Choosing a gift for someone in a nursing home is a daunting task. A hospice provides end of life care so there is probably nothing which they need, and they likely don’t have long left to enjoy what you get for them. Furthermore, they might be too ill to do much at all or could be on a lot of medication. The most common drugs used in nursing homes or hospices can cause people to be sleepy or unable to do the things that they usually would.
Nevertheless, you want to retain some sense of normality and hope. If it is their birthday, Christmas or you just feel like getting them a gift, here are some ideas to get you started.
Candles or incense
Although you are not usually allowed candles or incense in hospitals, hospices usually allow it. Hospices are all about making someone’s last days, weeks or months as comfortable as possible. Smells can be relaxing, and they can also remind someone of their home.
However, be aware that if a patient has had chemotherapy it may make them adverse to strong smells. You may want to ask the staff at the hospice if there any rules regulations this.
People in hospices spend a lot of time in bed. A soft fluffy blanket may be relaxing for them and may prevent them from having to use blankets the hospice provides.
If you can crochet then you may even be able to make them a blanket to show how much you care.
Digital photo frame
In the last moments of someone’s life, they are often very reflective. They may spend a lot of time looking back on their life, the good times and perhaps the bad. A great way to keep them thinking of the good times is a digital photo frame. You can pick out photos of them with friends or family. You could even include photos that highlight their accomplishments.
Contemplative figure or book
Religious worship or meditation can help people find peace in the final days of their life. Make sure that it is relevant to their beliefs.
Hot water bottle
Water bottles can soothe pain and help people relax. Hospices sometimes provide hot water bottles; however, it can be nice to have their own. Perhaps one which is in the shape of an animal or one that is soft and fluffy. If you are crafty you may even be able to make your own personal cover.
They might decide that they want to immortalize some of their stories, memories or ideas, which they would like to share with others but are unable to write them down. A voice recorder could be a great outlet for them. It will also be a nice thing for their friends and family to hear after they have gone.
Alternatively, you can leave voice messages for them here. If this is something that interests you then take a look at life on record. It is a service that helps people to record messages and play them to loved ones.