What To Bring To Your Relative In A Nursing Home


If you have an elderly family member who lives in a convalescent home, your visit will probably be very important to him or her! Although most nursing homes have a variety of social opportunities and dedicated staff members who fill in as a surrogate family, nothing beats a visit from much-loved family or friends. When you go to visit your relative, you might wish to bring some comforts of home or other small gifts. Here are some ideas that will likely make your loved one's day.

Calendar or Address Book

While you might have a smartphone that keeps track of everything from your upcoming appointments to your spouse's birthday to the address of your college roommate, many elderly people who live in nursing homes might not have this technology at their disposal. If you know that your loved one does not have a digital device, an old-fashioned paper calendar or address book can help your relative keep in touch and remember important milestones, like birthdays and anniversaries.

Socks, Sweater or Bathrobe

As people age, they tend to feel colder more often. This is a normal part of the aging process, but it can make the elderly feel uncomfortably chilly. Plush or fuzzy socks, a new bathrobe or a sweater or sweatshirt can go a long way toward making your relative feel more comfortable. If you knit or crochet, a homemade pair of socks will warm your loved one's spirit as much as his or her feet! Another great option would be a lap quilt or soft throw blanket.

Postcards, Stationery and Stamps

Particularly if your relative is not active on social media or email, sending "snail mail" might be the best way to keep in touch. Having an assortment of greeting cards, postcards and notepaper, along with stamps, can allow him or her to stay connected without having to make a special trip to the store or the post office. Keep in mind that another great gift is to receive letters, cards and postcards from others; so buy yourself some while you're shopping for your family member, and plan to send mail to the nursing home often!

Non-Perishable Snacks

Your relative might enjoy certain snacks that the convalescent does not often serve. If you know some of his or her favorites, make up a snack basket. It would be wise to call the nursing home ahead of time to find out whether there are any dietary considerations or allergies that you should keep in mind. Also remember that your loved one might not be able to chew hard or chewy items; this is something that the nurse at the home might be able to tell you.


One of the joys of many people who live in convalescent homes is to show off their children, grandchildren and other family members to their friends at the home. A photo album or a box of old pictures can bring a sense of nostalgia and fun reminiscing time to your visit, as well as a tangible item to remember it by later. Your relative can show his or her roommate or dining companions photos of loved ones later, too.

Stopping by to visit your relative in a convalescent is a gift unto itself; your visit will almost definitely be appreciated! In addition to the gift of your time, consider bringing along something that will last beyond the hours that you are able to spend talking to your family member. It might end up being the high point of his or her week and will likely boost spirits for a long time. You can even make a tradition of it if you can visit frequently; if your relative knows to expect some home-baked goodies or a new pair of socks each time you arrive, that will heighten his or her anticipation of your visit.


29 December 2015

assisted living following a stroke

When my mom had a stroke, I knew that things were never going to be the same. We were very fortunate that she lived so close to the hospital and that the neighbor was there visiting when it happened, because the outcome is not as bad as it could have been. Unfortunately, she needed a lot of extra care while she worked to recover from the damage that was done. I found a wonderful assisted living facility to place her in to get the help that she needed. If you have a loved one that has recently experienced the same thing, my blog could be quite helpful for you.