gifts for great grandma in nursing home

(30 Posts)
unfitmummy Mon 01-Nov-10 15:16:08

my husbands grandma is being moved into a nursing home, after being in hospital following a bad fall, and being diagnosed with dementia. i was going to buy her a food hamper but the nursing home will now provide all food so i'm stuck. what on earth can i get her? this will also probably be the last christmas she will remember us all as she's already starting to be hazy on family members occasionally.

DomesticGoddessInTraining Mon 01-Nov-10 15:36:36

Nice nightie/dressing gown/slippers? Photo frames with nice family pictures?

Sorry to hear about your DH's grandma. DH's granny had dementia before she passed away. Every time I met her I had to be reintroduced to her (we only started going out around the time she was diagnosed). It was very sad for everyone.

ANTagony Mon 01-Nov-10 15:40:33

Luxury bath salts. My grandmother was in her later years in a nursing home and didn't really need for much. She always liked bath salts and one of the carers said how much they loved it when the room filled with the rich aroma from them - I felt it gave her just a little bit extra care.

Alternatively a digital photo frame loaded with family images with the names written across them.

My Grandma is chairbound and always appreciates a nice new woolly hat or a new scarf to wear round her shoulders. She feels the cold on a blazing hot summers day!

canyou Mon 01-Nov-10 15:44:23

What about a 'treat' food hamper of old fashioned sweets, cookies/biscuits, a nice teddy and or a potted flowering plant for the window and a nice framed picture?

On the Teddy reason I gave one to my Gran Aunt when she moved into a nursing home [totally disorganised had nothing bought and bought a Teddy on the way up] She loved her Teddy and he lived on her bed, was introduced to everyone and was her 'friend' until the day she died She even requested that he be put in her coffin with her, so dont just think she is old and that is silly grin
I give my Grandmothers a Christmas stocking every year, Sweeties, underwear, mags, teddy, framed pic, selection box and a book and some silly tat

instead of a food hamper how about a luxury hamper. Gorgous smelling soaps, some bath salts (if she has a bath) framed family photo of her great granchildren all together, some cosy slippers, her favourite sweets, maybe a nice inexpensive piece of jewellery. my dh's gran had dementia and spent her last xmas in a care hospital type of thing. she got a bracelet which was a few strands of red shiny beads tied together with ribbon and she loved it. i've found that bright colourful things are the way to go. we lost 2 people who had severe dementia last year, and they both loved a lot of colour. care homes seem to be pastelly at best.

Sidge Mon 01-Nov-10 16:12:07

A CD of favourite music? Or a talking book CD?

Lovely smellies are nice, or maybe a pretty pot plant or a picture of a place that she loves.

Anything that makes her room more homely is nice too, such as a rug, tapestry for the wall, a footstool (very budget-dependent I appreciate).

wideratthehips Mon 01-Nov-10 16:14:47

my lovely lovely granny who is 99 is in a nursing home.

things she really likes are photographs, a 'bed jacket', well fitting slippers with good grippy soles, talcum powder with a big puff thing.

SoMuchToBats Mon 01-Nov-10 16:21:30

I would agree with stuff like nice toiletries, or maybe clothes/nightwear, photo frames, maybe some sweets (most other food will be provided by the home I would expect). Or maybe a nice calendar too, would give her something to look at every month.

muggglewump Mon 01-Nov-10 16:21:46

You could still get her the food hamper, so long as it's snacky stuff.

Nice bath products would go down well and as others have said, photo frames for her room.

unfitmummy Mon 01-Nov-10 17:15:51

thanks for that, very helpful. i really like all the ideas and will file them away for future birthdays and christmases! i think this year i will buy her some bulbs in a nice pot and some smellies. i will speak to my mother-in-law to find out about the smellies, and i have one of those paint your own bowl things so i thought i could get my daughter to paint that and plant some hyacinth bulbs in it. hopefully that will go down well.

cat64 Mon 01-Nov-10 17:24:51

Message withdrawn

GrimmaTheNome Mon 01-Nov-10 17:25:27

>Alternatively a digital photo frame loaded with family images with the names written across them

I wondered about that, but then thinking of my mother and MIL (who are old but compos mentis), while they can use the digital photo frames we got them the other year, they rarely actually do.

A photo album (not too big) with clear pictures, clearly labelled might be better?

jumpingjackhash Mon 01-Nov-10 17:29:27

Sorry to hear about DH's GM, I hope the move is as easy as possible.

When my GM moved into a nursing home (similar situation) we bought her a lovely blanket for her to copy-up in in her room, when she passed away I kept the blanket as a reminder of her, it's pretty special to me now.

Giddyup Mon 01-Nov-10 17:31:08

We pay for all her hair appointments, they have a mobile hairdresser come round. She is almost 98 and still appreciates a shampoo ad set and a perm every so often when the need arises.

NorbertDentressangle Mon 01-Nov-10 17:32:23

One of the things we bought for my Gran was a bird table and bird feeder as she used to love watching the birds (and cheeky squirrels) feeding.

You can buy some feeders that attach to windows if she's not got a view of the garden.

CitrusZest Mon 01-Nov-10 21:05:25

My Grandmother has just moved into a nursing home. For her birthday tomorrow I've got her one of those microwave hot water bottle type things in the shape of a westie. It's filled with wheat and lavender so smells lovely and apparently they're safer and don't scald.

cat64 Mon 01-Nov-10 23:40:26

Message withdrawn

NorbertDentressangle Tue 02-Nov-10 08:52:19

Cat64 - Try a good garden centre or a outdoor/pet store if you want to buy one locally.

Online, the RSPB seem to do every sort of feeder imaginable! Scroll down for an example of a window one

girlywhirly Tue 02-Nov-10 10:11:39

I think it's most important to give gifts with a sensory quality for relatives with dementia. Things that are colourful, fragranced, pleasant to touch, enjoyable to look at or listen to. Photo albums are great, because pictures of the past are most likely to be remembered due to long term memory surviving, when short term memory is failing. They also want to be comfortable, so anything that enhances that will be welcome, such as things to soothe aches and pains (like the heated pad), clothing that is easy to manage and warm, pillows or cushions to provide support.

Best wishes to DH and you.

smockingtillerfiredeers Tue 02-Nov-10 10:36:10

If you get a digital frame, don't forget to put really old photos on it as well as cute grandkids. You can scan in very old ones that aren't already digital - include places as well as people - and don't forget the old person's own parents and siblings when they were children, their own wedding and graduation and so on. Photos from really special past holidays are also good.

A digital frame is helping my gd reconnect with some very old memories, and he loves it. (It also gets other residents coming into his room and talking about the pictures!)

I've also got a theory that it does no harm to have the carers in a home reminded that the very old and dependent person in front of them has spent most of their life as an active and capable person who deserves to be listened to and treated like an adult, and not treated too much like a child.

I wouldn't reccommend bath salts and things to whoever suggested the luxury hamper. IME (I've worked in care homes) carers don't have enough time whilst bathing the residents to allow them to sit and soak for ages and really enjoy their baths, plus the residents get cold, they generally want to get in and out so they can wrap up warm again.

I don't know how advanced this lady's dementia is but she may well still appreciate a digital photo frame with old and new pictures.

The home will provide her food but it's not going to be amazing food I shouldn't think and if you bring her boxes of chocs, biscuits, etc then she can keep them in her room and dip into them whenever she fancies. You could also bring her a cake or something and ask the home to serve it to everyone at dinner.

Lovely warm, soft dressing gowns, slippers, cardigans etc are always good. However, do check with the home's protocol on washing clothes. My grandpa's home ruined a LOT of very expensive woolen cardigans as they boil wash everything so now we buy him fleeces.
HTH

chimchARRRRGGGGHHHHHHH Tue 02-Nov-10 18:29:52

all the old ladies i know love talc...so maybe a nice soft scented one, also as a pp said, a voucher to have her hair washed and set.....

MiasmARGGG Tue 02-Nov-10 18:41:36

I work in a nursing home and the objects my residents love more than anything is photos. Several of them have big photo collarges (sp?) that have been made by their family members.

The other thing is lovely soft nighties/ bed wear. So many of the ladies i look after have the most ancient, scratchy nightwear circa 1962 and as their mobility gets worse I always wish they had nicer suff so they could be more comfortable in bed.

thereistheball Tue 02-Nov-10 20:28:45

One thing I heard of that made sense to me regarding people in these circumstances - though you wouldn't necessarily want to give it to them as a present - was a photo of them at their absolute prime, eg at their wedding or taken as they going out to something for which they'd dressed up and were looking fabulous, blown up to enormous proportions and framed for their wall. The reason was to remind them, and more particularly their carers, of who they used to be. I liked this idea because I imagine that it is difficult for people who work in nursing homes to see beyond the immediate frailty of the person they are caring for to find the once-vibrant young thing that that person was. I hope someone tells my carer that I used to love going to nightclubs and holding all-night parties, and that later on I loved doing really messy painting with my DD, so that we had to shower to get the colours out of our hair.

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