Remembering Those in Nursing Homes or other Facilities During the Holidays

A nurse friend of mine (and fellow TEA partier…) recently posted some advice on her Facebook page concerning visiting loved ones in a nursing home or other such institution. Because I thought this was both great advice and a desperately needed reminder, I asked her permission to share this with others.  But this should also serve as a reminder of Scriptural principles:

  • Proverbs 23:22 – Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
  • Leviticus 19:32 – “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
  • 1 Timothy 5:4 – But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
  • James 1:27 – Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

Since many of us make it a point to do exactly this during the holiday seasons,  I share her words of wisdom with you, my beloved blog readers:

WHAT TO BUY (OR NOT) THIS HOLIDAY SEASON FOR YOUR LOVED ONES IN A NURSING HOME OR OTHER FACILITY. I’ve long wanted to write something like this, but never did. It comes from years of working in different capacities at different facilities for the elderly. Remember, these are just general ideas, you have to do your own research as to what is best for your individual.

‎1) No matter what you buy, or how much you spend, there is absolutely NO GIFT that is better than a visit from YOU. NONE. NO WAY, NO HOW, NEVER. Trust me.. visits from family ARE GOLD. But please don’t stay too long.. our residents tire …

2) If you can’t visit, phone calls are great. Remember, if there is no phone in your loved one’s room, the staff will have to run a phone to them, or take them to the phone. Consider a landline, or a prepaid cell phone. Many cell phones can be programmed to only receive incoming calls, or can be programmed to ‘speed dial’ only a couple of numbers.

3) Depending on the funding that is paying for the facility stay, check into putting money into a spending account, for things like hair appointments, field trips, special treats, etc.

4) Clothing.. Peoples sizes and needs change. Again, check with the facility staff often to see what is needed. Tube socks are better than fitted ones. Pull on pants are a God send for both genders. Sweatshirt jackets with zippers are a favorite. Commercial laundries can be hard on clothes, buy them a little large, they will be easier to put on.

5) If you are a member of a church that has a choir, and you have a loved one in a nursing home, a great gift is to see if the choir can visit ‘in honor’ of that person. Boy, will they be a hero!

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