! Melissa

Melissa from PDC, Wisconsin

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November 8, 20070 found this helpful

You are getting many good gift ideas. Don`t forget to get them all a Christmas coloring book and crayons. Have a group come in and sing.

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June 11, 20080 found this helpful

Buy the best computer you can find--for the nursing home residents and set it up so they can use the internet. EVEN if the nursing home has one already, it is probably outdated, and they can always use another in a different floor or section. Computers are ESSENTIAL to nursing home residents. People do not realize that. But that is the truth. Write to us for updates on the latest at nursing homes onenewbeginning @ yahoo . com

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January 12, 20100 found this helpful

I work in a nursing home and they all fight for the news paper. We have a copy of 3 different local papers, but it seems they are never enough. A years subscription to local papers will be used every day of the year. Better yet, spend some time there every week and discuss the news too! Company is 1st on everyones list.

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May 15, 2012 Flag
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My group, PT Force, is visiting a nursing home. I want to make a craft for them, but I'm "baffled". What should I make?

By Matthew G. from Reseda, CA

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May 15, 20120 found this helpful

Is this something you want to make for the residents or something you want to help the residents make?

My first thought was a hand fan. You could use paper plates and popsickle sticks (tongue depressors are larger and would be easier for them to handle) and staple them together or glue them together. Decorate the plates before adding the handle.

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May 9, 2013 Flag
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This is a guide about Valentine's Day gift ideas for a nursing home. A lovely thought, for you or as a group activity, is to bring Valentine's Day gifts to residents of a nursing home.

elderly man with a gift

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March 17, 2013 Flag
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This is a guide about nursing home gift basket ideas. Fill your gift basket for a friend or family member in a nursing home with useful and thoughtful gifts.

Nursing Home Gift Basket

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November 29, 2011 Flag
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Row of Wrapped GiftsAs family members and friends get older, they tend to want less material things as gifts. People have years of accumulated things and are starting to downsize their possessions and living space. This is a guide about gift ideas for seniors.

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December 22, 2007 Flag
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Could anyone give me some ideas for inexpensive gifts to take to an elderly neighbor in a nursing home that could lift his spirits?



Nursing Home Gift Ideas

Make up a small scrapbook of the old neighborhood or even town.
just Xerox your pictures.
How about an indoor house plant that came from your house.
Or you could make a tape with the voices of the old familier neighbors saying something nice.
And in this technological age perhaps you could throw an picture and talk to familier neighbor phone party.
you know have someone go to the home of the other good friend neighbors
take their phone pictures and then talk a few minutes with the resident.
and last talk try to get the resident to talk about the good times they have had at the nursing. if possible let them give you a tour of their new home.
Have A Happy Visit
Mr. Thrifty

By Mr. Thrifty

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

Just an idea, but when my grandmother was in a nursing home, My sister got permission to bring her Great Dane dog in to visit. Our grandma LOVED visiting with the dog and lots of other residents did too. Some came to her room and others asked for my sister to bring the dog over to them. They hadn't seen any pets in such a long time! Of course, it would have to be an extremely friendly animal and the visit fairly short. (12/12/2006)

By Cindy S.

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

We have church services at two nursing homes, and around Christmas time we like to give a little in-expensive gift. We have found out from years experience, some things the residents enjoy. Some of the simpliest things, yes, they really enjoy visits, they also enjoy singing. We sing church songs and even the non-church goers love it. We take in a guitar and travel room to room with some residents. The little gifts we give out once a year, may range from the little non-skid slipper socks, to simple toilette articles wrapped up pretty with a bow. Like comb, brush, toothpaste, small sample bottles of things like lotion, hand soap, or single packs of kleen-ex.

Go to the sample bottles of things at a store like Walmart, and look at things that can't be harmful to them. The elderly can't always handle certain foods, so leave that one off. One year we were doing a state run nursing home, they had alot of mentally challenged residents, and we gathered baby dolls, cleaned them up, my mom fixed their hair, and made them clothes, the residents were so happy. We gave the guys some socks and hankerchiefs. Working with the nursing home folks is a very rewarding job, try it. (12/12/2006)

By Glinda

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

Our Brownie girlscout troop just delivered 88 gift bags last night to a local nursing home (they sang carols while delivering)
each included
a deck of playing cards (donated by Belterra Casino, THANKS Belterra)
toothpaste and brush and hand lotion
notepad and pen
cookies or crackers (as long as doesnt interfere with diet or residents restrictions)
hair comb
Pin or jewelry for ladies
Christmas SOCKS!
THey were a great hit (12/12/2006)

By Diana

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

We used to visit our nursing home with our big old docile white cat. At Christmas, I took photos of the residents with the cat and made Christmas cards. The nurses tell me that they love photos, because they usually have some type of bulletin board on which to post them and some folks have no one to send them anything. Perhaps you could have someone take photos of you with your neighbor and make a card or collage.

By Cindy Bailey

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

One thing my grandfather wanted before he passed on, was "Blistex" lip salve! I believe that your time, your smiles, your laughter, your reassurance, and your loving hugs will be gifts no money can buy. Many are afraid, so terribly lonely, angry, confused, and "just waiting to die", as I've heard so often. When any say this, I reply, "We are all in that same line, you know, and none of us can add even one hour to our life, nor knows when it will come. You are very fortunate to have lived this long and you aren't leaving this world one minute before your time.", adding a chuckle as they think about it and often smile.

Wide topped socks are a favorite for men who have difficulty with putting on regular socks. Each of them seems to like soft warm cloth, regardless of what it has made. Gentle arm and foot massages are much appreciated, as is a little look out a different window they've not seen before recently.

Another good item is the Time ANNUAL magazine, that shows the major events of the year or years, about $15.00 U.S., the last I bought one. If they don't have one, a long-reaching magnet "gripper" is much appreciated for those who are stuck in a wheelchair or walker, provided it can be reached from their chair for such things as magazines, books, slippers, newspapers, once they get the "hang" of the "new toy", although not at all new to the market. Many cost as much as $30, but some can be found under that amount. I found one in a garage sale for $3.00, and use it to get hats down from, or return them to, the top shelf of my closet even now while I am still ambulatory and not yet confined or crippled.

Touch lamps are good if easy to reach. Master light switch boxes are convenient, and portable battery operated closet lights for closets, under bed edges, and inside deep drawers for those who still have their faculties. My mother loves for me to do simple activities from childrens' books, about 4th grade, with her since she has some dementia now. I even took a small electric keyboard to sing with her and allow her to play a bit. Men might enjoy it a little, but helping them to keep their clothing sorted, hanging together on the hangers is equally important. This is one of my forte's and is greatly appreciated if I know the person well and if no relative seems to be doing that job. (If there is an odor in the room, I spritz a tiny "Ozium" spray can rather than to leave because of it. )

Good luck and God bless you. : )

By Lynda

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

My mom lives in a nursing home 2,000 miles away so I try to send her a "care package" once a month. I send her 1 artificial flower for the season the month is in, along with her favorite candies (she isn't limited in her diet), she knits, so I send her yarn each time. I made her an album of pictures of when she and my father (deceased) worked on the farm together, her marriage license, and pictures of my sisters when they were small, who have recently passed away. Around January/February, when the grapefruit and oranges are ripe (I have two trees) I send a huge box of them combined to the nursing home for everybody to enjoy. I write her a letter every day and on it I insert pictures of beautiful scenery or the holiday that's going on. Recently I've been enclosing pictures of Phoenix and Sun City and our new Cardinals Stadium, which is only a mile away. I also insert jokes in her letters to brighten up her day. I work for a newspaper, so when my picture is in it, I send her a copy. I also clip little things out of the newspaper I think she will be interested in. I try to call her every day also. (01/09/2007)

By Judy

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

I buy stuffed animals in good condition from a thrift store, as well as the dollar store, and take in a bag full to the nursing home that my mother lived in. The activities director distributes them to some patients, and uses others as prizes at patient game sessions.
Ladies often like jewelry, particularly pins/brooches, as they fit everyone.
Another popular gift at my mother' place is holiday themed decorations, changed monthly.
Not as inexpensive, but really appreciated and used are those no sew fleece blankets/lap robes.Both the double layer tied ones, and single layer fringed ones are used frequently. I buy fleece remnants which are big enough for lap robes quite cheaply. Knot two together, or cut fringe, and then trim the single layer ones by putting plastic or wooden pony beads on each fringe. (Pony beads are beads with large holes and are available in large bags at the fabric/craft store.) (01/10/2007)

By jean

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

For elderly folk who use walkers, a walker bag makes a nice, but not too expensive, gift. Flowery walker bags like from are great for women, but for a gentleman you'd rather get a leather bag or something of that nature from Ebay. Seniors love to tote things around more easily. Also, there's a service called Happy Happy mail at that sends cheap gifts on your behalf, which is pretty neat! However, it's about $20 a month. (10/14/2007)

By Joseph

Nursing Home Gift Ideas

Remember ; do not give any toiletries : ex talcum powder, lip balm, etc...that are medicated. I was a nurse in a nursing home for many years and we needed a doctor's order to ok these kind of items or to ok the use by the residents. (11/05/2007)

By France

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December 8, 2006 Flag
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