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Thread: Ideas for Little Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

  1. #1
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    Ideas for Little Gifts for Nursing Home Residents

    I need some ideas of small things I could make for the men and women residents in the nursing home.
    Thanks All.
    "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."
    Good friends are right there with you.

    Susan

  2. #2
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    Those bags that hang on the walkers would be great.

    http://www.sewingsupport.com/sewing-...lker-bags.html

  3. #3
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Lap quilts for wheel chair users. Be sure and put name on quilt as things get lost in nursing homes.

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    My mother was in a nursing home last year and AlienQuilter is right--the walker bags are very useful, most residents had them and used them. Another item was similar but it hung on the siderail of the bed and held the tv remote. One of the residents had a "foot warmer" (I don't know what it's really called) that looked like the microwave potato bags but it was large enough that she had her feet in it when she was in her wheelchair. Elderlly folks are always cold, especially their feet. Her daughter made them in really bright colors.
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  5. #5
    Super Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    Little bags. Zippered bags might be nice. They could play with the zipper. A handle so they could put it around their wrist would be nice.

  6. #6
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    My mother always had cold hands and had quilts wrapped round them. My father had gout and had I been sewing at that time I would have made him some large slippers with very soft underneath and soft fastenings. They would have been useful for an aunt with leukaemia who ha users on her feet.
    Some people like their head covered to keep the heat in.
    Loads of bags of different sizes to hang up in their rooms as they can't pick items off the floor.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  7. #7
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    Our guild made gift bags for the local adult living center where we have our Christmas dinner last year. Some of things we included in the bags: a "caddy" that can be draped over the edge of a chair or at the edge of the bed to hold remote, pencil, puzzle book, etc.; door banners; table mat or placemat; fabric covered composition notebook covers (there are lots of free tutorials out there, but I used a pattern from Indygo Junction) - they are nice for notes, addresses, phone numbers, etc. The residents really enjoyed their gifts.

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    Ask the nursing home what they would like for the residents. My DIL is the director of nursing in our local care facility and she said no slippers unless they have nonslip bottoms and definately no bags to put feet in. The residents will stand up and forget the foot bag and fall. The residents who are bed ridden generally do not wear socks or slippers. The nurses check their feet and skin for signs of sores, swelling and discoloration. She did say many of the residents never have any visitors and suggested a gift of your time to visit would brighten their days. She also said the walker bags would be a good idea for the ambulatory residents.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Handcraftsbyjen's Avatar
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    Wine shades for their tables. Buy the battery operated candles in packages at the dollar store and also get the plastic glasses there.

  10. #10
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    I made my Mom a little bag that buttoned onto the walker handle to hold her NTG tablets. That way they were always near her should she need them. I think the best idea is the bags to hang on the walker, though and the caddy to hold the remote for the TV.
    Sue

  11. #11
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    Adult bibs but not a bib.... They sometimes need to cover their clothes when eating but don't want the embarrassment of having a bib on... so something that looks like a fake shirt or tuxedo to bring a light hearted approach maybe.

    Book markers as many of them read.

    Shoulder shawls -- cover their shoulders but keep their hands free.

    Some people have said an "I Spy" quilt is great as many people can "play" the quilt at once.
    Lisa L.
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  12. #12
    Power Poster JuneBillie's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for some great ideas. My dad is in a local nursing home right now for rehabilitation after a knee replacement. When visiting, I see so many sweet ladies and gentlemen, and I always stop to say hello. I just want to do more. I will give more time too besides whatever I make.
    "Sometimes it's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe."
    Good friends are right there with you.

    Susan

  13. #13
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    While my grandmother was in the nursing home, my mother made small lap robes for other residents, walker bags and small wall hanging for the rooms (it was a small nursing home). She made all of them from wonderful bright fabrics and simple patterns. All were used and loved by the residents and nurses alike.

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    Maybe tissue box covers and coasters might be useful.

  15. #15
    Senior Member carolstickelmaier's Avatar
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    As a former RN working in nursing homes........all your ideas are good ones. What I and another nurse did was make reversible vests for everyone in the home. I wore them all the time for a little color and was always being asked for one. I used to make a few for the ones who never got Christmas gifts and then was reminded by the other residents that they never got one....One year my friend and I decided everyone got one...We started in June and made over 100 for Christmas gifts..Even the guys cried when they opened theirs...What a great feeling to know that you pleased someone. They were reversible because we had to line them anyway. We tried to match up the fabric with their likes or what they did for a living......We drew a simple pattern that we could make in sizes small to xxlg....Be sure to make at least one size larger than you think they wear so they don't have difficulty getting them on and off. Also after Christmas we brought in all the gifts we received that we couldn't use.. deorderant, shampoo, powders, after shave, soaps, anything we did not think we would ever get around to using. They loved it. There are far too many nursing home residents that have no one that visits or can bring needed things in.

  16. #16
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    When my father in law was in a nursing home I made him a red, white and blue lap quilt, put his name right on it but it disappeared by the next time someone visited him a day later. That used to happen to my grandmother all the time. Nobody ever knew who took stuff, but anything we brought her vanished in no time. Sad but true. Sometimes other residents wander into a room and walk off with something, though that might be returned eventually. Sometimes there is someone on staff who just can't resist. I don't know, but it's heartbreaking when you've made something nice for a loved one.
    "The business of life is making memories. In the end, it is all we have." Butler Charlie Carson, Downton Abbey, season 4, episode 3, PBS.

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    After just going through this experience with a close family member (she was a stand-in Mom for my DD when we were stationed away from her right after my DGS was born): she spent several weeks in a nursing home and I can testify to the fact that these older folks NEED COMPANY MORE THAN THINGS!!!! It was an experience that profoundly affected me and has prompted me to try to ease the situation where I live. So I agree with rj's DIL about the importance of visitors for these folks...and, if we can add something to the visit in the way of a small handmade gift, even better. But the most important need is your TIME and your PRESENCE! Okay, off my soapbox now...
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

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    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    Mug rugs for their glass or pitcher of water.
    Mavis

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    the small tissue holders are easy to make and very useful as they fit in a pocket.

  20. #20
    Super Member wanda lou's Avatar
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    U shaped wrap, lap quilts, and tote bags.
    Never look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up.

  21. #21
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    Walker bags are always appreciated. A large fleece shoulder shawl with hand pockets is wonderful.

  22. #22
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Nancy Zieman has the cozy shawl pattern free on her website. I have made several to get delivered to the nursery home. I don't have the time these days to donate my time as would like. So for now at least I can donate these shawls to people who don't have anyone or much .i figure when I retire then I will have time to spend some time there. These shawls I can do at 10:30 at nite or whatever. I really would like to make some bags for the walkers too. I think that would be so helpful but it is a time thing around here.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Click it bags. How about fidget aprons? I made 25 of them for the altzheimers unit where my mother is a resident. It gives them something to do and they love them. I put a button flap with a picture underneath, a velcro strip with a pull at the end, some furry applique, a zip compartment with a string of beads sewn into the pouch. They play and play and play, it is amazing. I put so much on each one, but when I gave them out, I realized they fixate on one thing and just stay there for hours. The next time, they will go to another. My only problem is the staff forgets about them and of course the residents don't know enough to ask for them, that frustrates me. Oh well.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  24. #24
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    I like to make lap quilts for alzheimers, dementia patients..lots of things to do..like zippers, buttons, loop, crinkle fabric,etc. Also I put an elephant silhouette(elephants never forget!)..Make some 'pockets' with the sewable clear plastic fronts , so they can put pictures in. Another neat thing is cloth banners for walkers, or across the foot of the bed, on the wall,..Happy B-Day, Anniversery,Veterans day, etc. This encourages a lot of conversation.

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    I was Unit Manager in a Long Term Care Facility. Patient's who have catheters should have their bags covered. My unit secretary used to make pretty bags to hang beneath the wheelchairs to cover these bags.

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