Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas in the Nursing home...

It's that time of the year again, trees, family, food, presents, cookies, Santa, the birth of our Lord and Savior. It's a wonderful time that we all look forward to each year. It is a true blessing to celebrate with the ones that we love, going out to pick out a perfect or not so perfect gift for those we love and care about. A time to treasure family and friends. It is a glorious season to say the least, unless  you live in a nursing home. Yeah, they have a tree and a nice dinner with the same people they shaer their daily life with day in and day out. They are there, and for some of them Christmas is just another day with a special dinner and a gift from Santa. Wait there is no Santa? Unless the staff and visitors stop at the giving tree in the lobby and pick up a tag for the resident; sadly not all nursing homes have this pleasure for there residents. I do believe that some of the homes are going to this for there residents. 

So that is Christmas? A nice dinner and a package from a generous stranger. How lovely, you say, that is so nice for them, that is enough. But is it enough, is it enough for you and your family to have a dinner and not spend time laughing by the fireplace, cuddling at night by the tree as it glistens in the dark. To watch it sparkle in the night, and experience the magic that you have in your home at this time of year. Is it enough for you not to have more then a couple of hours to visit then be left alone again for the rest of the night knowing that the phone will not ring all night and no one will think of calling you on Christmas cause you are old and living in the home? Is it enough to think that if we visit for an hour that it is a gift in itself, would you be pleased with that, would you feel loved or content?

Christmas is about the Love and birth of our Savior, it is about spending time with family near and far. It is about it all but we often forget those we put in the home and visit when we can, stating they know we are busy eith our livies, they were my age once, they know all the business I have to do. The shopping, the wrapping the Christmas cards, the lights, oh the lights inside and outside the house. 

What about those in the nursing home? What about them? They are being taken care of and that is what matters. Is that all that matters? The staff tends to there needs daily, talks to them, comforts them, supports them in all the manners that we are able to do. Yet, there is one thing that we can not do and that is take the place of their family. Yes, we care for them, we treat them like family, but we can not replace you the true family. We can't be your substitute at Christmas. They know if you visit, if you call, if you bring them a gift. We know we hear all about it, cause we are with them daily. We know if you come and spend time with them and if you bring a little gift or not. We can tell by the sparkle in their eye. The sparkle that says you were here and they are loved by you. Yet, you ask what do I bring them they need nothing! They tell us not to buy them anything. There are a few things that they all need and can use no matter what they say or tell you.

The List:
1. Body Lotion that smells nice
2. Body wash.
3. Stuffed animals (yes, they love them)
4. Books to read or puzzles to do
(imagine having to reread over and over or do the same puzzle time and again)
5. Shampoo 
6.Pictures of you for their room
7. A special blanket for their bed ( Put name on it)
8. New Clothing!

9. New Shoes!
( they don't get to shop a lot or not at all)
10. Candy

It is the little things that the residents tend to love. They appreciate the thoughtfulness of anything that you do for them. It may not seem to be a lot to you but it is the world to them!

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