When my husband’s Mom went to the nursing home, I realized that bringing care packages and gifts to her was a great way to assist an elderly woman to adapt to some location she actually didn’t need to be!
When Mom (my own mother-in-law for the previous 11 years) had to go into the nursing home for an extended stay, I understood we’d need to ensure it is fine that there for her to feel comfortable and get enough to come home. I know I’d hate to get stuck there also!
That said, the majority of the ideas that I created were for food items… soda and cookies and candy. Well, that didn’t work really well so we had to really stretch to determine things which would make her happy AND that made sense for somebody living a fairly limited life!
Finding very useful gifts for the elderly loved ones to appreciate can be hard.
Okay, let’s get this one out of the way first… sending in goodies has nothing on actually going to view them, even if it’s a fast visit.
Mom’s roommate got very few people and it was dreadful for her calling individuals, requesting them to come by. As much as you are able to pop in and say hello! Even if it is just for a few minutes.
The time is the most inexpensive present for your elderly loved ones, whether they are your parents or grandparents. Enjoying a meal with or perhaps having a simple conversation may be the perfect gift by itself.
All these are what I believe personal happiness presents! They come from the center and also remind your loved ones there is more out than just those four nursing home walls and there are people out there who love them and are considering them often. They like to be childish.
I have received two birthday “Parties” as a gift. My 50th was a Victorian lawn party. The invitation, the dress of the guests and the activities-“to visit and almost certainly to bounce babies, croquet and horseshoe playing” were all theme appropriate. I was driven to the party in my brother’s 1948 Dodge classic car.
For my 60th birthday it was a 50’s theme. “We will dress in 50’s fashion donning duck tails, pony tails, swell pedal pushers, turn up our collars, turn down our bobby socks and bring on the Bryl Cream,” the invitation stated.
“Murder Mystery Dinner.” This is a game you can buy. It has invitations to a dinner. It has a card for each guest describing who they are and how to dress. Each one comes in costume and has a script to follow. One guest is the murderer and all the guests have to solve the murder. The hostess gives them more instructions when all arrive. The dinner is served in courses throughout the evening. Corrine has done several of these for her friends.
Pictures/Videos of Grandkids
The first night Mother moved in was pretty heinous… there was a crying lady in the next bed, Mom was in tears and we were scrambling to find out what we can do about getting her into another area. Following the chaos calmed down but until Mother got to her room, my husband delivered over two fast videos of the kids saying, “you obtained this g”. It had been such a little thing, but it made her feel loved and connected.
Pictures/Videos of Pets
One thing I can always rely on to make Mom smile is earning an image of her little dog with me. Just seeing with his funny little face reminds her that she is working hard in PT and OT to receive strong enough to come home to him!
This is one that I know works since we used it once we were embracing our children before they moved and we did images of the rooms and the home. If your Mother or Grandma is suffering from dementia or Alzheimers and has difficulty remembering where they reside, obtaining a book that is full of images of the house, bedroom, yard, the den, functionally anywhere they could recognize.
This would also work together with individuals, have a picture of her grandkids with their titles. Sometimes Mother forgets Tom’s name and calls him Johnny but she tends to always remember he plays sports since she has pictures of him playing lacrosse.
I have already been doing a lot of reading about how getting stuffed creatures has assisted dementia and Alzheimers patients to find comfort. Mom’s memory is dong much better now that we obtained her UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) cleared up, but as her disease progresses we’ll for sure get her the Pete The Repeating Parrot that was recommended in the article or something like that talking hamster (Mom is more of a fuzzy critters gal than she’s a bird girl!)
Nice gift-giving ideas for older people: stamps, assorted cards, a disposable camera, and large print books are appropriate and appreciated. Nursing Home residents enjoy/can use small gifts of lotion, powder, other hygiene articles, Find-a-Word books, gowns or pajamas, etc. wrapped separately to open one each day during December.
These are more personal care products the nursing homes sometimes provide, but having something special can seem to be a real treat!
I don’t know if it’s a principle or not, but I find that the room at Mom’s area is super dry and that she gets a bit flaky!
We got mom some super fancy and brilliant nail files that added a pop of color to her little swing round bed table! They’re most likely the least expensive thing we obtained but they have been used the most!
Manicure, pedicure or gift certificate to a local beauty salon is a thoughtful gift. If you know an older person who regularly gets “perms,” pre-pay the perm and have the hairdresser call and tell her. You can even do like 4/yr. at one time.
No Rinse/Dry Shampoo
At the nursing home where Mother is they only do showers/hair washes two times every week. When she looks in the mirror and sees her own hair looking bad, she feels bad, so a fast washy-wash on the hair is a true mood booster!
No beverage Shampoo … I didn’t even know that existed! It is somewhat cluttered, but it does a really wonderful job with hardly any effort. Functionally it is a liquid that you put into her hair and then just towel dry. Her hair is cleaner and smells super nice.
Dry shampoo… Dry Shampoo is an excellent alternative to going wet if your mom is super incapacitated!
Shampoo shower It’s a shower cap which you could just plop on, let sit then do a scrubby with the cap on and BAM… wash hair!
Making Their Room Cheerful
Having that dull beige area is not a great way to feel better in life… sigh. There were just two super great things we did make Mom’s room more cheerful and fun!
I know it’s fun to have fresh-cut flowers in your area, but that is not super practical when Mom can’t take care of them and the nurses are not super attentive. This is an arrangement that we needed in her room in the home that we moved to the assisted living center.
We started this one in the hospital kept it up when she transferred to the nursing home. A fairly blanket serves two functions… It keeps her warm when she gets chilly and moment the nurses always remark on it!
We just make ones she already had at home, but you could get her something unique if she doesn’t already have one she enjoys!
I can’t even begin to imagine how boring it must be to sit in bed day after day. With that in mind, it is a fantastic idea to find interesting things to do!
My Mom enjoys playing solitaire on her bedside table and this particular deck of cards is super simple to see because they have really large numbers and suits.
This is a fun idea I found that we have not gotten yet, but it seems to be an Alzheimers Action Apron will be very handy to assist mom keep busy!
I heard a lot about earning art supplies but thought that would be somewhat daunting to stay in order and how would Mom drag them out and put them back? That would be perfect if she fell and broke a hip while we had been trying to get her better… NOT!
However, I then recalled there were watercolor painting novels I had used with my kids… perfect!
Mom uses to love to read, so we brought her a slew of books that only sat on the side desk till I figured out with her short-term memory loss reading isn’t fun anymore. She can not keep a track of this narrative line and has really frustrated with all the letters, even if the books are big print.
However, magazines are fantastic! She is able to flip through, looking at images and seeing all kinds of fun colors and interesting goings-on!
Cozy Bathrobes and Slippers
Older loved ones can get really cold in winter, therefore a robe and slippers are almost always well-received. Remember that the security of the resident, and search for non-skid soles on the slippers.
Lightweights, stretch bands, and similar things can help seniors stay healthy and care for their general well-being while having fun. The Arthritis Foundation has a list of easy-to-use exercise, hobby and home items for older adults with arthritis or limited joint mobility.
More than magazines, Mom’s large-sized iPad has been a lifesaver for keeping her entertained. She keeps unintentionally unhooking it from the Wifi, however when it’s functioning she has access to the entire world!
We aren’t super concerned about someone taking it, even though that could happen, but it is a locked facility so we feel as secure about it as we did in the hospital!
Practical and Helpful
All these are some things that we’ve discovered over time since she has been there that have really helped her feel better about being alone in the nursing home!
One of the reasons Mom fell was her blood pressure could fall when she stood or sat up. They have her compression socks… super trendy white ones like in the image above. Well, come to find out there were really cute compression socks!
Occasionally it’s tough to see things tiny when you have old eyes! Having a hand-held magnifier helps Mom see details when she wishes to zoom in and actually read her magazines!
This is one that I would not have thought about before Mother complained that her roommate liked to go to sleep WAY sooner than she did! Possessing a small flashlight she would use to read her magazines or see around gave her a sense of mischief and that she was getting away with something!
I am beginning to think it sounds like Mom is complaining about her roommate a lot, but she really did! She just wasn’t utilized to living with someone else after having lived alone for nearly 20 years.
Earplugs were vital when her roommate tended to slough off. Mom only surfaced in earplugs and it never stopped her roommate just one bit!
The nursing home is super hot in general and also a couple of Mom’s roommates liked to have the heat up fairly high all night and day. Having a handheld fan let Mom get a breeze going if she got somewhat overheated!
All these are so darn cool! Though Mom is using one of these super fancy new-fangled walkers with wheels and a chair, having a walker tote gives her a chance to use her walker and not lug a purse around!
Mother has really been fighting with her memory and it truly makes her sad not to know what is going on. We have a super trendy dry erase, board, with a mark that we could use to show her daily, year and what is occurring during the day!
I do not have a picture of Mom’s but she’s an iPad propper-upper that she can use to watch films on her iPad without needing to hold it all of the time in her lap!
I believe this is another thing we are going to get Mom! She struggles with losing her TV clicker and nail files so using it hung around her neck and tied on would make everybody happier!
Okay, that is enough for now. If Mother pops staying there a lot longer I will be sure to incorporate anything that we discover what makes her happy or makes our lives easier!
My sister, Barbara, and I always plan a special day for our mother on or near her birthday. We three spend one day together visiting her old home place, her family cemetery or find a special place to take her for her special day.
Two years before my mother died she divided up her jewelry and gave it to her two daughters, three daughters-in-law and her granddaughters. She carefully chose who would receive each item and we all received several pieces. I’m not sure who enjoyed that Christmas the most-Mom or all of us girls overjoyed at the jewelry she wanted us to have. The costume jewelry is now priceless and I’ve always thought how much nicer to receive the jewelry as a “gift” from Mom rather than dividing it up after her death.
Other Gift Ideas for Seniors at Assisted Living
• Adaptive clothes and non-socks
• A reading lamp
• A sign-in journal for people
• Pens, tape, writing tablets, and other office supplies
• Puzzles or puzzle games
• Picture coffee mugs, tote bags, or paperweights
Are there some other useful presents for loved ones in assisted living that you would Add to this list? Share your suggestions with us from the comments below.