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Deciding on what type of gifts to give anyone can be a challenge. Social Worker Wendy Margetts offers the following ideas for gifts to those in residential care:

  • Colourful sun catchers to hang in the window. These are available in a myriad of shapes; choose one that reflects a past affiliation – a sailboat, flower or bird, or simply a beautiful array of colours.

  • Those who are bedridden would enjoy nice soft pillowslips. Be sure to label them with the resident’s name before they are sent to the personal laundry.

  • A frame with multiple family pictures in it can be a great spark for conversation with visitors or staff.

  • A homemade book to “live” at the bedside where family can write messages to the resident and to each other. Staff or younger family visitors can read portions to the resident.

  • A “remember when” book to be left at the bedside. These “remember whens” could also be in the form of pieces of paper, in an attractive box, which can be taken out individually to be reminders to the resident. This could be a family gathering activity and written down by family and put into the box or book at the resident’s bedside.

For example:

  • Thank you for making our lunches for school. My favourite lunch/snack was…
  • Thank you for all the hours you spent driving me to …….
  • Thank you for not telling Mom/Dad about …….
  • Thank you for your smiling face
  • Thank you for getting angry when I misbehaved. That taught me …..
  • Print some meaningful words or a poem and frame the page. This can hang in the resident’s room and be read often.
  • Warm socks, unscented moisturizers or lip balm, lottery tickets with the resident’s name written on the back.

Remember – love is not a measure of how much you spend in dollars! Above all, make the gift personal and directed to the recipient.  Staff will be pleased to help you with gift ideas. Feel free to ask for their thoughts on appropriate gifts for your loved one.