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Gift Ideas for the Nursing Home Resident

To some people, presents are tokens of love and need be neither grand nor costly. To others, thought, time, care, and sometimes even money, are crucial factors in determining how well a gift might be received. Yet, gift-giving rules change as we grow older. The needs and desires of a middle-aged person are generally different than the needs and desires of an elderly individual. Practicality usually dominates when shopping for the nursing home resident. Let’s examine some gift ideas that could be suitable for your loved one.

  1. Paper, Stationery or Small Note Cards. Writing supplies, in addition to stamps, will help your loved one stay in touch with family and friends. If he or she was never much of a writer, then maybe a box of generic greeting cards with a “thinking of you” message? Letters and cards help us stay connected with people we might otherwise never contact.
  2. Personal Items. Items such as underwear, bras, nonskid socks, slippers, toothbrushes, non-medicated hygiene products, cologne, comfy blankets, and other similar items, are usually very much appreciated. Maybe arrange a colorful gift bag with matching tissue paper and some assorted essentials?
  3. Pictures or Photo Albums. Everyone loves happy memories! Perhaps construct a photo album with pictures from trips or holidays? If you do not have many photos, then possibly an antique frame “8 by 10” glossy of your loved one in his or her youth? Enlarging a wallet-sized photo can be as simple as locating the nearest copy machine (home models can do a great job!).
  4. Clothing Items. Comfort is crucial to the nursing home resident. Articles such as sweats, nightgowns, cozy pajamas, loose tops, soft sweaters, are some thoughts. In addition, a stylish outfit might be nice for the holidays, and warm outerwear for colder seasons may also be helpful.
  5. Reading Material. Maybe a subscription to your loved one’s hometown newspaper? This allows him or her to stay connected to both local and national events. Or, perhaps, the delivery of a favorite magazine?

In addition to the above thoughts, sometimes the greatest gift we can give is our time. Understandably, that commodity is stretched thin for many of us. Still, sitting for a while and chatting about everything or nothing is especially cherished by the nursing home resident (even if his or her face does not show it). And as the years go by, we often find that we can count these memories among our most cherished times, too.