While many care centers have small general stores where residents and patients can purchase items they may need or want, their access to shopping centers or department stores is likely limited. Small presents can brighten your loved one's day and make him or her feel appreciated and cared for. Here are some suggested gifts to bring your loved one:
Making holidays and special days exciting can bring joy and anticipation to the lives of residents and patients. How you celebrate with your loved one can not only brighten his or her day, but the residents and patients around your loved one as well. Celebrating a special day or time of year can lead to your loved one sharing stories of your visit with friends at the facility, and it can lead to your loved one becoming closer to the caregivers and staff at the facility, too. Many facilities have private family rooms or private dining room areas that you can schedule to hold your party in.
Birthdays are a great opportunity to celebrate with your loved one at the care facility. You can bring balloons, decorations and a cake or favorite dessert. Invite other friends and family members to join you at the facility for the celebration. You can bring gifts and cards, watch old family videos and enjoy spending time with one another.
The different seasons can bring changes to your visits as well. In the spring, consider bringing an indoor basket of flowers for your loved one to tend and enjoy. If your loved one is a sports fan, bring snacks and watch your favorite sports teams together. There are also several religious holidays you might celebrate in ways your loved one does traditionally.
As summer arrives, you can reminisce about past vacations using old scrapbooks or photo albums. You can take your loved one on a picnic or have a cookout. Go for a walk around the facility's grounds and sit in the shade with a fan. You can make lemonade with your loved one or reflect on patriotic holidays. Independence Day can be a wonderful opportunity to ask your loved one about military history if he or she has served, and to thank him or her for the service.
Autumn brings fall foliage, and you could take your loved one for a walk around the facility's grounds to look at the changing leaves. You might bring your children or young family members who can discuss their new school activities and schedules with the patient or resident. As the weather cools, it's a great time to bring your loved one a new shawl or sweater. Carving pumpkins or baking pies make good autumn activities, as well.
Winter brings a time of reflection and looking forward to the future. Activities perfect for winter include making calendars noting family birthdays and special occasions and making New Year's resolutions. You could make eggnog, tea or hot chocolate with your loved one as you share past traditions and express your appreciation to the facility staff.
As Christmas or Hanukkah nears, help decorate your loved one's room with familiar items from home or new things he or she would enjoy. Bring a CD of traditional holiday music and help him or her address holiday greeting cards or buy gifts for friends and family. Ask the staff if there is a holiday event for residents and patients, and if there is, help your loved one prepare for whatever that event entails. You can bake cookies with your loved one or participate in a charity such as preparing a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child.