There are plenty of occasions where someone might be receiving a gift from you, and we love a good excuse to make someone feel loved. Gift giving is such a joyful act of kindness and love and can be fulfilling for everyone involved in the winter holiday season. When folks are in long-term care or retirement homes, these acts of kindness and thoughtful moments help to remind them of their value and community support. Buying gifts for residents can be a tricky art due to accessibility, space, and necessity limitations. Knowing your gift recipient well and understanding what little things might bring them joy is a great place to start.
When shopping for a resident of a long-term care or retirement home, being mindful of their individual circumstances will set you up for success. Items that are practical tend to be the most common, like an activity or hobby that keeps residents’ bodies and minds active.
When you’re picking out the perfect gift, the options feel endless. Knowing your recipient well will help you find something that you know they could use or enjoy. If you’re gifting to someone you aren’t as acquainted with, you can opt for something more general and all-encompassing.
If you’re unsure of what to get for your loved ones, we’ve got some go-to ideas:
Digital photo frame
A digital photo frame allows residents to display and relive cherished moments, fostering a sense of nostalgia and emotional connection. These are designed to be user-friendly, often with simple interfaces, easy uploading and remote controls. Family members can digitally upload images that will show up right away, similar to a social media feed with new posts incoming. This is a wonderful way of staying connected and sharing updates with loved ones.
Layering clothing pieces are useful for all seasons. If you’re gifting summer clothing, ensure that it is made of lightweight and breathable materials. For heavier layers, avoid stiff and itchy fabrics, and make sure that they are easy to put on and take off. For example, someone with physical limitations might struggle with buttons, so opt for a zipper instead.
A journal is versatile and can be used for hobbies, note taking, journaling, keeping phone numbers and addresses, and more. Since long-term care and retirement residences often have big communities, getting a journal embossed or designed with their name or initials on it is not only a beautiful, customized touch, but will also prevent them losing their belongings around the community.
Books are a great way to pass the time, spark invigorating conversations, and keep minds sharp. Gifting your favourite book to someone is a great way to have more topics for conversation. You could also opt for a book series to provide a few opportunities to get through books and a way to pass plenty of time. Book gifts could also be crosswords, word finds or sudoku, as alternative ways to keep minds moving and hobbies fruitful.
Gifts for the home often go unused because they can be too specific. Blankets offer a perfect pop of colour and cozy feeling without anticipating someone’s needs for a gift. Everyone has use for a cozy blanket. To personalize a gift like this, try to be mindful about the resident’s favourite colours or patterns or whether it will match well with the rest of their room décor.
Anti-slip shoes are a great gift for the active people in our lives. Helping prevent falls and keeping them safe, a good pair of shoes with ample traction can make a big difference in balance and safety. Alternatively, we love hard-soled slippers with foot support and structure. These are more likely used around the home, but provide the same safety, security, and comfort.
If you’re not sure exactly what somebody might want, a care package might be the best option. These can be filled with day-to-day items such as a mug, tea, reusable water bottle, and other personal favorites. Add in a few of their go-to snacks or fun pictures to reminisce on and you’ve got a full experience in one single gift. Check with the residence to see what policies are in place when it comes to bringing in outside food.
When picking out the perfect gift for a long-term care or retirement resident, keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts. When we share a life with someone in any capacity, having the opportunity to show them that they are loved, appreciated and thought of is an act of true kindness. Putting thought into what will make them feel loved and understood is a step above, providing a true sense of companionship to those on the receiving end of your gift-giving.
To learn more about each Omni residence or respective rules and regulations pertaining to visiting and/or bringing gifted items, go to www.omniqualityliving.ca or contact us here. For more inspiration, you can also read our blog about how to make a loved one feel more at home. Happy holidays!