Resources & Outreach
When you visit friends or loved ones at Rosewood, instead of bringing a plant or flowers, which provide visual pleasure but cannot occupy an their time, consider other gifts which they can enjoy after you have left.
Here are some ideas:
- A large print books and magazines (try Doubleday)
- Large print Reader’s Digest which they can read and use to reminisce
with other residents. Phone: 1-800-807-2780
- Audio books they can listen to on their own (just ensure that they have
a tape or CD player).
- A magnifying glass to help with small print items.
- A small, portable radio so they can listen to a favorite station or the local news.
- Bring anecdotes, stories, or cartoons clipped from newspapers or magazines to
make them laugh or smile.
- Clothing that easy to get on and off (Velcro closures at the front or back)
- Stationery or note cards to keep in touch with friends.
- A padded sheepskin cover for their wheelchair or bed to make life a little more comfortable.
- Share photographs of your family, your vacation, your house, or garden. Ask the children to draw a picture or write a story especially for your loved one and bring
this as a surprise.
- Bring AND send cards and decorations on special holidays to brighten their room.
- Make a special photo album filled with pictures and messages from friends and
- If their diet allows, bring a favorite home cooked treat such as oven-baked biscuits, fresh fruit off your tree, fresh vegetables out of your garden, or their own recipe for pumpkin bread.
- For a cognitively impaired loved one, bring a shoe box full of differently textured
items (i.e., sandpaper, velvet, fuzzy fur, gingham, burlap) to touch and manipulate.
Often those with dementia find comfort in repetitive motions such as rubbing cloth
or petting an animal.
- Another idea for an older loved one who has difficulty communicating is touch/aroma therapy. Bring a nicely scented lotion and ask if you could put the lotion on your loved one’s hands, therefore providing touch as well as a pleasant aroma to associate with your visit.
- Note: If you do bring plants or flowers, ensure they are non-toxic (this is very important especially for residents who have any forms of dementia)
Although assisting an aging family member with their move to a residential care facility can often be an emotionally difficult experience, it is important you focus your energy on making regular visits to provide care and comfort. Some visits, especially in the beginning, may be difficult and cause you to feel sadness or guilt. While these are normal emotions and should not be discouraged, try not to think of this transition only as an ending but instead focus on the time you still have together and ways of filling that time with expressions of your love and affection.
Author: Christine A. Price, Ph.D., OSU Extension State Specialist, Gerontology, Department of Human Development and Family Science.