Elderly people have their own unique needs and wants to consider when deciding on what to give them for Christmas.  They will be delighted to receive a present that truly reflects your love and care, because it is tailored to their specific situation. Before buying a a gift, always check with the administration or activity director of the nursing home to ensure your gift is appropriate.

My mom lived in a nursing home for 6 ½ years and I often wondered what gifts to give her at Christmas.  Then I read a blog post* by Carol Gioia that contained a list of “Gifts for the Elderly Who Live in Nursing Homes;” it gave me several ideas for items Mom might enjoy.

1.  Novelty holiday sweaters or decorative shirts are popular with the elderly who want to be in the holiday spirit.

2. Some nursing homes have a hairdresser.  Pay the hairdresser for several sessions at the hair salon. Then make a gift certificate for your loved one and then also put the dates on her or his calendar.

3. If there is no in-house hairdresser, contracting one to come in every so often and style your loved one’s hair is a wonderful gift.

4. Large print books and audio books.

5. Elderly people feel the cold more, so a cozy lap blanket, afghan, bed jacket or a Snuggie would be welcomed.

6. A fruit basket of their favorite fruit would be enjoyed.

7. DVD’s of classic movies or music from your loved-one’s era will be sure to please.

8. Another thoughtful gift would be to purchase a small pre-decorated table-top tree.

As always, the best present is your presence—you spending time with the elderly person who lives in a nursing home.

Whatever you decide to do in regard to gifting your elderly loved one for Christmas, don’t confine your thoughtfulness and generosity to just the holiday season.

The greatest gift you can give is to be consistent all year long with visits, phone calls and small thoughtful gestures to convey the message that your special elder is loved and cherished all the time.

*Editor’s Note: the original blog post from Carol Gioia is no longer available online.

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania National Guard

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