When someone moves into a nursing home, their lifestyle changes. They no longer have as much space as they used to. This changes what you can and can’t buy for them.
We have put together a list of top ten gift ideas for someone who is living in a nursing home.
A pair of elastic waist pants or even open side easy touch pants is helpful for elderly. If they are having problems with dexterity or arthritis in their hand, doing up buttons can be hard for them. These pants will let them dress individually with ease. Wheelchair pants are open-back pants that can be put on while they are in a sitting position or if they are lying down.
Do they have any mobility problems? On difficult days when they are experiencing joint pains or stiffness, open-back tops can be just what they need. An open-back top eliminates having to put anything over their head. If your loved one is wheelchair bound, adaptive clothing can help the daily struggle of getting dressed. If they have help getting dressed in the morning, it will make daily stressing go more smoothly. If your mom or loved one wore dresses all their lives, open-back dresses are the perfect transition item. This open-back design allows them to stay in a seated or lying down position, but they can still wear dresses. When people move to wheelchair mobility, it restricts them from doing many things. Give them clothing that they can still wear with ease. It will make them feel more comfortable mentally.
Essential Oil Diffuser / Air Freshener
Give them something to make their home smell like home. Nursing homes tend to have a certain smell. Getting an essential oil diffuser can let them make their room a bit more like their own. Many oil diffusers can come with calming essential oils, giving them one of those smells can alleviate any stress they might have.
A Digital Photo Frame
This can be a lovely memory for them as well as a topic of conversation with all of their friends at the nursing facility. There is a lot of downsizing involved in moving into long term care. A whole house now needs to fit into a room. This can include no more space for all of their photo albums. Ask to borrow those photo albums and scan them all on to a drive and move it on to a digital photo album. This also helps them with dexterity problems. For those with arthritis, turning pages in an album might be a difficult task. A digital photo album allows them to look at the photos without having to turn the pages.
Slippers & Socks:
In long term care and retirement residences, slip resistant footwear must be worn at all times. This is for slip and fall prevention and safety of the residents. So getting your loved one a new pair of slip resistant slippers will not only be a nice gift but something very useful and practical they will need. Having comfortable indoor shoes is perfect gift idea so they don’t have to feel like they are wearing stiff footwear indoors. Look at what shoes they have on currently, if they have any holes in certain places they might need a wider slipper. This is also a good way to pick out the right size.
During the nightly trip to the washroom, it can be a hassle to have to put slippers on. But to remain safe it is important to still have slip resistant footwear. Slip resistant socks are the perfect solution. Gripper socks can be worn to bed, and that way you don’t have to worry about putting anything on while taking your trip to the washroom.
A Mini Fridge
A mini fridge can be very helpful for a loved one in a nursing home. If they ever go out for a lunch with family, they can bring leftovers back and eat them later. Stock the mini fridge with nice little snacks that they can have when they don’t feel like making the trip to the lunchroom. Having a small fridge in the room will help them have easy access to snacks or water.
There are times when you don’t feel like going out or can’t go out due to health conditions. Giving them cosmetics or toiletries will be very helpful. It will save them the trouble of having to worry about these personal necessities. For men, go grab an extra razor or some shaving cream. For women, make a small basket of make-up, face creams or moisturizers. If they don’t wear a lot of make-up, or don’t need those types of cosmetics you can get them a practical kit that includes a toothpaste and lotion or maybe a new toothbrush or denture cleaner.
A Comfortable Blanket
This blanket can be a nice cozy decoration to their room. It’s a great way to personalize their room. Get them a nice fuzzy blanket that’s their favorite color or that has a favorite animal on it. This is a great way to make them feel more at home while keeping them warm during the winter season. If they are wheelchair bound, this could be a wheelchair friendly blanket.
These blankets have snaps where you can attach the blanket to the arms of the wheelchair. If they want a bit more than that, a wheelchair cape can be what they are looking for. This is a jacket with one wide opening at the top that you can put over your head instead of having to wrap it around and do up. This cape is designed to avoid getting caught in a wheelchair, so it is higher at the back so you can sit comfortably in a wheelchair with your jacket.
Puzzles & Games
Give them a reason to connect with other or have something to do when you go to visit. Having a two person game like chess will give them something to do with other residents in the nursing as well as something to do to keep their brain sharp. Puzzles are great as a calming exercise, lightly working the brain. If you are buying for a parent and have kids, get a game that you know your kids love playing so they can play it with them when they visit.
A moving storage cart
This gives them something where they can put all the knick knacks they have lying around. Whether its the TV remote, an extra pair of glasses or their Kleenex, it can be a nice place for storage items that are used often. Make it even easier for them by giving it wheels. This allows them to move it from their reading chair to the bed depending on what they are doing.
Personalization tools for their mobility
Do they have a walker or a wheelchair? If they have their own, sometimes it can get lost among the other walkers in the facility. Get them things in which they can jazz up their own walkers or wheelchairs. This could be gems to put on it, or a fun creative way to make a name tag. If you are looking for a gift for a grandparent, this could be a fun craft to do with them.
A wheelchair pouch is a nice addition to their walker or wheelchair. This way they have a place to keep their valuables, so they don’t have to leave them around anywhere. This is also nice if they are living in a shared space, if they have a roommate or doors that don’t lock, they might want a bag in which they can take around valuables.
Each of these gifts can be personalized through color and design. Remember to keep the receiver in mind when buying the gift. You can always mix and match gift ideas, for example, putting a nice top with some comfy slippers can be a way to give them comfort and style.
Let’s recap some of these gift ideas:
- Mini fridge
- Adaptive clothing
- Adaptive footwear
- Warm blankets
- Art/ crafts
- Wheelchair pouch
- Slip resistant socks
- Puzzles and games
- Digital photo frame
- Air diffusers/ air fresheners
There are so many gift ideas to choose from! We hope that with the help of this list, you will be able to find the perfect gift for your loved one.
Would you like to add to the list and share some more ideas! Please leave a comment below and let us know!