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10 Gift Ideas for Nursing Home Residents

Updated on February 8, 2017
PegCole17 profile image

Peg Cole serves as caregiver and patient advocate for senior family members and others.

What would Grandma like from you?
What would Grandma like from you?

The Best Gift

The best gift you can give to your senior is the gift of your time. Whenever guests drop by, regardless of what the seniors are doing, their faces always light up at the sign of a visitor.

Spending an hour to have lunch with an elder brings joy, pleasure and a sense of pride. It breaks the monotony of the daily routine and reassures your loved one that they are cherished and valued. As a bonus, they get bragging rights about the way you've turned out due to their part in your upbringing.

Flower Arrangements

Getting fresh flowers lifts the spirit of residents.
Getting fresh flowers lifts the spirit of residents.

What Do Seniors Want and Need?

Residents at the skilled nursing facility where my Mother and Auntie live were asked to fill out tags for their Christmas tree wish list. These were some of the top requests:

  1. The gift of your time and a nice long visit, perhaps, to share a meal with them
  2. Soft smelling lotions like Lubriderm; cologne spritzers
  3. Fluffy socks and comfortable slippers, sweat suits, Santa hats
  4. Personal cosmetic wipes, flush-able towelettes, air fresheners, Lysol
  5. Mind Games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles, find-a-word and Sudoku puzzles
  6. Homemade treats, candies, sugar free items, cookies
  7. Bird Feeders and the seed to refill them
  8. Compact discs of singers from their era (Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby)
  9. Photos of their loved ones, framed to hang on the wall (Surface space is limited).
  10. Stuffed animals that remind them of beloved pets.

Dining in the Cafe

The dining room at this facility is styled like an outdoor cafe. Residents make their menu choices at every meal with assistance from the staff.
The dining room at this facility is styled like an outdoor cafe. Residents make their menu choices at every meal with assistance from the staff.

Dining In

In many skilled nursing facilities, you can enjoy a guest meal at no cost to family members or friends when they visit. If this isn't the case where your relative lives you can always pack a sandwich and bring it along to eat while your senior dines.

Or pick up some Kentucky Fried Chicken or chicken nuggets and share them with your senior. Usually, beverages like coffee and tea are available for guests at no charge.

Entertaining the Residents

Entertainer, Gigi Burgess, visits the facility and entertains the guests with music.
Entertainer, Gigi Burgess, visits the facility and entertains the guests with music.

Five Things You Can Give at No Cost

What if your funds are limited? Some of the best gifts are those of personal attention to the needs of the resident. What can you do for free during your visit?

  1. Offer to comb or style your family member's hair.
  2. Give a hand or foot massage.
  3. Trim your senior's fingernails.
  4. Write a letter on their behalf, stamp, address and mail the letter.
  5. Read a story to your senior or sing them their favorite song.

Attend a Family Conference

The ladies waiting for a family patient conference to discuss their care. Your presence helps them speak out.
The ladies waiting for a family patient conference to discuss their care. Your presence helps them speak out.

Music and Songs Lift the Spirits

One welcomed pastime at any skilled nursing facility is the music from volunteers who perform for the residents. The songs invoke a variety of reactions ranging from those who sing along, wave their arms, clap to the music or just nod their heads. In a few cases, some get up and dance to the tunes.

Musicians in the area give freely of their time, rewarded by the joy the residents express during their visits. On Thursdays, guitarist Chris plays at three different times during the day and sings individually to others. Sam and Pat of Two-R-More sing Country and Bluegrass Music to entertain the residents. Gospel singer, Gigi Burgess makes time in her monthly schedule to sing favorites and provide hugs to the audience.

Giving the Gift of Song

Musicians, Sam and Pat with "Two-R-More", visit and entertain the guests often.
Musicians, Sam and Pat with "Two-R-More", visit and entertain the guests often.

Other welcomed gifts are beauty salon certificates for services by the on-site cosmetologist. Or ask to use the beauty shop and give your senior a nice shampoo and scalp massage.

Beauty Salon Certificates

A new hair style is uplifting for a nursing home resident.
A new hair style is uplifting for a nursing home resident.

Items for personal use seem to be the most often requested items. Keep in mind that some people have allergies, so choose a softly scented lotion or mild cologne. Just a reminder that caps and lids may be difficult to open. As my mother grew older, packaging seemed to become more difficult for her to manage. Items with pump dispensers or containers that are easy to open are a good choice. You may even need to open the box of tissues and start the first one out of the box. Tasks that are simple to youthful hands can become a nightmare for a senior who struggles with arthritis.

Requested Items

Dry skin lotion, soft-scented body wash, holiday vest or shirt.
Dry skin lotion, soft-scented body wash, holiday vest or shirt.

Trial Sized Items

Trial sized items like handy wipes, hand sanitizer, toothpaste and mouthwash are often requested. The small size allows for easy portability in pockets and pouches. Not many people carry purses in these homes.

Bird Feeders

A bird feeder outside the window provides hours of visual enjoyment
A bird feeder outside the window provides hours of visual enjoyment

Bird Watching

What do seniors do with their time? Besides playing Bingo, jigsaw puzzles and working on word games, seniors like to look out of the windows. My ninety-five year old auntie says she likes to watch traffic and count cars. To battle depression that goes with the transition from independent living to being in a facility, the psychologist recommended putting a bird feeder in view of her window.

She often speaks about the birds that land on the feeder and the names she gives to them. Volunteers at the facility fill up the bird feeder when it needs more food as long as we provide the bird seed. Sam's and Costco sell a forty pound bag of National Audubon brand bird food for less than twenty dollars. This lasts a long time and provides hours of visual enjoyment.

Holiday Pies

The holiday pies at Thanksgiving, a special event at the facility where residents and family celebrated together.
The holiday pies at Thanksgiving, a special event at the facility where residents and family celebrated together. | Source

Homemade Treats

Edible gifts made by a loved one like homemade cookies, cakes, candy and pies are things that most residents love to receive. If your senior is on a restricted diet, you can customize your holiday baking to include sugar free gifts.

If you're not a seasoned baker, choose other edible gifts like pudding cups, individual packages of fruit or crackers with peanut butter or cheese, juice boxes, individually wrapped candies that are easy to open and even plastic bottles of Ensure or Boost supplement as midnight snacks.

Personalized Cakes

Find out what kind of cake your senior likes and make one for their birthday.
Find out what kind of cake your senior likes and make one for their birthday. | Source

One of the best ways to provide comfort and a touch of home is to invite the Visiting Dog's Association to visit your family members. It is amazing to watch the expressions of joy when seniors make contact with a well-trained, friendly canine.

Volunteer Dog Associations

Visiting canine Roxy brings a smile to the resident's faces.
Visiting canine Roxy brings a smile to the resident's faces.

The administrator at Mom's place has been bringing his Golden Retriever to the facility with him for most of her life. She's now an elderly dog at twelve but she still enjoys her duties greeting folks and passing out kisses. The residents all know Ginger and look forward to sneaking her table scraps and dog biscuits whenever they see her.

Ginger, the Mascot

Twelve year old Ginger is a regular at the facility.
Twelve year old Ginger is a regular at the facility.

Any Time is Good for Gift Giving

It doesn't have to be a special occasion to bring a gift to your favorite senior, although on birthdays and holidays, a personal gift is a welcomed event. Whether it is a purchased present or a gift of your time and effort, your loved one will treasure these small tokens of your affection.

Do you know anyone who lives in a nursing home?

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© 2014 Peg Cole

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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      You nailed it when you said give the gift of time. It was gut wrenching when Momma had to go to a nursing home. But I did not dump her there and forget her. I drove to visit her two times each day...one hour each way. She was never abused...or neglected. She never had a bedsore and her room had no unpleasant odor. I was very visible and I do believe that was part of why her care was so good.

      And being there was good for her and good for me and my daughter.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've had a lot of experience with nursing homes, and you really hit it out of the park with your first subheading....a visit is the best thing you could possibly give a loved one in a nursing home.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg. This certainly fits in with the gift giving season and it fits very well will great ideas. You have given this a lot of thought and come up with excellent suggestions. How could argue with giving cookies?! You are such a great support for your family and friends.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Pstraubie, you are to be admired for your incredible dedication to your Momma with your frequent visits and thoughtful caring nature. In this, you also taught your daughter the value of respecting our elders.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Billybuc, thanks for your support on this effort, in particular, the out of the park comment. Yes, you are certainly one to know that a visit is a key element in a senior's life.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Mckbirdbks, it is wonderful of you to visit and thanks for the excellent comment about cookies and the great support. You, sir, are too kind.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I made a quilted throw for an elderly lady and used her favorite colors. She loved it! (It also was quite an uplifting attention-getter for the other residents as well.)

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hooray Marie, that is an incredible gift for a senior. They love to show off the beautiful things that someone has taken the time to make for them. That is really nice.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      Awesome tips, thank you Peg! Now I have an idea what my mother may appreciate besides a personal visit :)

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      No one WANTS to be in a nursing home.

      15 years ago, my mother had strokes and had to be admitted to a

      nursing home. I lived 7 & 1/2 hrs. away. When I did go, I spent

      a week at a time with her. I got to know most of the residents and

      found that I was most comfortable talking, listening to the same stories

      over again and laughing at the same jokes. These people were once young and vibrant. Age was robbing them of their memories, and nothing known to man could keep time from marching on. I knew

      what I wanted to do, when the time was right.

      Move forward ten years, I have a trained therapy dog and we visit nursing homes every other Saturday. I find great joy in giving

      something back to these wonderful people. Last week, I talked with a WWII veteran who occupied Japan for two years after the end of the

      war. In my eyes, he is a war hero, and I told him so, as I shook his

      hand and thanked him for giving years of his life to the military.

      These people are our nations greatest treasures.

      Peg, you have nailed this article. The timing is perfect, right here at Christmas time.

      Great job with this hub!!

      DJ.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Peg this i useful vry useful thanks for putting this together bless you

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Martie, You are always so intuitive and thoughtful. I hope this does provide some ideas for sharing and giving to our parents and others. Thanks so much for your visit.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      DJ, it is people like you that take the time to appreciate our elders who are the light in the lives of seniors. When visiting dogs come in, the residents become absolutely animated. There is one lady at the home who doesn't talk very much. At first I thought she was just shy, but she is actually withdrawn and speaks only to a few and rarely. When she passes Ginger on her way down the hall, she transforms into a completely different person, loving and affectionate.

      Thank you for your contributions to the well being of our senior population and for sharing that wonderful story about the veteran.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      This is a good and useful hub, especially this time of year. Good ideas.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Frank, So good to see you here today and thanks for the kind comment. Here's hoping your Christmas holiday is a wonderful and memorable one.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      FlourishAnyway, thank you so much for dropping in on this one. I appreciate your thoughtful feedback.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      What great insight you have shared here, dear Peg! Yes, our time is most precious to them indeed. You have thought of everything and most importantly being mindful of certain restrictions placed on their physical abilities and other health aspects such as allergies.

      Beautifully done and well-presented hub here. This will certainly be useful to all those who have loved ones in such facilities or anyone who wishes to brighten the day of another.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      God bless you and Merry Christmas, sweet woman

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I don't know any one who lives or lived in a nursing home, but if I ever do...your list of gift ideas is great!

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful article and a good reminder to visit the sick and the shut ins.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes You are right Peg,It is the small things that mean the most. If you cannot visit because of a flu outbreak I always call everyday to my Parents in Cedarcroft. Since I have been going for the last year and a half I also have found other residents sitting near the elevatorthat love to wave and smile at me. It now feels a lot like home to me and I love to go and talk to them all along with my parents visit.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is wonderful Peg. Having worked in nursing homes in the past, I can second your comment about a personal visit being number one in importance. My sister Bea resided in a nursing home and how her face lifted when she saw me walk through the door. The last nursing home I worked in was very unique, the resident's pets were allowed to live with them. They were so happy!.I might add that we lost a good nurse because she was allergic to animal dander. I really don't know anyone in a nursing home now, but I will do something for someone. Thank you for writing this, we all need to be reminded that we can help in some way...

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Wonderful hub. As someone who is involved with the elderly, I applaud this hub and hope it inspires a lot of people to follow at least one of your suggestions. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Faith, It is such a pleasure to see you here today and read what you've written. We have such a great value in the knowledge base of our elders if we only take the time to listen. Visiting these folks makes us aware of our mortality and the need to do something valuable while we still have the ability. Your comment has lifted me up today and I always appreciate your kindness. Thank you for the shares, votes, pins and sweetness.

      God bless you, my friend.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Sunshine, thanks for stopping in from the land of sunshine. How I miss my home state of FL. There are so many nursing homes in that area and retirees and shut-ins who are home bound. I'm glad I was able to give some insight into what these folks would enjoy as gifts.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Ologsinquito. Nice to see you today. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year's holiday.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely hub that contains important information. Your ideas for gifts are great for any time of year but are especially suitable for Christmas. Thanks for sharing a hub that is so full of kindness.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Suzzycue, it's nice of you to interact with the other residents, too. There are so many who never have visitors. It makes such a difference in their lives when you speak to and visit with them. You're giving a loving slice of kindness to strangers - thanks for what you do everyday.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Dearest Ruby, I'd forgotten about your sister's tragic accident and her need for assistance afterward. I'm sure your visits were the highlight of her days as I'm told that often by my Mother and her sister. They make me feel so special whenever I'm there.

      It is incredible how much the folks love to see any pets who come to visit. It draws out even the people who are generally reticent. What a nice thing that your work place allowed pets.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Sallybea, Thank you for your service to our elders and for all you do to make their time more pleasurable. Caring for our seniors is among the noblest of professions. I admire you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Peg,

      The comment stream is an added bonus to this heartfelt, yet practical, piece.

      How awesome to be reminded of the power our 4-legged friends have to brighten someone's day, even to bring a withdrawn person out of their shell. Ginger is beautiful and I'm so happy the ladies get to visit with her...

      ...as well as the birds! What a sweet idea and one I had not even thought of...bird seed is a wonderful gift that I give to many friends, why not our nursing home loved ones as well.

      I actually think your list is excellent for seniors who live independently or assisted living as well. I recently visited a dear nurse friend (early 60s) who has dementia and is now in assisted living. She believes she is at her aunt's resort and it was a heart breaking visit (selfishly) for me - yet she laughed and smiled a lot while we were together (realistically she forgot I visited her moments after I left).

      When I visit seniors or send a little gift to my special seniors who live out of state, I feel as though it is Mom 'driving the bus'. She wisely bought herself a mausoleum plot that is too high for flowers/ wreaths and wrote in her journal that 'flowers are for the living'. In my mind, I am giving a double gift to the recipient and Mom, so I am doubly blessed.

      One of your best, Peg Voted UP and UABI and sharing. Love, Maria

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Peg. What a wonderful hub. And you are so right about the number 1 present our elderly citizens hope for: Spending time with family. Your article brings back memories of my Mum. Although she lived with me for a time before she passed on, there was a period when she stayed at a nursing home for some physical therapy following hip surgery. It broke my heart to see certain seniors longing for a visit from family members who never came. Mum was very fond of those fluffy socks that you mentioned, and her manicures (your list is excellent, Peg!). She loved Christmas decorations and the spirit of this holiday more than gifts. Growing up, our home always reflected her love of Christmas. She made it so special. And I always made sure our tree was decorated beautifully, and warmly, with Christmas music was playing in the background, and more. These were the gifts we gave to each other…we gave part of ourselves. I only hope that more people understand some of the loneliness their family seniors experience in nursing homes, especially during the holidays. Voted way up and shared.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      AliciaC, Thank you for your generous remark and for the warmth it gave me reading it. I appreciate your thoughts and kind words.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      "Presence over presents." I have my own story (and regret) about sending stuff instead of visiting my mother. Visits are really the best and your other suggestions are also helpful. Thanks for helping us to focus. Voted Up!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Marcoujor, You certainly know the power of our canine friends to heal and restore our laughter. They have such an uncanny way of earning affection that is irresistible.

      I'm sorry to hear of your friend in her early 60s with dementia. Yikes, that is so young. It's heartbreaking to see some of the younger folks at the home who've faced tragedy on various levels. There's one young man who was in an auto accident and is completely paralyzed. He has to remain prone and drives his bed around using his breath into a steering device, yet he remains friendly and upbeat. It reminds me to appreciate all that I have.

      Your Mom's philosophy about flowers is a good one. She was so smart and passed it along to her youngest daughter. Thanks so much for the heartwarming comment and votes, the ongoing support of Mom and Louise and your continued friendship. Love you back.

    • profile image

      dragonflycolor 2 years ago

      My mother has been a CNA for over 30 years and she has witnessed such depressing times for some of them. Family members literally dump their relatives and leave...like an unwanted animal. It's sad and inhumane in my opinion. I am so grateful for this hub and you have really given some great ideas on how to bring happiness back to those people's lives. Yet, in your face interaction is the best way to put a smile on their faces!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Genna, hello! Sorry to be so long in responding to your wonderful comment. Holiday baking has taken over here with three batches of cookies and banana bread baked in the past couple of days.

      Your Mum sounds like a lovely person who really loved Christmas. I'm so sorry for your loss and I know it's especially difficult this time of the year.

      My Mom was at this skilled nursing and rehab facility a couple of times after hip replacement surgery and a couple of back surgeries. The staff was so kind and caring to her then and she is enjoying the level of attention they give her now that she's a resident.

      Thank you so kindly for sharing your experiences with your Mum and for adding special thoughts to this article in the comments. Hoping your Christmas and holidays are delightful.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Ms. Dora, You're a true beacon of caring and an example to others with your nurturing nature. We all have a portion of regrets, including myself when I was working full time and didn't spend enough time with my Dad when I could still do so. Thank you so much for sharing a portion of your learning experiences so that we can all benefit. I appreciate your visit, your kind remarks and votes.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Dragonflycolor, So nice to meet you here and thanks to your Mom for her many years of service to these special folks. I see CNAs everyday who work and give above and beyond the call of duty and my thanks goes out to them for their service. Yes, some folks are left without visitors and that is shameful for the families of the neglected. We have a responsibility to our mothers and fathers and are commanded to honor them. Thanks for your valuable input here and for taking time to comment.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      The gift of time is definitely the best gift, my mum and dad had to go into a care home and I was gutted to have to put them there, but I used to put them in wheelchairs and take them down to the park and river whenever I could, they both loved it, these ideas are wonderful!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Nell, It is a gut wrenching experience to have to make that decision, I can tell you from personal experience. For almost too long, I was in denial and let my feelings guide me rather than accept what was safest and best for both of my relatives. At nearly ninety and ninety-four, they were not able to remain independent, administering daily medication, cooking and attending to activities of daily life without twenty four hour assistance.

      Your efforts at bringing some normalcy to the lives of your Mum and Dad I'm sure were the highlight of their days. Just having you in their company was wonderful.

      Thanks so much for sharing your kind thoughts and for stopping by to read and comment.

    • DollaTippa profile image

      DollaTippa 2 years ago

      This is a awesome hub, I was a cna a few years ago, and i was so surprised at the amount of people who never got visitors. I wondered are their families really that busy? Time is the most valuable gift that you can give your loved one.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Dolla, Thank you for your kind treatment and service to our seniors while you were a CNA. I've met some of the most loving and thoughtful caregivers at the facility and have such admiration for them. You are so right about those people who don't receive visitors. You have to wonder...

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks a lot PegCole17

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year, Suzzycue.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I love your article and suggestions for gift giving to nursing home residents. The simple gifts, such as towelettes, are so appreciated by these wonderful people. My father, when he was in the nursing home, was most thankful for visits from family and friends. It made him happy and helped put a bright note in his day.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      This is such a thoughtful hub about what gifts we should give to our elders.

      Their requirements are only a little bit of love, concern and care. They do not anything but a little bit of time from their loved ones.

      Very nice suggestions and truly a compassionate hub! Voted up!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Teaches12345, It's the simple things like spending time with our elders that makes the big difference in their days. Your dad was sure to love every moment that you spent keeping him company. They seem to appreciate even the small things like a box of tissues or lotion.

      Thank you for your input and for stopping in. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Ms.Sharan, thank you so much for your added thoughts on this article. You are quite right about our elders not needing anything but time from us. I appreciate your compassionate comment and votes. Thank you, again.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Peg, my group of therapy dogs went for a visit to a home this past Saturday. I was troubled that I could not think of a gift for our friends

      in the Alzheimer's wing. The degree of cognitive abilities vary greatly

      and what might be appropriate for one, might not be appropriate for the next friend.

      I rarely get a bright idea where a light goes on over my head. Yesterday,

      one of those lights went on and I shared it with my team leaders and they confirmed that it was no an illusion, but indeed, a great idea.

      It is too late to do it this year, but the ball is in motion. Everyone in our

      group, their friends and churches will save the beautiful Christmas cards

      and cut off the second page. We will hand out beautiful Christmas scenes next year to our special friends. No envelope to open, no worry about people who have allergies to nuts or other ingredients in cookies.

      And, no costs involved. Hope this idea spreads to those who have friends and relatives in Alzheimer's wings.

      Thank you,

      DJ.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi DJ, That truly is a brainstorm idea. It is really a great crafts project for a Girl Scouts Team or Volunteer Church group to do together. Nice of you to mention it here. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. I would be careful with the cards with a lot of glitter since these folks might rub some of it into their eyes or lips.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      Such good info to keep in mind well past the giving season and throughout the year, both in the hub and the comments. Family and friends' presence in nursing homes is crucial, as you mention, and as our population ages we do well to set an example for younger generations to take care of those who are older!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello RTalloni, You are right that setting an example for the next generation is key to the future. I find that the values from the other side of the world serve as an example in that they seem to take responsibility for caring for their elders and parents. We need to teach our children well.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      You are so right about some of the other cultures, Asians as an example, and how so many still revere their elderly. It is an amazing contrast to our current culture (in general). No matter a person's age, they are very likely looking at a future of aging and it to be observant about the needs of the elderly in order to think through the issues at a younger age is one of the smartest things we can do.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      That's exactly who I had in mind in my earlier comment. The examples of people from other cultures need to be shared in our curriculum of education to give children a basis for understanding this responsibility. Thanks for stopping back by to share this information.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 2 years ago from Dubai

      Great gift ideas for nursing home residents, as you say anytime is great to give a gift and they definitely need cheering up.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Nice to see you again, Vellur. Thank you for the supportive comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This is a good article to have on the internet. When I was living in Delaware, I volunteered with a fiend at Canine Partners for Life. My job was to socialize dogs that were being trained as helping dogs. I used to go to a nursing home for this part of the dog's training.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Deb, You are a true friend of animals, birds and people. What a great endeavor to bring the helping dogs to visit the elderly. They really enjoy the interaction with the dogs and look forward to petting and loving on them. Thanks for all you do to help others.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      It was such a delight to read this! It stirs in me the desire to go visit the Nursing homes again like I use to, in a volunteer capacity. I enjoyed playing checkers with the ladies. And one sweet lady, I let her win.

      Because she would get so upset if she lost. I use to be the "activities coordinator". Really enjoyed doing so. A great article with sweet memories. Up, shared. Blessings to you always!

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      What a kind soul you have, Jo Goldsmith11, and more because you let that sweet lady win. Just yesterday Mom was telling me how she never wins in Bingo (but she does). They get a coupon anytime they get a Bingo and can trade in their collected coupons for gifts at the facility "Store" on specific days. It is so wonderful of you to share your inspiration here and so good to see you today. Thanks for stopping in.

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      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i think giving a massage for old folks would be nice

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Peachy, That's a great idea. The positive effects of touching are often welcomed by these folks who are sometimes isolated from family. My aunt loves it when I rub her shoulders. Rolling around in the wheelchair makes her arms tired and her neck ache.

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      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Random Creative, Thank you for the nice comment which has disappeared due to a glitch in the system. Hopefully it will reappear when this is resolved. I reported it on the forum yesterday.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Peg. A first class hub, heartfelt and informative. We all need help of some kind sometime. Tip top. Voted up and all and following.

      Graham.

    • PegCole17 profile image
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      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Old Albion, I appreciate your kind words and visit. Thank you so much. Nice to see you here.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      This is an excellent article! I volunteered in a nursing home back when I was a teenager. When my mother-in-law was in a nursing home the last 6 months of her life after a series of strokes which left her totally incapacitated, we spent hours there each and every day insuring that she got the best of care. Time spent with people in nursing homes is undoubtedly the BEST gift of all. Your suggestions of other things are wonderful.

      A friend of ours takes her dog to hospitals and other places each week. It truly lights up the residents faces!

      Will be sharing this article with others so that those with a friend or relative in a nursing home will know what is appreciated and what they can do to brighten that person's day.

    • PegCole17 profile image
      Author

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Peggy W. Visiting the residents in the nursing home facility is truly the most appreciated of all gifts. They both enjoy the musicians who visit and the dogs who come with volunteers.

      Also, like you did for your MIL, acting as an advocate on their behalf is essential as things sometimes fall through the cracks. We have a regularly scheduled family conference monthly to bring up issues and discuss the patient's satisfaction for my mother and her older sister who recently turned ninety-five.

      Thank you for sharing this article and for your kind remarks.

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