(Ezine) It’s no secret that finding the perfect gift for a senior citizen is a bit difficult, but shopping for a present for someone living in an assisted living facility is a little more tedious. Individuals in long-term care facilities may not need much more than the everyday necessities. However, when it comes birthdays or Christmas presents, they deserve something a little extra special too.
Keep it simple. There’s no need to go overboard with the gifts you buy for an individual living in assisted living facility. In many places, the seniors’ rooms remain unlocked, so you will want something that isn’t extremely valuable in case it gets broken or misplaced
Gifts for Seniors in Long-Term Care Facilities
Here are some gift ideas for those living in nursing homes or other types of long-term residential facilities:
- Soap, lotions and other toiletries
- Tissues with decorative holders
- Box of miscellaneous greeting cards with pre-stamped envelopes
- Filled picture frames and photo albums
- Homemade treats (if allowed)
- Decorative hand towels
- Lap blankets
- Phone cards
- Homemade arts and crafts (from grandchildren)
- Favorite music on CD
- Large-print books and puzzles
- Housecoat and slippers
- Bed jacket, shawl or nice cardigan sweater
- New shirts and pants
- New blanket or afghan
- Pads of paper and pens to write notes
- Hats, scarves and gloves
- Stuffed animals
- Large dial watch or alarm clock
- Costume jewelry and hair accessories
Gifts That Keep Giving
There are also many gifts you can give to someone living in an assisted living facility that don’t cost anything more than time. Most often, these mean more than items purchased from a store:
- Acknowledgement: Just smiling and saying hello to other residents gives them a feeling of reassurance and respect.
- Compliments: Taking notice of a resident’s new haircut or sweater will boost his or her self-esteem.
- Conversation: Many residents enjoy talking especially to someone new. Spend a few minutes chatting with several residents; it will make their day.
- Teach a skill: Knitting and crocheting are pretty popular at senior housing facilities, so if you have these skills, spend an afternoon with residents who enjoy these crafts too. If possible, bring in some extra yarn and needles or hooks so others can get involved.
- Reading: Spend a few hours each week or month reading to those who can no longer see well enough to read.
- Bring on the music: If you are musically inclined or know someone who is, spend some time each month conducting sing-a-longs with the residents.
- Activity helper: Call out numbers for a bingo game or help players with their game cards.
- Raise money: Organize a community fundraiser to help raise funds for an assisted living facility; money raised can purchase crafts and other activities.
Don’t buy gifts that are heavy or take up a lot of space. There isn’t much room for them. Also, many residents of assisted living facilities don’t have families or friends who visit, so you may want to add them to your shopping lists for birthdays or Christmas. They will certainly enjoy and appreciate being remembered.
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