10 More Gift Ideas for Nursing Home Residents

Updated on May 10, 2018
PegCole17 profile image

Peg Cole served as caregiver and patient advocate for family members during the last decade.

What Do Nursing Home Residents Like?

Norma finds comfort in taking her baby doll with her on her daily rounds at the skilled nursing facility.
Norma finds comfort in taking her baby doll with her on her daily rounds at the skilled nursing facility.

What nursing home residents like most is the gift of your time spent with them. Your presence makes them feel special and valued. But when long distances or work schedules prevent you from visiting loved ones often, a thoughtful and useful gift is the next best thing. The question is, what do they want or need?

Many of the residents enjoy having a stuffed animal or doll to keep them company. This resident enjoys showing off the baby doll she carries along with her when she makes her rounds at the home.

What Games Do Seniors Play?

Some seniors enjoy playing Dominoes or card games.
Some seniors enjoy playing Dominoes or card games. | Source

Residents often request games that stimulate the mind to remind them that they're still in the game. A nice new set of Dominoes is as welcome as winning a game against this resident's son-in-law.

Seniors also enjoy jigsaw puzzles, adult coloring books, word games like Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and card games like Rummy and Go Fish.

Dried Floral Arrangements for Doors

A special decoration or floral arrangements hanging on the resident's door helps them find their way home.
A special decoration or floral arrangements hanging on the resident's door helps them find their way home.

Did you know that one common difficulty in a nursing facility is the patient's ability to remember everyday things like their room number? It's not uncommon to hear a resident say, "I can't find my room."

This colorful dried flower decoration makes a great gift that serves as a homing beacon for the resident that seeks a landmark in a sea of similar doors.

Photo Books of Family Members

With Grandma's big family, it's hard to remember everyone's name. A photo book marked with the children's names makes that easier.
With Grandma's big family, it's hard to remember everyone's name. A photo book marked with the children's names makes that easier.

For Mom's 90th birthday all her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren from around the world came to Texas to celebrate with her. Three flew in from Germany, others from North Carolina, New York, and Florida. A scrapbook with the best of the photos from the dinner party reminds her of the event.

She shows the book to nearly everyone. Photos can help ease the loneliness of separation from family for those confined to a nursing home.

When names become a blur, a photo collection of the patient's family members may help.
When names become a blur, a photo collection of the patient's family members may help.

Space in a resident's room is limited. Counter tops are often used to hold medical equipment, cosmetics, books and other things leaving little room for framed photos or other keepsakes. Using the wall space to display framed photos of loved ones, pennants from favorite teams and other memorabilia is the way to go.

This photo arrangement was a gift from the resident's son who gathered up-to-date photos from each of his children with their kids, put them together in matching frames and artfully hung them on the wall where Great-grandmother could see them every day.

Wall Calendars with Changeable Numbers

This perpetual calendar with changeable days, dates and months helps keep the resident in the present.
This perpetual calendar with changeable days, dates and months helps keep the resident in the present. | Source

When the days become a blur as time passes, residents enjoy having a visible way to help them keep up with the day and date. The changeable calendar pictured above comes with removable wood planks with writing on both sides. There are additional planks for special events like holidays and birthdays. This would be a great project for a student or crafty person to make. Similar items can be purchased online.

Warm Cotton Jackets

Seniors tend to get cold easily in common areas of the facility. A lightweight jacket to match an outfit is always welcomed.
Seniors tend to get cold easily in common areas of the facility. A lightweight jacket to match an outfit is always welcomed.

Grandmas are sometimes cold natured when it comes to temperature in a room. When everyone else is wearing shorts, she's wearing a jacket. Temperature is easily controlled in a private room with its own air conditioner. But in the common rooms and hallways of a facility the air temp can be uncomfortably cold for some people.

A lightweight, washable jacket with a zipper rather than buttons makes a great gift that can be worn year around and washed often. This velveteen hoodie jacket is one of Auntie Lou's favorites. She and her sister own similar jackets and like to wear them on the same day. People at the home refer to the pair as "the sisters."

Wash and Wear Dresses with Pockets

Seniors have particular needs for their clothing based on tastes, preferences and suitability.
Seniors have particular needs for their clothing based on tastes, preferences and suitability.

Suitable Clothing Items

Finding suitable clothing for folks of a certain age can be difficult. When Aunt Louise first entered the skilled nursing facility at ninety-four, she was wearing pull on tops with matching Capri pants. Once she became wheelchair bound, she was less able to stand up without one hand on the handrail. That made dressing in pants difficult.

Finding dresses for her made things easier but she was particular about the style. She wanted a modest neckline large enough to slip on over her head with no buttons to fasten and side pockets for trinkets and tissues. The dresses needed to be wash and wear and made of quality fabric so they would hold up to frequent washings. We ordered several of the same style dresses in different colors from an online catalog with a generous return policy and she was delighted.

Comfortable Pull-on Slippers

House slippers are welcomed gifts. Make sure they have rubber soles to help prevent falls.
House slippers are welcomed gifts. Make sure they have rubber soles to help prevent falls.

10 More Ideas for Gifts

Wondering about other items that your senior may need? These are a few suggestions for low-cost, useful gift items.

  1. House slippers are easier for arthritic hands to slip on.
  2. Marking pens to label clothing and personal items.
  3. Quality hair brushes and combs are misplaced often and needed every day.
  4. Bendy straws make drinking easier for the bed-ridden patient.
  5. Seat cushions for dining room chairs are helpful for slender, tender bums.
  6. An eyeglass tether for around the neck helps keep track of reading glasses.
  7. Boost or Ensure helps the residents to get the proper nutrition when their appetite diminishes.
  8. A laundry basket is useful to store dirty clothing prior to wash day.
  9. A large-number telephone makes dialing easier for those with vision issues.
  10. Plastic cabinets from the Dollar Store supplement the limited drawer space.

Adding Drawer Space

Extra drawer space is always welcomed and this set of plastic drawers comes in handy in the bathroom.
Extra drawer space is always welcomed and this set of plastic drawers comes in handy in the bathroom.

Drawer space is at a premium in the facility where my mother lives. The built in chest only has five drawers to hold all of her clothing and personal items. The night stand has two smaller drawers for odds and ends like jewelry, hair brushes and assorted personal items. Adding a plastic set of drawers in the bathroom allows space for personal wipes, hand towels, toothpaste, denture cups, and shampoo.

Entertainment

Chris Lemoine visits the nursing facility every week to sing for the residents.
Chris Lemoine visits the nursing facility every week to sing for the residents.

Talented musicians share their time and gifts with the residents. A compassionate entertainer, Chris Lemoine remembers the names of those in his audience and caters his music selections to match their memories. He listens to their requests and learns new tunes from their feedback. Songs from their particular era tend to engage the listener and encourages participation in the musical event.

If you can play an instrument or sing along with Karaoke music, the residents will always gather to listen. Or volunteer to read stories aloud to the residents individually or in a group.

Handmade Craft Items for Your Senior

This walker caddy is made from a Simplicity sewing pattern.
This walker caddy is made from a Simplicity sewing pattern. | Source

Sewing a Walker Caddy

If you have the time and know how to sew, you can create a personalized gift for your loved one who uses a walker. This handmade pocketed walker fabric basket is a great way to carry around items like small notebooks, pencils, pens, and eyeglasses while using both hands to safely navigate. Follow the link for instructions on how to make this item.

Seniors benefit from daily exercise to boost morale, increase muscle mass and improve circulation. This video shows how one hospital is using simple means to benefit their patients.

Balloon Volleyball, a Short Video

Everyday Wants and Needs

This resident was injured in an automobile accident and remains paralyzed. After eight years, he's experiencing a return of feeling to his legs. His most fervent wish is to have a couple of able-bodied people help him get up and down to his standing frame to help stimulate his muscles. With proper exercise, he is confident that one day he will walk again and be able to feed himself.

Not All Residents Are Elderly

This resident has  specific needs and a wish to fulfill them.
This resident has specific needs and a wish to fulfill them.

Keeping the residents engaged and active can be a challenge. Activities that include hand-to-eye coordination and reaction time serve to stimulate residents.This game of balloon volleyball provides much needed attention and exercise for the wheelchair bound patient.

Wellness workers use this and other therapies like Aromatherapy and hand massages to engage patients and give them the often rare but much-needed touch from another human being.

Bringing in a meal from favorite places
Bringing in a meal from favorite places

What Residents Really Want Is You

If time permits, drop in and share a meal with your friend or family member. Stop by their favorite restaurant and pick up enough take-out for both of you to enjoy. A visit during meal time along with the pleasure of your company is one of the best investments you can make. Beyond the price of the food, they will benefit from your company and be recognized by their friends as someone who is loved.

Here's wishing you all the best as you keep your loved ones in mind and attend to their needs.

Questions & Answers

  • What are some games that elderly people might like?

    Some of the folks like mentally stimulating games, like crossword puzzles, Scrabble, Sudoku (start with the easy levels to begin), picture puzzles, dominoes, and word association games. Visitors come to play card games like Rummy or Hearts, with their family members.

    Check with the facility administrator and see if you're allowed to bring a pet along. One family brought their parrot during visits. Others brought small, well-behaved dogs. It really lifts the residents' spirits to see their beloved animals.

© 2017 Peg Cole

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    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks so much, Lisa Jane. I appreciate your visit and your thoughts.

    • Lisa Jane39 profile image

      Lisa Jane 

      3 months ago from Washington

      I love your article. It is full of great ideas. You are right though, what they want the most is time with their loved one.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      3 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Poetryman6969.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 

      3 months ago

      Cool and thoughtful gifts.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      5 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for coming by and for the kind words, rdsparrowriter.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      rdsparrowriter 

      5 months ago

      This is a very thoughtful caring article. Interesting ideas :)

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Southern Accents 

      6 months ago from the USA

      I loved these folks, they were like my family, we had so much fun together. They also have a wealth of knowledge of days gone by!

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Margie, Bless you for all that you do and did for the seniors at your nursing home. Mom and Louise really got into the activities at the facility where they lived for over three years. It brightened their day to have someone remind them when games and events were about to start. I know what you mean about the age thing. I'm there, too.

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Southern Accents 

      6 months ago from the USA

      Hi, I was an activity director in a nursing home for many years and you are spot on with your hub! I have worked with elderly people most of my adult life. Now I am the elderly! Thanks for sharing is very informative information Peg.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Dear Dream, So kind of you to visit this lady in her winter years. I love that she is still mentally with it and that she enjoys TV. My Mother in the photos above with the walker was 92 in June. She passed in September 2017. Her sister, Louise, in the video playing balloon volleyball, was sharp and remained witty at 97. She passed in October 2017. Their loss remains a large tear in my heart. Sorry about your mother. Kindest regards and God Bless.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      6 months ago

      The woman who I visit is 95 and she doesn't leave her bed. I think she is so afraid of falling now I am afraid she is losing her strength in her legs and back. She can get bed sores and her mind is sharp as a tack it's her body that could still work. I don't know if she just got lazy and she stays in her room and watches t.v. Except when I am there, I say lets give it a rest. I make sure I turn it on before I leave. I am sure your mother couldn't wait till you got there and appreciated it so much. My mom passed away at 83. How old was your mom ?

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Dear Dream On, Your presence spending time with your family friend is the best gift you can give. I'm sure she enjoys it immensely and the talks and card games are special too.

      I found that my Mom grew to have less interest in games, TV or magazines and more interest in music and just sitting quietly together. We would attend the music performances of the home-schooled children and the activities director and sit and hold hands. She liked others to see that she was visited and beloved.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      6 months ago

      Your hub was beautifully written. I spend a few days a week at a nursing home visiting a close family friend and I have asked myself the same question. What can I give her that she can enjoy and use. She shares her room with another women. Limited table top space. Flowers are nice. In the past I have brought her a quilted blanket and cards. I play the card game war with her. I make up imaginary games just to keep her thinking. Most of the time we spend talking and reminiscing about the good old days. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this much needed hub.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Margaret, You're right about the residents of rehabilitation facilities. Hours are long and time passes slowly when recovering from illness or injury. My husband had major surgery a few years back and found the time passed more quickly when he had his favorite magazines, like Hot Rod, Super Chevy and Car Craft. I appreciate your visit and insightful comments.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      6 months ago from Massachusetts

      Peg, these are such insightful ideas, not only for nursing home residents but also for rehabilitation facility residents. My late mother was in a rehab hospital for several months and she would have appreciated many of these gifts. The idea of a dried floral wreath or door decoration to help residents find their rooms is brilliant!

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      7 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Peggy, Thanks for coming by and for sharing the word about your sewing group. So many of the residents at the nursing home asked about the walker caddy and wanted to know where they could get one. What a great project for a group of volunteers to undertake. Mom carried her reading glasses, a small notebook, a pen to fill out the meal ticket, dog biscuits for the mascot at the home as well as tissues.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      These are such good suggestions Peg. You are correct that time is undoubtedly the most appreciated of all!

      I have a friend who is in a sewing group. They sew organizers that fit over walkers so that people in nursing homes can carry items like tissues and other things more easily with them. They donate them to nursing homes. They also sew things for children's charities.

    • profile image

      Rose Marie Smith 

      7 months ago

      Thank you. I will keep searching for a group. These are great recommendations.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      8 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Rose Marie, Sorry, I don't know of any charity that sews wheelchair bags. It might be useful to suggest that to your church group or charity organization. Many churches have knitting circles that make mini-blankets for residents. My mom and her sister received several of them over their lengthy stay at a nursing home here in Texas.

      I sewed the walker organizer that is pictured with my mother above but it is a time-consuming and costly project.

    • profile image

      Rose Marie Smith 

      8 months ago

      Does anyone know of a charity in eastern US that sews wheelchair bags for nursing home residents?

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Frank, Thanks for taking time to stop in and for the important observation about gift giving. Bless you as well.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      9 months ago from Shelton

      Peg.. this is helpful.. but I really think giving your time is the best of them all. You feel good and you can really see how much they enjoy it.. as always.. what a wonderful holiday post.. bless you

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Chitrangada, for stopping in to read this and for the thoughtful comment. I sure do miss my Mom and her sister Louise.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      9 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A wonderful and thoughtful article!

      You have been so close to these seniors, looking after them, so you speak with experience.

      Very useful information for those who want to buy or gift something to the elderly, so that they can use it and be happy to receive it.

      Lovely pictures and videos.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      10 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you so much Nithya, for the visit and the kind remarks.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      10 months ago from Dubai

      These are all great ideas for gifts for nursing home residents. I love the framed photographs of family members and spending time with them.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      11 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Thank you Catherine. Looking back over these photos reminds me of the many years I had with my dear mother. Nice of you to drop by.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      11 months ago from Orlando Florida

      You have done a wonderful service to both nursing home residents and the folks who love them. Everyone loves a gift, especially when it is useful and/or meaningful. I think the door decoration appeals to me the most. We all the know the gift of our time is the best gift, but when we can bring a little something when we visit, that makes the visit extra-special.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Linda, Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and leave such a thoughtful comment. Cheers to you.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello dear Jackie, What a nice gift for your mom - a cuddly soft baby doll. Of course it matters when they are unable to vocalize or remember the names of their children. That is tragic and sad for us and for them in their private moments of reality. My heart goes out to you. My mom is in very poor physical condition right now - not eating - barely talking. It breaks your heart. God bless you and your family, too.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Mckbirdbks, Mike, thanks so much for coming by to read this and for your kind remarks. Seems like only yesterday that Mom celebrated her 90th birthday, yet it's been two years. Hope all is well with you and yours. I'm enjoying reading the stories in your new book, The Carriage Driver3 and can't help but think of them when I see the weathervane at the facility. Congratulations on another great publication.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      12 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an excellent article, Peg. It contains so many good and kind ideas for helping seniors. Thanks for sharing all of the suggestions.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Flourish, How sweet of you to give your Great grandmother a manicure. And sharing that treat with the other residents was so kind of you. The bright colors would truly be cheerful.

      They have free nail painting at this facility and the residents so enjoy being pampered. Thanks for sharing that lovely idea here.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello again Becky, Bunnies are so lovable, soft and fluffy. Included in my previous article about this topic were photos of the Visiting Dogs Association and the facility mascot, a golden retriever who comes to work every day with her owner, the Administrator. Ginger is well loved and known to all who live there. Her familiar bark makes them smile and say, "It sounds like home here." Last month, they brought in a miniature horse for the residents to pet and love on.

      I'm glad you were able to provide comfort to Dennis when he needed it most. Having a family pet visit is so important. My Mom asks about our dogs every time I'm there and tells me how much she misses them. Tony is over a hundred pounds and difficult for me to manage. Our other guy is a wild man and doesn't travel well. She tells me often, "I wish I had something to send home for the dogs."

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Maria, So nice to see you here. I asked Aunt Louise yesterday if she still played balloon volleyball. She said she hadn't in a long time. The activities program has changed a bit with new staff. The lady in the video always made sure Louise was rolled into the game and took a lot of care to include her. I will give her a big hug from you and one for Mom as well. Hugs

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Glenis, I loved hearing about your visiting dog. In my other gift ideas article there are photos of the visiting dog's association and the facility mascot, Ginger, a golden retriever. It's so true that the residents enjoy petting animals and having them visit. A couple of weeks ago they brought in a miniature horse! Thanks for the visit and kind comment.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      MsDora, thank you for dropping in and for the sweet comment. The video was taken a couple of years ago but Louise still loves playing balloon volleyball at 97.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Nell Rose, So kind of you to bring thoughtful gifts and necessities to your Mum when she was in a facility. The residents truly light up when they see they have a visitor. Thanks for coming by and for the great comment.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      12 months ago from The Beautiful South

      My mom had a hard bodied doll at the nursing home someone had given her that she just loved but because it was hard I found her a bigger soft one she could cuddle easier and she did love it even more. Even though she said my name over and over she did not know who I was but of course that did not matter. I know personally how true all you say is. I think warm clothing is an excellent gift and very soft to be comfortable.

      God bless you for what you do. (I am sure He does.)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      12 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg - You have shared some good ideas, You also give us plenty of insight. Your family is such a strong unit. Coming from all over the world to share your Mom's 90th birthday just proves it. Flowers for the door is a great idea.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      12 months ago from USA

      You have helped a lot of people with these ideas. I like the puzzle and baby doll ideas particularly. When my great grandmother was in a residential facility many years ago, I would take a caddy with me to do manicures. I'd shape and paint her long lovely nails a hot pink or bright red or orange. It brought such joy that a few of her friends asked me to do it for them as well. It was a visual reminder that someone cared.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      Peg,the nursing home Dennis was in had a bunny for the people to pet and cuddle. They were also allowed to have a pet dog or cat visit once a week. Unfortunately., Dennis was in a respiratory unit where pets are not allowed. Between allergies and hair contamination with tracheotomies, pets were not allowed in that unit. We could take the dogs with us when we went, but they had to be in public areas. They had several public areas, away from respiratory, as well as a couple of courtyards. We had to have enough people with us to keep someone out in a public area with the dogs. They also had a couple of hamsters and quite a few birds.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      12 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Peg,

      What a pleasure to come home from a weekend clinical rotation today and see your post.

      The video of Aunt Louise is awesome. She sure gave the therapist a run for her money - very coordinated ... :)

      The pictures of our sweet ladies are beautiful. And the gift ideas you share are spot on.

      Sending you, Mom and Aunt Louise lots of hugs, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Mary, Thanks for the wonderful comment and for your service to the population at the nursing residence of your in-laws. It takes a lot of heart to do that sort of work. I admire all the staff members who serve day after day in an environment that can be quite challenging emotionally and physically.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi James, What a pleasure it is to see you here. Yes, most of the photos are of my mother and her sister. Aunt Louise is the one in the video playing balloon volleyball. Mom is the one with the walker caddy.

      So nice of you to drop in and leave a comment. Thank you. Hope that you are well.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Dear Becky,

      It sounds as if you really had all the bases covered with your thoughtful gifts for Dennis. My friend Hal, pictured above, was telling me the other day how much he loved to play cards.

      The cork board is a great idea for capturing all the greeting cards and daily activities lists that are received. I also liked the idea of the slip on wheelchair back cover. Before Aunt Louise got a custom wheelchair, the plain seat was uncomfortable. We found that a tie on dining room seat cushion worked and was easy to wash.

      Again, thanks so much for the great comment and for dropping in here today. I know you miss Dennis so much. Hugs.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      GlenR 

      12 months ago from UK

      Lovely ideas. I especially like the baby doll. Old people often don't have anyone or anything to cuddle. My cousin was allowed to take her dog into the care home when visiting her mother and she loved to stroke it. I think that is an idea that more care homes should adopt.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      These are all very thoughtful, practical gifts. I especially love the calendar. Louise is impressive at 95.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      12 months ago from England

      Hi, what a great hub! I remember when my mum was in one, we were always taking her stuff in, and making sure they had entertainment etc. great idea for the doors, and yes a lot of the residents did forget their way! wonderful!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      12 months ago from Brazil

      Such wonderful ideas. I would never have considered some of the things on your lists. It is amazing to think that simple things such as the decoration for the door will help a resident feel more secure and not lost.

      The clothing choices I can understand and see how a lot has to be taken into consideration. The walker caddy must be a Godsend for residents who want to take items back and forth without having to ask a member of staff to do it for them.

      Many years ago, my in-laws had a nursing home and a residential home which I helped in occasionally. I wish I had thought more about how I could have made a positive impact on the resident's lives.

      Excellent article and full of good advice.

    • SubRon7 profile image

      James W. Nelson 

      12 months ago from eastern North Dakota

      A beautiful hub, Peg, thank you, and the lady in so many of the photos...your aunt?

      And Chris Lemoine--What a guy!

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      12 months ago from Hereford, AZ

      This is a wonderful article Peg. I took Dennis a stuffed bear for an anniversary gift. He kept it on his bed to remind him of me. They often used it to prop his hand up, when his hand was getting sore. They had a cork board for their personal cards and photos. I posted all of the greeting cards for him to look at and I got him 8x10 photos of each of the families of his kids. He could not play card games, because he had limited mobility in his hands. He only got out of bed for an hour or two, because he got so tired, so didn't need to have a bunch of clothes taken to him. I took some cotton leisure pants with cartoon patterns. They were elastic waist and easy for the staff to help him into. He loved them and all the residents loved his Daffy Duck pants. I took him some inexpensive holiday decor to put on his walls and he had a small nativity that we put on the top of the dresser, next to his TV. I made a custom seat cover for the back of his electric chair. He had complained that it made him feel sweaty. I measured and cut it to slide over the back and it fit like a glove. The seat came with a couple of washable covers and I coordinated the back. Then they all wanted one. I made a couple more for some of the others.

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