Everyone wants to find that perfect gift--the one that we are as eager to give as we hope they will be to receive. But sometimes it's hard to think of something that will excite the receiver--especially if you're like me and try to brainstorm gift ideas right after Thanksgiving turkey. And for those of you who are trying to pick out a gift for your loved one in the Home, it can be especially difficult. How can you know what they'll use or what will just get in the way? Space is limited, and you don't want to over-crowd their rooms.
So, if you still haven't found that gift, here are a few pointers to keep it simple and make it fun.
Think of their hobbies or past hobbies. Is there a way you could bring some of that back? For example, if your mother enjoyed scrap-booking, could you set up a simple card-making station in her room? Or if your father enjoyed hunting or woodworking (obviously you can't reinvent those hobbies for them in our facility), is there a magazine that would bring back memories and maybe even some stories.
Think of newspaper/magazine subscriptions. Many of our residents enjoy staying up on the news and rely on the lobby newspaper, which is often in use. Perhaps you'd like to purchase a subscription for your loved one.
Commemorate yourself. It sounds self-centered, but I can't count the times that residents have called me into their rooms to show off pictures of their children/grandchildren. One resident carried around her grandson's graduation picture for months. Your loved one's most treasured possessions are you--believe it or not--and there is nothing quite like having a picture of that. A simple photo album or even just a framed picture will mean the world to them.
Think of sensory things. Perhaps your mother doesn't recognize family members anymore or is limited in her capacity to converse. Can you think of something she enjoyed? Perhaps she was an avid baker and was known for her apple pies. There are so many scented lotions now; I bet you could find something similarly scented. Bear in mind that aerosol cans and candles are not permitted in resident rooms due to state mandating. The options are endless when you start to think of things relating to touch and taste.
Give something handmade. This shows not only a monetary commitment, but also a time commitment. If you're a crafty sort of person, make him a wreath or something to hang on his door. If you enjoy baking, make her favorite chocolate chip muffins. Something handmade (if it's done thoughtfully) will say something about both you and your loved one, making it extra-special.
Think about what your loved one talks about. Is she always talking about how cold she is? A sweater or a blanket would be a good option (and you could even combine these recommendations and make one yourself). Or maybe your dad talks about how he wishes his roommate wouldn't watch TV so late; perhaps you could find some noise-canceling headphones.
I don't claim that this will answer all your dilemmas regarding gift-giving. But I do hope that it will help. No one knows your loved one as well as you. If you're ever uncertain about whether something will be a good fit in his room, feel free to call us at 923-2071.