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.
By Mr. Thrifty
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.
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)
Our Brownie girlscout troop just delivered 88 gift bags last night to a local nursing home (they sang carols while delivering)
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)
Pin or jewelry for ladies
THey were a great hit (12/12/2006)
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
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. : )
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)
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)
For elderly folk who use walkers, a walker bag makes a nice, but not too expensive, gift. Flowery walker bags like from www.jeanswalkerbags.com 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 www.happyhappymail.com that sends cheap gifts on your behalf, which is pretty neat! However, it's about $20 a month. (10/14/2007)
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)
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