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Best gifts for nursing home residents

From homemade presents to puzzles, gifts are a tangible way to let nursing home residents know you are thinking about them.
From homemade presents to puzzles, gifts are a tangible way to let nursing home residents know you are thinking about them. (BestReviews)

16 gifts for people in nursing homes

Whether it is a holiday, birthday or an ordinary day, there are tons of fun gifts to give nursing home residents. Meaningful gifts are an exceptional way to show senior citizens you cherish them.

Homemade gifts are specifically adored by nursing home residents since they represent a lot of effort and care. But the ultimate gift for nursing home residents is your attention and love.

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Gifts to put in a care package for nursing home residents

Whether you are putting together a care package for someone you know or an anonymous gift, a care package is a thoughtful treasure for any time of year. While similar gifts work as boxed items or stand alone gifts, keep size in mind. Common items for nursing home gift boxes include games or crafts, comfort items and special treats or food.

Homemade items are especially meaningful. So including something small, like homemade cookies, can make a gift extremely memorable. Personally-made door decorations are especially sought after since they can display them for all to see.

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What not to get for nursing home residents

Nursing homes often have rules about things residents can and cannot have. If possible, consult an individual nursing home before bringing gifts in. But there are some general rules to follow.

Ask your loved one’s nursing home staff about what is and isn’t permitted in the home. But in general, do not give nursing home residents:

Candles and other flammables: Do not give candles unless you check with the nursing home first. While they may seem like a fun idea, they can be a fire hazard.

Irreplaceable items: Personal items can go missing in nursing homes and hospitals. So try not to give residents anything of extreme monetary value or that is otherwise irreplaceable.

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Sharp or dangerous objects: If you want to give a nursing home resident scissors, knives or other sharp objects you may need to receive permission. In many nursing homes, they are not allowed for safety reasons.

Skin irritants: While it isn't usually against the rules, avoid getting anything that might be a skin irritant such as scented lotions, perfumes and bath products. If you are anonymously giving items, it might be best to stick with lightly or unscented products.

Hobby-based gifts for nursing home residents

Kindle Paperwhite: available at Amazon

Getting a Kindle is a good alternative to buying books with large print. However, some people still prefer a hard copy book, so ask about their preferences first.

The Way I Heard It by Mike Rowe in large print: available at Amazon

Books can be an exciting but strenuous gift for people with impaired sight. This book by Mike Rowe, from the show Dirty Jobs, comes in a large print, making it easier to read.

Bits and Pieces The Original Jumbo Wooden Puzzle Plateau: available at Amazon

Puzzles are a popular hobby, but they can take up a lot of space and be difficult to move. With this puzzle plateau, jigsaws can have a dedicated space, plus it is stable enough to use in bed.

BIG PUZZLE WORLD 1,000+ Sudoku Puzzles Easy to Hard: available at Amazon

Sudoku is a particularly popular logic puzzle. It is also often touted as a great activity for improving memory and cognition.

Funster Crossword Puzzle Book for Adults: 101 Large-Print Easy Puzzles: available at Amazon

Crosswords are a suitable alternative to sudoku or other puzzles; they also improve vocabulary and have been shown to boost mood. Plus, this one is in large print, perfect for people with limited visibility.

Boho Craft Studio Flower Embroidery Kit for Beginners: available at Etsy

Crafts, like this embroidery kit, are a wonderful outlet for self-expression and creativity. Be mindful of someone's skill level and needs when giving them a hobby-based gift.

Personalized gifts for senior citizens

Sunny Ink Paper Co. Custom Floral Stationery: available at Etsy

Giving the gift of a handwritten card or note can be one of the best gifts of all. Although giving some nice blank cards or other stationery is also a stellar idea.

Home and Occasions Assisted living Personalized door hanger: available at Etsy

Door hangers and decorations are a visible way for people in nursing homes to express themselves. This one is also customizable, which is particularly special. Make sure to pick a hanger that is compatible with the resident’s door.

Uplift Gift Store Personalized Puzzle: available at Etsy

Jigsaw puzzles are a general gift many people enjoy, but this one comes with a personal twist. This one can be customized with a photo and comes with various difficulties.

Aluratek Digital photo frame: available at Amazon

Digital photo frames allow you to load up multiple photos. They are a phenomenal option for people who have limited space, as this one is only limited by the USB holding its photos.

Cozy gifts for people in assisted living

Bigelow Cozy Chamomile Herbal Tea: available at Amazon

Chamomile tea is a good option because it offers a calming effect and If possible, picking a treat or snack with significance is best.

Burt's Bees Vanilla Bean Lip balm: available at Amazon

Lip balm is a general self-care item that anyone and everyone could use. If you are getting this for someone you don’t know well, stick with neutral flavors like vanilla.

YSense 6 Pairs of Fuzzy Socks: available at Amazon

Fluffy socks are a cute touch of self-expression, but are also cozy and can make a nursing facility feel more like home.

PAVILIA Fluffy Sherpa Throw Blanket: available at Amazon

While they may already have bedding, it is good to have extra blankets for cold nights or just for a homey gift. Plus, this one is extremely fluffy.

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Bees Boutique By Sheila Scarf: available at Etsy

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Scarves are a fantastic gift for people who get cold easily. These colorful infinity scarves can also be paired with socks and a blanket for an extra-warm present.

Plants For Pets Live Snake plant: available at Amazon

Snake plants are easy to maintain and are easy going. Taking care of plants is also an easy way to promote independence and brighten up a room.

Jackalyn Beck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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