If one of your loved ones lives in a nursing home, gift them something truly special. While your time and concern are usually more than enough, giving something to show you’re thinking of them is the perfect way to brighten someone’s day.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Inexpensive Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
- Christmas or Holiday Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
- Practical Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
- Gift Bag or Care Package Ideas for Nursing Home Residents
- Homemade Gifts for Nursing Home Patients
Making long-term care decisions about a loved one is never easy. Ease this process by leaving your nursing home resident with a bit of comfort and warmth. These ideas below are the perfect holiday, birthday, and “just because” gifts for nursing home residents. There’s truly something for everyone.
Inexpensive Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
There are a lot of inexpensive (or free) gifts that are perfect for nursing home residents. The thought really is what matters most. And, most nursing homes have limited space for residents, so smaller gifts for older adults are often a practical choice.
1. Your time
The best gift of all is just to be there. Being present and visiting your loved one in their nursing home helps them feel like a part of the family even from afar.
Blankets add much-needed warmth to any room, and they’re also a cozy touch. Even if it’s warm in the facility, having a blanket is a good idea.
Everyone loves flowers, especially when paired with a visit. If you’re visiting someone in a nursing home, gifting fresh flowers brings a smile to their face.
Another great gift that keeps on giving is stationery. Gifting attractive stationery, pens, and stamps are very thoughtful. Having the ability to write family and friends from a long-term residential facility keeps everyone in touch.
Feet easily get gold in a nursing home. Slippers with rubber grippers on the bottom are perfect for lounging around or getting from place to place without clunky shoes.
6. Activity books
If your senior has visiting grandchildren, an activity book or other item makes visits more enjoyable for everyone. Little ones often get restless, so things like coloring books, markers, and crayons make this so much easier.
7. Dry erase board
Many people struggle with memory as they age. A thoughtful remedy for minor memory problems is a dry erase board. These are very inexpensive, and they should have no problem fitting in your loved one’s room.
Christmas or Holiday Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
Keeping your beloved seniors in mind during the holiday season eases any feelings of loneliness. Living in a nursing home during the holidays isn’t easy, so these gifts below show you care.
Share some holiday cheer with a festive wreath. These are a great way to distinguish your resident’s room from others while also adding some personal touches.
9. Shareable treats
The holiday season is the best time for giving. Offering your loved one something they can share with their fellow residents, like a basket of baked goods, is not only a great way to boost their popularity, but it’s also a pleasant holiday reminder.
10. Scarves and cold-weather wear
When the weather gets colder, gift simple scarves and outer clothes to keep the chill away. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your loved one won't want to spend time outside.
11. Digital photo frame
Remind your loved one of home with a digital photo frame. Just be sure to help them set it up, so it’s ready to go when they want to use it.
12. A trip
While it might not always be possible, a trip to a favorite place is an amazing gift. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Perhaps you just go to a favorite restaurant nearby or to a relative’s home. This time together means everything.
13. Extra money
Many nursing homes allow seniors to have accounts for things like activities, shopping, or even cable. Gifting some extra money to put towards something fun is a nice way to spread holiday cheer.
Practical Gifts for Nursing Home Residents
Practical gifts are things that are used on a daily basis by nursing home residents. They make life a bit easier, and they’re a reminder that you’re thinking of them.
14. Bath and grooming products
15. Print subscriptions
A subscription to a magazine or local newspaper is a very thoughtful gift. Having something to look forward to in the mail is such a pleasure, plus it keeps residents informed.
16. Craft supplies
Residents often have a lot of free time in nursing homes. Many choose to fill their days with crafts and other fun activities. Gifting adult coloring books, paint, sewing kits, or yarn keep that fun spark alive.
Speaking of fun, many nursing home residents love playing lively games. From trivia to cards, these are sure to be a hit amongst friend groups.
18. Sanitizer and hand wipes
E-readers are perfect for the book-lover in your life. They’re especially ideal for the elderly since it’s easy to control the lighting and text size. Load some of your loved one’s favorite books onto an easy-to-use e-reader and let them enjoy endless hours of page-turning.
A lot of people experience vision loss as they age. A nice pair of reading or vision glasses is a useful gift that’s sure to be appreciated.
Gift Bag or Care Package Ideas for Nursing Home Residents
A gift bag or care package offers a fun break from the routine of nursing home life. Keep your loved one’s personality and interests in mind to create a fun gift catered to them.
21. Movie selection
Picking out a few of your loved ones’ favorite movies in a form that’s easy for them to use (DVD, etc.) is a great way to show them you’re thinking of them. Add some movie-night snacks for a fun treat!
A selection of books is the perfect way to keep your nursing home resident entertained. From bestsellers to healthcare books, there’s a lot to choose from. Consider your loved one’s favorites and pick a few new titles.
23. Coffee or tea
24. Self-care gift basket
Purchase a basket of spa goodies or pair some favorite self-care items into a basket for a cute, thoughtful gift. Things like body scrubs, sprays, and a nice blanket all go perfectly together.
25. Sports team
If your loved one has a favorite sports team, gifts some fun memorabilia. A jersey, hat, and t-shirt are all beloved gifts any sports fan would be happy to receive.
Homemade Gifts for Nursing Home Patients
If you’re crafty or want to do something a bit more personal, why not make a gift yourself? These ideas below are simple enough for anyone to make.
26. Bird feeder
27. Framed photo or art
If you’re an artist, you can create something worth framing. Otherwise, customize a frame to share your favorite photo, preferably of yourself with your loved one. This is the perfect addition to any nursing home room.
You can print photos from your Google Photos account, Instagram, or Facebook if you don’t have any physical copies around.
Similarly, a scrapbook is a touching gift. Creating a scrapbook or memory collage is easy, and you can even use pre-made ones if you’re not sure where to start. Add some of your favorite photos and let it bring a smile to your loved one’s face.
29. Custom coupons
A cute gift idea is to make your own coupons for your loved one to “redeem.” These can be for anything you think of. Great ideas include phone calls home, trips to a local diner, or a card game.
30. Homemade body care
If your nursing home resident has sensitive skin, they might have trouble using store-bought body products. Creating your own is an easy way to make sure they’re safe and gentle.
Find the Right Nursing Home Gift
Living in a nursing home doesn’t have to be lonely. These gifts above help your loved one know you’re thinking of them. They’re a connection to home, and that means everything in the world to them. Any of these gift ideas above are the perfect option, whether you’re choosing something practical or sentimental.
While helping a loved one decide about their end-of-life plan is never easy, this doesn’t have to be the case for your own plan. Start end-of-life planning today to take this burden off your friends and family. The more control we take over our own futures, the more options we have to ensure our wishes are heard. Begin your own end-of-life planning to stay ready for anything.
If you're looking for more gift ideas, read our guides on care package ideas for older adults during COVID-19.