Holiday Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

This post, along with my Planning for the Holidays article, could be printed out and left for family members in a prominent location.  Think of it as your gift to every nursing home family.  

~Happy Holidays from Dr. El at

With the holiday season upon us, you may be wondering what would make a good present for a relative in a nursing home. In my efforts to banish the barren nursing home room, photos are still my number one pick for holiday gifts, but here are other suggestions (be sure to label everything!):

Nice lotions, soaps, and grooming products
A special bedspread
A “lap” blanket to wear while sitting in a wheelchair
Wheelchair accessories (Google it) like cup holders, side pockets, wheel lights, etc.
Sturdy clothes that can handle being washed in an industrial washing machine
Colorful bangle bracelets to blend in with nursing home wrist bands
My book, The Savvy Resident’s Guide: Everything You Wanted to Know About Your Nursing Home Stay But Were Afraid to Ask
Plants, or potted flowers, especially if you can come by to water them regularly

Great gifts from the heart:
Make a commitment to visit once a week, or once a month
Make a commitment to call once a week, or once a day
Organize friends and family so that each person has a week to call or visit
Bring a home-cooked meal
Organize friends and family to bring a home-cooked meal on a regular basis

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