Being a CNA in a nursing home, I have seen many items that you should never give anyone that is there. There are many reasons why they should not have them, instead a better alternative should be offered in their place. Buying gifts for residents in a nursing home can be difficult. Each nursing home has its own set of rules and regulations, and you need to first check with them on what kind of items that you can give that they can keep in their room. The staff should be relieved from the cna requirements. The training of the kid should not be done on the Christmas day for relaxation of the staff members.
When purchasing a gift for someone in a nursing home, you need to definitely keep in mind what they are not supposed to eat. I see people giving diabetics huge boxes of chocolates. Then they expect the nurses to see that the person gets just one a day or whatever they say that they want done. Being busy, we cannot always watch what each resident is doing all the time. Not only can they easily get sick from the candy that they should not have if they are diabetics, but elderly in general have difficulties with chewing and swallowing and can choke on candy very easily. If you are going to give candy, be sure to get the kind that is just chocolate or with soft fillings that will easily chew up. Carmel or nuts in candy is a bad idea for the elderly.
Another thing that I see all the time is glass items. It is nice to give them things, but sometimes when you are moving things around, or helping the resident, things can become bumped or jostled and things can fall. Glass ornaments or collectibles should not be given. It is a nice gesture, but it may become broke, no matter how careful the residents and workers are, and can be very upsetting to the resident.
Loose fitting clothing is another thing I see often in a nursing home. It is nice to be comfortable, but be sure when purchasing clothing for your friend or relative that it fits properly, and that it is not too long or too large. If something is too long, they could easily get their feet tangled up when walking and could trip. taking a fall is not good for elderly, as they heal slower and could get many complications. They can also become tangled in loose fitting clothing. This could cause them to get caught up and possibly loose circulation or they could easily break a bone.
I see so many getting large items that there really is no room for. When purchasing a gift, be sure that there is room for the item in their room. If they are in a room that they don’t have to share, then there is usually room for just about anything. But in most cases, nursing home rooms are small and don’t allow for many personal things. Especially if they need wheel chairs or need to be assisted by lifts to get in and out of bed.
Expensive or delicate clothing or blankets. I see so many items that have been destroyed by our laundry systems because of the inability to take proper care of laundering them. Nursing homes don’t usually have the time or the facilities to take care of items that need to be dry cleaned or washed in a special way or in special settings. If your family picks up laundry and does it for your family member or friend, then this would be alright, but in most cases, the laundry is done on the site, and the item can be easily destroyed. Please check ahead of time about the laundry situation.
Residents love to be visited and to have their things with them, and they love to look at the photos of family and friends. Visiting with them and bringing a small token of your love for them means more than expensive gifts or something that may break and upset them.