Aging Parents: 6 Valentine’s Gifts for Patients in Nursing Homes

Several years ago a friend gave me an article about nursing home gifts from  http://www.aracontent.com. (no longer on their current site). I wouldn’t have kept it this long if I didn’t think it worthwhile (and still do). I’ve used their gift topics, added gift suggestions, photos and specific plant suggestions.

6 Gift Suggestions:
For updates go to 2013 updates

oxallis

Oxallis regnalli–Shamrock Plant

  1. Plants–Especially for those who enjoyed gardening, plants give older people something to take care of and focus on outside themselves. As said often, I particularly like oxallis because they flower continually, are forgiving if not well cared for and do well in indirect light.
Red Kalanchoe, green container, ivy

Red Kalanchoe, green container, ivy

Succulents of any variety that don’t have “prickers,”–eg. sedum, kalanchoe–are also easy care, need little water, some are very attractive. They like (but can exist without) good light and flower–if you’re lucky–once a year.

Violets are more fussy but should be no problem for those who gardened in the past. They flower over a rather long period of time and need light (but not direct sunlight)–and light fertilizing to flower again after their initial blooming period.  They don’t want water on their leaves, and should be regularly turned to keep their nice shape.

Begonia varieties are numerous, colorful, most require minimal care, grow well indoors, and will flower in indirect light. (They are usually shade plants outdoors.)

Philodendrons come in all sizes, have attractive foliage, are difficult to kill, can be grown in soil or water, have no flowers, and do fine in low light. They also help purify the air.

2. Favorite music–CD’s or tapes (a collection of favorite TV shows and/or movies) would be a treat. So would a CD player. Don’t we all love watching (or listening to) our favorite movies and/or music again and again!

3.  Salon certificates: Most nursing facilities have in-house salons for hair and nails, but they require an additional charge. What about giving gift certificates for the salon? Look good, feel better!

4.  Room decorations: Framed pictures of grandchildren or the family or perhaps a comforter in their favorite color, or grandchildren’s drawings make an institutional setting feel more uplifting.

5.  Photo albums, home movies: Sharing family stories with others is a popular pastime. Photo albums, videos and movies add to the interest and fun. The technology to play them is available on most floors.

6.  Magazine subscriptions: The recreation director at an Elder-Care center in New Hampshire says “travel magazines are extremely popular around here.” Our elders are  in the best position to know whether travel, People, Fly Fishing, or National Geographic is the best fit for then.

If uncertain about gifts, phone the activities or social services department at the nursing home. Their staff should know.

Of course, as has been said many times in my blog, visits from family and friends are the best gift, especially when they bring home-baked or home-cooked food. But then, maybe the most special visitors are the babies and tots that old people can oooh and aahh over, and grand–or great-grand–parents can take pride in.

Valentine’s Day is another chance to do something special to help aging parents and elders we care about– and isn’t that our goal!

Note: Check out 8 Valentine’s Gifts for Patients–2016 update

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Check out: “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus some practical information–to help parents age well

 

 

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