It can be hard to shop for someone who lives in a nursing home, since the nursing home provides all his needs and gives him little space for storage of personal items. Men can be especially difficult, as traditional gifts of jewelry or fashion items may not appeal to them. However, there are plenty of ways to show the men you love how much you care about them on any holiday.
Warm Blanket, Warm Heart
Making a gift for your relative or friend in a nursing home can show him that you care enough to put personal attention into his gift. If you can knit or crochet, consider making him a lap blanket. This is a smaller-sized blanket meant to be draped across the lap of someone who spends time in a wheelchair or other seated position. Sometimes older people feel chilly, and a lap blanket can help them stay cozy and warm. If you can't knit or crochet, maybe you can sew them a blanket using fabric with batting in the middle for padding. If sewing skills aren't your forte, simply purchase a length of fleece (approximately 1.5 yards) and cut fringe around the edges. Tie knots in the fringe of a single piece of fleece, or double up the fleece and tie the two pieces together to make the blanket extra cozy and warm.
Living in a nursing home means eating nursing home food, which can sometimes be unpleasant. Consider cooking your friend's favorite meal for him--did he always love lasagna, or was a turkey dinner his idea of Heaven? If so, you can bring him a covered-dish dinner to satisfy his appetite and provide him with something other than the usual nursing-home fare.
If you don't know what kind of food he prefers, you can make him a dessert as a special gift as well. Decorate cookies just for him, or bake him a cake or pie.
Before you cook for someone in a nursing home, you should check with his nurse or doctor to make sure you understand any dietary restrictions he may have. For example, if he cannot have any sugar, cook him a sugar-free treat. There may be other things he is not allowed to eat, so stay within his guidelines when making him an edible gift.
Life in a nursing home can get lonely, so one of the best things you can do for nursing home residents is to spend time with them. Bring a photo album to your relative's room and spend time asking him about the relatives in his family that you don't know. Find a favorite book for the two of you to share, and take turns reading it to each other. You can even rent his favorite movies on DVD and bring in a DVD player for him so the two of you can watch them together. No matter how you spend it, the gift of time can be the most precious of all.
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- How to Make a Lap Blanket
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