I love elderly people. If there are any here I would like some help on what you like. I'm thinking of visiting the nursing home next to our food bank and baking cookies and making cards. I'm 14 and crafty.
Thanks for any ideas,
I think I would take a big basket of fruit. Many of them can't have sugar. You can put your cookies in it in baggies. I would also get some sugarless candy and put that in the basket along with some costume jewelry. For the men, money clips. You can find pins and costume jewelrey at yard sales for very low prices. I give my used cards and magazines to our local nursing home. What a nice girl, God will bless you! (07/26/2005)
My husband was a CNA in nursing homes for several years. Some people just do not get many visitors at all, and some do not get any. How about calling that nursing home and talking to the recreation director? Ask if there are any people who could use a visit more than others, and start with them.
You could also ask the resident if there is anything in his/her room you could do for them that they can't do for themselves. Maybe you could offer to take someone outside who cannot get outside by themselves after checking with the staff if that would be OK. While you are there, ask the residents themselves what they would have liked you to bring in case you get to go back.
If you've got any animals bring pictures of them to share. Ask if they had pets and what they liked best about them. They enjoy sharing their special memories about others. You could bring used videos and cd's for them to see and to play. I used to send in with my husband cd's of music to give to the recreation director to play for them. They really loved it. It was music of their generation, of course. The Beach Boys went over the best.
I used to cook bacon for someone who really loved it and seldom got it at the nursing home. Ask the rec. director if she could guide you in this, if this is something you would consider? And most of all, I am so proud of you for taking an interest in those who really need it.
Oh yes, some people have nobody to get more clothing for them when theirs wear out. Collect any good used clothing you can from whoever and donate it at the desk. I used to send in sneakers for one person who really needed them. They were used but clean and still in good condition. You could ask the residents if they know of anyone who has special needs they can't fulfill for themselves. Hope I haven't overloaded you with suggestions. And remember "Goodness Has It's Own Rewards". (07/26/2005)
Skip the cookies, many nursing home patients are on special diets but will eat anything they can find. Good gifts are magazines and books, silk flowers in a vase, offer to read, write letters or help make phone calls for those that need it. Offer a polish manicure. Laprobes and ponchos are great. Handmade art or drawings are good. Check with the activities director for ideas of things you can do. The social worker may also have ideas about needs you can fill. (07/26/2005)
I use to do crafts in a nursing home. Contact the Activities Director and discuss that you would like to do something for the residents. They will advise you. That is so nice that you want to volunteer your time. (07/27/2005)
NHO residents are often on special diets so I wouldn't bring food items. Socks with non-slip soles, sweatsuits, hand lotion, deoderant, crochet and quilted lap robes. Contact the staff Social Worker before going to find out the best time to go and what to bring. Adopt 1 or 2 residents that have no family or friends and never have visitors. Send them birthday cards and special occasions cards. Make a commitment to visit on a certain day - like every Tuesday - and honor your commitment. Life its so much brighter when you have something to look forward to. I worked as a social worker in a NHO and it is so sad to see all the attention at Xmas time and then the rest of the year the residents have no visits or gifts. (07/27/2005)
By far the best thing you can do is visit and talk and spend time with the nursing home residents. I'm sure you know that already. Any break in routine or new activity would be great, and since you're crafty! Off the top of my head: cards are a great idea. You could perhaps make do a mini card-making project with the folks there. Scrounge up and bring in whatever stationary supplies you can find (paper, glue-stick, fancy pens, envelopes, stickers, scissors, etc...) and organize an afternoon project--have people create a personal card (or even a postcard) to send to someone he or she loves and misses.
For the more coherent old folks you can just act as the art-teacher or supervisor, and for those with shakier motor skills you can be more "hands on"-- taking dictation or even prompting them for what to write. This project could be as big or small as you feel like making it- either way, it'd give the residents a fun distraction, and would give you a good ice-breaker to start chatting with and getting to know the people there, and the end result would be a surprise note to a relative.
Also- check to see if the nursing home might kick in for stamps!
That's just a thought... (07/27/2005)
Dear kristi, Bless your heart for thinking of others.You will benefit greatly. Think about asking them to tell you of their memories (on tape maybe). I see many good ideas have been listed already. I have a few more for you. Nursing homes lose socks and clothing. ( go to yard sales and get good ones for 10/ 25 cents,wash and dry) They love visits. Maybe you can find some friends to go with you sometimes.They like pocket packs of tissues, small stuffed animals,ceramic cups & bud vases with a real flower to smell. (10 cents at yard sales)Yard sale beads/dress pins,ask at yard sales if they would like to donate anything to the cause, like music boxes or small figurines. Read to those whose eyesight has gone.Some will not want anything from you.Don't be discouraged dear. Lots more will love your visits.Be sure to ask first if they can have cookies/Brownies. Some can and they would like to have homemade,now that Splenda ( sugar free) is available to use in baking you would be doing a great service to the ones that are diabetic. You might ask if you can take their picture and put it on constuction paper for over their beds or to give to family. Good Luck and YOU GO GIRL!!!! Great granny Hugs, Vi (07/29/2005)
I have been making lap afghans to contribute to a local nursing home. Some elderly people get cold sitting in wheel chairs and I find that if I make them about 40 in. square, it's just the right size to cover legs. No fringe, because it might tangel in the wheels. also they love magazines that in good condition, no matter the subject. (12/10/2005)
http://ohioline.osu.edu/ss-fact/0189.html has several ideas. (10/29/2006)
I would hope the Nursing Home would let you bring food treats for the residents who can have them--the elderly love their desserts and sweets. Perhaps also make some sugar-free treats for others.
A lady at my Dad's nursing home makes a birthday cake for each resident's birthday, whether they can eat it or not. It's just nice to be remembered. People would sing Happy Birthday to them and the resident could possibly blow out candles. If they can't eat the cake, other residents, the nursing staff, and perhaps family or friends can certainly enjoy it. If not a cake, how about a nice helium birthday balloon and singing?
My Dad cannot eat--he has a feeding tube in his stomach. He can still hear, feel, smell and see (though not well), so I try do buy, or make, gifts for him that appeal to those senses.
If they can play games or put together a puzzle, they would enjoy doing that with you. (My Dad can't).
God bless you, Sweetie. (10/30/2006)
By Sandy from WI
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