(ARA) – It’s the holiday season again, and time to start thinking about planning holiday activities and gifts for family and friends. If you have a family member or friend in a nursing home, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure they too feel the holiday spirit.

Nursing home and eldercare services leader, Beverly Healthcare, suggests planning regular visits throughout the season that include activities centered around the holidays. For example:

Room Decorating — Help your loved one decorate his or her room with holiday decorations. Small, artificial Christmas trees decorated with holiday ornaments look great on dressers and can really make the room look and feel festive. Flannel holiday bedding such as sheets, pillow cases and comforters will not only keep your loved ones warm, but adds holiday cheer. Be creative — the more festive the better. And don’t forget holiday music!

Holiday Cards — It may be difficult for your loved one to send holiday cards to family and friends. You can help write personal notes in the cards, address envelopes and make sure the cards get mailed. You can also read and display the holiday cards your loved one receives.

Shopping — Consider taking your loved one on a fun holiday shopping trip. Plan your shopping trip for a time when there will be fewer crowds so it will be easier to move through the stores.

Holiday apparel — Holiday robes, slippers, sweaters, jewelry and socks can be worn throughout the season.

You may also be wondering what would be an appropriate gift to give your loved one in a nursing home. Just as you would with others on your list, consider gifts that match his or her hobbies, interests and needs. Remember the nursing home is their home, so consider activities or items that help them feel comfortable and secure.

The experts at Beverly Healthcare suggest the following holiday gifts:

Room Decorations — Framed pictures, prayers or quotes, books, pretty quilts, blankets or pillows make a room more home-like and comfortable. Non-poisonous plants brighten up a room, and give your loved one something to care for. A calendar with special dates and upcoming events, such as grandchildren’s birthdays, children’s anniversaries and graduations, along with a selection of cards and stamps, help your loved one remember and celebrate special occasions.

Toiletries — Even simple gifts such as talcum powder, lotion, a toothbrush or toothpaste can significantly contribute to a resident’s comfort and well being. Because skin changes with age, check with nursing home staff to make sure such gifts are appropriate. Gift certificates to the nursing home’s beauty salon for a haircut or manicure are especially appreciated. To make it more special, you can give yourself a gift and join your loved one at the salon.

Entertainment — Sometimes nursing home residents are not able to attend special family events such as graduations, anniversaries or birthday parties. Videotape the event and watch it together so your loved one can see the festivities and feel like an important part of the family. Books and music are also popular. If your loved one has vision problems, make a date to visit weekly and read to him or her.

Clothing — Gifts that help your loved one feel warm and cozy during the winter months can be especially welcome. Cardigan sweaters, sweat suits, hand-knitted slippers and lap blankets are just a few warming gift ideas. And don’t forget to pick up cheerful sweaters, sweatshirts and socks depicting fun holiday scenes.

Above all, Beverly Healthcare reminds you that sometimes the simplest gifts are the most appreciated. If your loved one is mobile, go to a favorite restaurant, plan a visit to a church or synagogue for services, or invite friends to the nursing home for a special lunch. And of course, visiting your loved one in a nursing home is often the best gift.

For more information on a Beverly Healthcare nursing home in your area, visit www.beverlynet.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content