You used to go to work every day. You used to do laundry and housework. You used to take care of children. You used to bake, shop, and have lunch with friends. And now, you live in a nursing home and don’t get to do any of those things.
Consider a loved one's personality:
No matter our age, we are the same people we used to be in our hearts. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, think about what they used to enjoy doing and how you can bring that experience in a micro amount to them in their nursing home or assisted living facility.
Show love with food:
For example, think about food or candy they used to enjoy. My grandpa loved snickers bars and peanut m&m’s. I would take some of each when I went to visit sometimes. He also loved snickerdoodle cookies and white chocolate-covered popcorn. He had such a sweet tooth! Actually, everyone in my family does.
Think about what they like:
He also loved sports and reading the paper. As he got older, he couldn’t hear the TV and couldn’t read the paper, but still liked to talk about what was in the news.
My great, great aunt loved music and things that smelled good like a nice lotion from Bath & Body Works.
Spend time with them:
Sometimes they just really want your company. What is something little that they would love to see? Perhaps the latest art projects from their grandchild. Perhaps take your iPad and show them pictures of what’s been going on. Can you take your dog to visit? Pets make everyone smile!
Whether you are near or far, here are some other ideas to brighten their day (most can be shipped):
Everyone loves fresh flowers, and they are such a simple way to show someone you care and that you're thinking about them.
- What's better than bringing someone their favorite food or snack? Bringing them an entire basket of different snacks. Maybe they're the favorites, or maybe they're something new.
An audiobook if they have a device to listen to it on
An audiobook is such a wonderful thing to give someone in the nursing home. It will occupy them for hours, and this is something that can be done from any place in the world if you aren't close enough to bring them something in person.
An echo dot
Bringing someone an echo dot might seem like an extravagant gift, but think about how easy it will make setting alarms, playing music, or even telling them the weather when they wake up in the morning.
A fancy coffee drink
Showing up with a special coffee from a local coffee shop is always a good idea! It's probably something they would never think of, but such an easy way to break up the monotony of drinking home-brewed coffee.
Favorite cookie or cupcake
Everyone needs a special sweet treat every once in a while. Don't know what their favorite cookie or cupcake is? Find a local bakery and pick something with bright colors in spring to brighten up their day.
Plug-in air freshener
A simple plug-in air freshener is an easy way to add luxury and personality to any room.
Nice smell good soap and lotion
This isn't something most people want to spend their own money on, but when you have nice smelling soap it just seems to make everything better. Extra points if the soap and lotion go together with matching smells.
Your manicure kit to do their nails
Anyone can pay for a manicure for a loved one in a nursing home, but it is so much more special if you go and spend time with them while doing their nails yourself.
A good facial moisturizer is essential to any morning or evening routine. If they spend a lot of time outside doing activities, make sure to get one with SPF in it.
Slippers or non-slip socks
Not only is this one for comfort- but for safety as well!
Bring them your favorite shade or brand of lipstick, or pick out one that you think would match their skin tone nicely!
Body spray or light mist perfume
Don't go overpowering on this one! You aren't looking to overwhelm their senses every time they spray the body spray or perfume. Just give them something easy to spray every day.
Yarn if she still knits
Fun yarn colors can be such a good way to brighten a mood. Maybe bring your favorite colors and ask for a new scarf or hot pad for your kitchen.
A monthly subscription such as Entry Envy to personalize and decorate their door
- With a monthly or seasonal subscription to Entry Envy, they will receive the perfect refill kit to update their door to show there is someone there that is loved.
A little cheer can go a long way in enhancing their mood, reducing depression, and increasing their appetite. Our elders have given so much to us, let’s help them have a quality end of life in any way we can.
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