Now is the time to educate family members about holiday gifts. Take the time to mail letters to the family, post on a family web site and place articles in your loved one's facility newsletters that address appropriate gifts. Provide lists of recommendations for gifts. For hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living, nothing should ever be brought on to the unit without the unit manager’s approval and this includes everything! For example, small decorations, candy and nuts may pose a choking hazard. Some plants are toxic. Contrary to popular belief, Poinsettia plants are NOT poisonous. Another thing to remember, is the person receiving the gift subject to potential harmful issues related to the gift? Are there residents who may wander into a residents’ room and will those items pose a threat? All food items family members bring on to the unit must be in a tin can and labeled with the name of the food item and the date. Always abide by the facility rules for storing of food. Family member’s and visitors should take all food items to the nurse’s station for approval before bringing to a resident or leaving in a resident room. Why not try decorating a room with family photos, a religious book, or photos that remind the person of the past? Decorating a room also gives staff members glimpses as to the senior's former life, how they lived, what they looked like, whom they loved. Every holiday season we hear stories of this or that organization collecting toys for tots. Why not organize your favorite non-profit or networking group to provide gifts for seniors instead? Clear it with the unit manager at the facility you wish to donate to, or call the Activities Director of the institution. He/she will surely be happy to accept bingo prizes, puzzles, and take it from a former Activities Director with a very small budget, every gift made Santa very happy as they were being passed. You might even consider donating the food from a nearby restaurant for the annual holiday party. There is no end to the amount of creativity and ideas that both you and the Activity Director can come up with for gifts. Happy Holidays!
Want more ideas? Just contact us and we will be happy to more great ideas! Just complete the Volunteers Sign up form on the ABOUT US page and we will be happy to send them to you. Stay safe! Keep you loved ones safe!