The elderly who are shut-in their home or in a nursing home sometimes are forgotten about at Christmas. Whether or not you have a shut-in relative or friend, plan to visit them as well as someone you don’t know who is shut-in this Christmas and let them know someone remembered them. You can always contact a local nursing home and ask them about someone who may not have family or friends that visit them. Consider the following gift ideas for shut-ins this Christmas.
When someone becomes disabled and shut-in they lose their independence either totally or partially. This is perhaps the most discouraging thing that the aging process takes from people. Take this into consideration when deciding on a meaningful Christmas gift for a shut-in.
Gift Idea for Shut-ins #1– Your time! If I were shut-in and had lost the ability to go and come as I please, I would be happening outside the place where they are confined. The most important thing you can do for a shut-in is to schedule a visit and spend some time with them. Talk to them, hug them, hold their hand, read aloud, watch television with them, and listen if they are willing and able to talk to you. Also take your children with you. The elderly love to spend time with youngsters. It brings a glistening to their eyes to see and talk to a child. Time spent with someone who is still in reality means more than anything else you can give them. Give them you for a period of time.
Gift Idea for Shut-ins #2 – Do Tasks for them – As mentioned earlier, an elderly shut-in may not be able to give to others like they used to and that can be frustrating for them. They long to give to others and feel useful as they did before losing their independence. Buy them a box of Christmas cards and offer to address, sign for them if they can’t and to mail them. They would love to be able to send someone a Christmas card as the rest of us. Offer to run an errand to get something they are in need of. If their diet is not restricted, take them an ice cream treat or a meal from their favorite restaurant.
Gift Idea for Shut-ins #3 – Entertainment– If they don’t have some form of entertainment provided in their home or nursing facility, take them a radio that is simple to operate, a small CD player and CD’s. Find out their favorite kind of music, such as gospel or classical. It would be nice to add a set of headphones which may help them if they can’t hear well. Another idea would be a portable DVD player with DVD’s of television shows, old movies or family pictures. If you can’t afford this type of gift, hang a bird feeder outside their window if they have one. They would enjoy watching birds all year long. If they are capable of working crossword puzzles or word finds, take them some of these books. Playing cards for playing solitaire could also provide hours of entertainment.
Gift Idea for Shut-ins #4 – Pamper them with a pedicure, manicure, or facial or haircut. The elderly relish being touched. So many of them are never touched, especially if they don’t have family, and they need that to feel loved. Items such as aloe-infused socks, slippers, fleece throw, body lotions, lip balm, or shaving cream would be appreciated.
Gift Idea for Shut-ins #5 – Reading material is another thoughtful gift. Inspirational or devotional books that are broken down into short 10 or 15 minute studies are more manageable for the elderly. If they can’t see well, buy books in large print for their convenience. If they cannot see enough to read at all, consider audio books for them to listen to. A subscription to a local newspaper would make a great gift also!
There are many other items that would be useful to a shut-in. Just picture yourself in their place and think about what you would appreciate receiving.