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john65pennington's avatar

What's a good Christmas present for a 93 year old woman in a nursing home?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) November 24th, 2010

My mother is in a nursing home and probably will be there the rest of her life. She is deaf and a cripple and confined to her bed. I have racked my brain for a week, trying to come up with a perfect gift for her this Christmas. She cannot sign her name, so anything to be written is out. Her voice is low and shallow and hard to understand. Question: Any suggestions for her for Christmas this year? She may not make it until next Christmas.

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24 Answers

Summum's avatar

A long visit from you. At this time in her life gifts don’t mean so much and your company means more.

squirbel's avatar

A visit is worth far more than any trinket or material gift, as she won’t be able to appreciate it for any length of time. Spending time with her at the home, or taking her home for a day would be the best Christmas gift.

JLeslie's avatar

Does she only wear hospital gowns? If not, a nice cardigan might be appreciated and a long visit with a bunch of pictures of the family if they all cannot make it to see her.

Can she turn pages? Maybe a book with beautiful photographs of a place she loves?

SamIAm's avatar

what about a really great throw blanket? (I suggest this because I’m sitting here, typing this, wrapped up in one from Bed, Bath and Beyond… they sell a small tote bag with the blanket in it along with the most comfy socks and it’s one of the best things I’ve bought this year!)

They also make blankets that you can put a picture on. What if you took a picture of you and her from when you were a child and put it on a blanket?

janbb's avatar

Does she listen to music of any kind?

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb She is deaf.

Cruiser's avatar

Visit her and see if you can take her for a ride in a wheel chair outside. I did that for my Grandma as often as I could and she cherished those moments outdoors!

talljasperman's avatar

a collage of all of the family photos in a poster sized photo with frame

ducky_dnl's avatar

A big warm quilt to keep her warm during winter and of course, your company. Also, how about a bouquet of flowers?

mattbrowne's avatar

An audio book.

skfinkel's avatar

I would agree with the notion of frequent visits. That is what would seem like the most important thing right now. But if the “present” idea is important, something tactile that she would appreciate: a lavender pillow covered with the softest silk, a lovely cover that she can feel is different from the others she has…

gailcalled's avatar

Regular visits from the in-house beautician for shampoo and set, manicure and pedicure. A massage perhaps with lots of lotion for the dry skin. Delivery of a flowering plant every month.
A visit from the hospital dogs; in my mother’s facility, everyone lights up when the dogs arrive. They are clean, sweet, gentle, and affectionate.

Kardamom's avatar

A nice (small sized) photo album into which you’ve put photos of all of her friends, family and any pets that she may have had. Put labels under them so she and the staff will know who everybody is. Then go and visit often and go through the photos with her.

Depending upon what she can eat, bring her some cookies or cake (if she has trouble eating or chewing because of dentures, make sure the edible items don’t have any thing hard, chewy or dificult to chew such as raisins, nuts or toffee) If she can’t even eat anything like that, how about bringing her some good soup every day for a week.

I agree with @gailcalled that if you can arrange for some service animals to come visit, that would be very nice. Most people love to pet a dog or a bunny. Check with the nursing home to see if they have a program or if they allow outside programs to bring in an animal.

Maybe a nice picture book (that you will turn the pages for her) with either cute baby animals or gorgeous landscapes.

flutherother's avatar

The older people become the harder it is to choose a present for them. Perhaps a book, in large print if her eyesight is poor. We do a lot of local history publications here in the UK with photographs of how things used to be. This can be very stimulating to the elderly. Your local library may be able to help.

joni1977's avatar

I agree with everyone else’s suggestions 100%. But I would also add something that she really enjoyed in her younger days such as some of her favorite old movies. I’m not an old woman…yet, but I’m old enough to see a movie made 10 or 20 years ago and I start reminiscing. She doesn’t have to hear the audio to enjoy it. And if her sight is well enough, she might like the caption on. If she has a dvd player in her room that you or someone else could operate for her, I’m sure she would have a great time looking at the wardrobes, hairstyles and old actors that she may have admired in her younger days…

janbb's avatar

@JLeslie Sorry – read the details too quickly!

Response moderated (Spam)
Evian's avatar

Time with you! Second have your kids and her other grandchildren make and send a card with their photo included. Then hang the cards and pictures where she and the people who care for her are reminded often that she is a part of a great family.

anamasse04's avatar

The best gift for any elderly resident in a nursing home is your time. It is very difficult for some elderly people to adjust to life in a nursing home because it is something new/strange. Everyone, especially family, that spends time with the resident makes the transition more tolerable and they don’t feel “abandoned”. Hope that helps!

easeout's avatar

Buy a photo album in her favorite color and take pictures of her friends and family and herself in earlier years and she will cherish it. I did that for a 91 year old at her 90th birthday and she LOVED it

Lela Bryan

easeout's avatar

Make some bread or something homemade. Nursing home food needs to be spiced up. Take her out of the nursing home for an afternoon.
Lel Bryan

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