As for anyone, the best gifts for someone in a nursing home appeal to the resident's interests, personality and preferences -- but special considerations that can make your gift especially meaningful include: Comfort. This takes on new meaning when someone else is in charge of the thermostat and windows. Communication with family and friends. Nursing home life can be lonely -- many residents don't have regular visitors. Favorite foods. These are apt to be missing from the facility's menu. Taking these things into account will help you purchase or create gifts that bring smiles.
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Keeping in Touch
Nursing home residents are often unable to shop for stationery, greeting cards and other writing supplies. If the person you know in a nursing home enjoys keeping in touch with family and friends, consider stationery with matching envelopes, a box of all-occasion greeting cards, postage stamps, pens and an address book. Or if the nursing home provides Internet and your loved one is computer-savvy, consider an electronic notebook for emailing, YouTube and Facebook -- in 2013, 49 percent of those aged 65 and older used social media, according to Pew Research Center. Depending on where family and friends live, a prepaid, long-distance calling card may be much appreciated.
Bring a smile to the face of the person you know in a nursing home by giving her a scrapbook or photo album of memorable times. Seeing familiar faces, places and newspaper articles of important past events is a gift that will be appreciated and no doubt looked at time and again.
Baskets of Comfort
Fill a gift basket with useful items such as washable slippers, nonskid socks, magazines, large-print books, powder, framed photographs, lip balm, lotion, puzzle books and music CDs. Depending on diet restrictions, add tasty treats to the basket such as her favorite candies, cookies and cheese and crackers.
Provide the nursing home resident with comfortable clothing such as robes, pajamas, button-up sweaters and undergarments. If the resident is a sports fan, consider t-shirts, sweatshirts or hats with his team's logo. For the mobile nursing home resident, hats, gloves, scarves and jackets make great gifts for walks, outings and sitting outside.