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December 10, 2013
The Best Present Is To Be Present

During the Christmas holidays there is always a mad scramble by children and grandchildren to decide what gift or present to buy for grandma, grandpa or elderly parent. What do you buy for someone who seems to have everything? Or do they?

There may be many limitations when purchasing the appropriate holiday Christmas gift for a senior, elderly friend, senior relative or loved one. Here are some of the considerations you should keep in mind when selecting a gift for a person who is in a care home:

* Does this senior individual have arthritis or any type of paralysis that contributes to lowered hand dexterity? Can they open and close items? Can they maneuver items?

* Is there a place in the resident’s room to store Christmas gifts?

*  Taking into consideration allergies, other residents or staff may be allergic to potent scents found in perfumes, cologne, scented soaps, etc.

* Food allergies or restricted diets may preclude holiday baking and sweets.  Choking hazards must also be taken into consideration for elderly residents.

What is an appropriate Christmas Gift for a care home resident?

Giving items that connect to previous hobbies, travel, or careers can feel good when received.

Bring in your Christmas cards to get mom/dad to sign them and be part of adding a Christmas wish to family and friend.   Bring in all Christmas cards that come in – share them with your loved one.  Decorate their door, just like they would have done in the past and probably would love to be part of now.

Items like family pictures or pictures of any place significant to the resident that can evoke memories are powerful gifts.  This type of gift can be enjoyed over and over.  The resident can review them or use them as conversation starters when family and friends come to visit.

Bring in a movie or watch a TV special or sporting event with them.  Plate up some homemade goodies and sliced fresh fruit for a mini Christmas party.

Give your favourite lady a manicure or pedicure.

Giving the resident your time can be the biggest gift of all.  Nothing can take the place of visiting your friend or family member in the care home. This is a very enriching and appropriate gift. Spending half an hour will be a great experience for all. Even if your loved one doesn't recognize you or is unable to voice their happiness at your visit, you will be grateful that you took the time to show you care.  Buying a small puzzle or item that requires assembly is a good gift.  The time that you spend with them putting it together will be priceless.  If the process can be repeated regularly, it is even better.

Evergreen wishes all of our Residents and their families a wonderful Christmas season!