7 ways to show your 'greats' that you care
While Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, sometimes the best gifts are gestures from the heart. We asked our some of our senior Bupa residents to tell us about the best gifts they’ve received while living in Aged Care.
When many people think of Christmas gifts, they may think about what they can buy from the shops or online. But when chatting to some of our wonderful Bupa Aged Care residents about the best gifts they’ve received, there was a common theme. They almost all said their favourite gifts were not things which were bought, but gifts which were made with love.
So why not take some time to put pen to paper, dig out some of your favourite photographs, or encourage the grandchildren to get creative, before your next visit with your greats.
Here are 7 gift ideas for senior loved ones:
Paintings from the children
Many residents said they loved anything which was hand made by the children in their lives, including paintings, drawings, or things they had made at school. The fun and colour of the creative artworks can brighten up their rooms, and their days.
Letters were another common theme, and can be especially great for senior residents who experience memory loss. Letters are a great way to continue communicating with your loved one, even after the visit has ended, as the letters can be read over and over again. For someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, even if their memory of your visit fades, the letter stays with them every day.
Printed photographs in a frame, in a book, or in a photo album was another thing many residents said they love to receive. If you’re stuck for an idea, why not gather the family together for a photo, and pop it into a frame or have it printed onto a canvas.
A bunch of flowers
Few things look and smell more lovely in the home than a fresh bunch of bright flowers. They’re also a lovely gesture to remind your loved one of your visit after you’ve left. Team it up with a heartfelt card, so even those experiencing memory loss can be reminded of your visit. One resident also suggested drying some lavender and popping it into a small material bag – a small token which will smell beautiful for a long time to come!
Wool is often warmly received by residents, especially those who love to knit, as it can inspire them to get creative and to try to make something new. Team it up with a couple of new patterns to try. If they haven’t tried knitting before, it could be a good opportunity for them to learn something new.
Carers say many residents enjoy creating home-made cards and gifts just as much as they love to receive them. So a great gift idea is craft materials. That might include paints, collage paper, lace, ribbon, or material for activities like embroidery, scrapbooking, and quilting.
Sometimes, the best gift in the world is just your time. Few things brighten up our greats living in Aged Care as much as a visit from their loved ones. A visit at their home is lovely, or consider whether it might be possible to take them out for the day to their favourite spot. To add an extra element of “special”, you could even make it a surprise.
Remember, it's the little things that hold the most meaning. What will you do to make a difference for someone special this Christmas?
You may also like to read our story about 'The quiet volunteer making dreams come true.'