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Visiting a Loved One in a Nursing Home? Bring These 5 Things Along



When loved ones move into a nursing home, it's hard to know what to do. You want to see them and show you care, but you also know that they have many of their essential needs provided. Do you bring them things? What would they like? What is a good gift?


As a rule of thumb, it's always nice to bring something along. It's a way to say hello, and you're thinking of them. Likely, they're grateful to see you and enjoy the time, but a gift is always an excellent way to make it extra cheerful. The following are five items to bring along on your next trip.


1. A Weighted Blanket

Although nursing homes provide a wealth of benefits, there are times when residents may become anxious. After all, it's a new place, and they may suffer from failing health. They may desire additional comfort. Therefore, a weighted blanket makes an excellent item to have in the room. There are many benefits of weighted blankets, such as providing light pressure to the body (similar to a hug) and easing tension and pain. It's a good thing to have on the bed for those moments when they want to feel connected to something.


2. A Basket of Snacks

Sure, a plate of food comes to the room three times a day. However, is it their favorite treat? Would you want to have someone plan and prepare your meals all of the time? Maybe. But after a while, you want someone you love and crave. Your friend or family members may not be able to get to the store or leave the facility, limiting options. Therefore, bring one or two things they cherish along with you.


You could create a little bag or basket of the items, putting in some nibbles for later in the week when they want chips or pretzels (of course, always be mindful of dietary restrictions). If you don't want to deliver packaged snacks, bake something. A nice homemade slice of cake or banana bread could become the moment of the day!


3. Some Favorite Personal Items

There are favorite scents and personal care items that they may adore but run out of or can't get in the nursing home. Ask ahead of time what they need and take a shopping trip to pick up the essentials. It may be a bottle of perfume or a personal hand soap request. Consider deodorant, shampoo and makeup as well. Little luxuries are special. If they don't have anything they need, you could bring a plant or flower bouquet to brighten the room.


4. Pictures

Keep them in touch with your life and family. Print pictures of recent events in your life and those closest to you, especially if you have kids. Put it in a flip album and take it along for your visit. Leave it there for them to look through. Sit down and talk about each one, sharing a bit of your life with them.


5. Games

There is a lot of downtime in a nursing home. Help with the entertainment aspect by bringing puzzles and games along with you. You can play with them while there, but you can leave them there for later enjoyment. Think about both group games and individual challenges. Crossword puzzles and number games allow someone to exercise their brain and use their time in a fun way without others. These are great activities for alone time in the room. Others could bring out larger board or card games during the social hour.

Bring a gift along. It doesn't have to be big, just thoughtful. Consider what your loved ones like the most and think of selections that help them enjoy their time more.


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