When your loved one lives in assisted living, it can make ordinary events seem a little different. Although this is more a matter of perception, there are a few things that do change. Typically, senior living apartments have less space than your loved one’s previous living space because downsizing helps reduce responsibility and stress that helps create a more positive retirement living situation. Many family members are thrown off by a perceived medical facility feel that some assisted living facilities may present and feel that visiting, relationships, and gifts should be modified. There are really only a few small modifications that should be made. Here, we will share a few gift ideas for your loved ones.
Wall decor, especially pictures of loved family or something handmade by you is always an excellent gift idea! You can even make a handmade frame to put a picture of you and the family to proudly display on the wall. Not only is this gift personal and special, but it will remind your loved one of how loved they are. In addition, in areas with limited space, the wall is the perfect place to hang a gift. An electronic photo frame is another great idea for limited wall space that allows you to upload several family photos that can rotate.
Cozy flannel sheets or a homemade quilt can make your loved one feel blanketed in love. Whether your loved one has a simple room in an assisted living facility that offers more common areas or they live in a full condo in a senior living community, one that never changes is their desire to be comfortable and cozy when they go to bed. Soft sheets or a flannel blanket are both practical and meaningful gifts. If you are able to make the blanket — quilt, knit, tied fleece, or printed picture — your loved one can snuggle in your love anytime they like.
Puzzles or Books
Puzzles, books, or puzzle books are great for those in assisted living! Between other activities and the routine of life, your loved one can relax with some brain-stimulating puzzles or a relaxing novel. These things are great for passing the time leisurely, which is ideal for retirement, while at the same time staving off dementia or cognitive decline. The best part is, once your loved one is done enjoying the book or puzzle, they can pass it on to share with other residents in their retirement community. If your loved one has difficulty seeing, you can purchase large-print or invest in an audiobook.
A Day Out
Assisted living communities are not confinement facilities and most residents are able to come and go as they please. Check with your loved one’s facility to make sure that you can take them out for the day and plan something special. Whether it is a walk in the local botanical garden or brunch at your house or their favorite restaurant, everyone enjoys a change of scenery. Although it is not a tangible gift, giving your loved one a day out is a gift of memories. Ask your loved one what they would like to do, and even if it is a trip to the local department store, indulge them.
If your loved one’s assisted living facility has a beauty salon or other amenities, you should be able to purchase gift cards to allow them to get pampered. You can ask the facility’s activity director about different things that they have planned coming up and purchase a gift card they can use then. Or, you can simply purchase a gift card to their favorite department or hobby store and allow them to shop for their own gift!
Purchasing gifts for your loved one who lives in assisted living is the same as it was before they moved into the retirement community, there are just a few things to consider, like space, medical condition, and communal living. For most people, the old adage “it’s the thought that counts” holds true. Don’t overthink the gift and listen to them for ideas. For the best retirement communities in Hammonton, schedule a tour at Heritage Assisted Living.