Saturday, July 21, 2012


     Handicrafts are a way of filling the time of your patient.  If your loved one is good with the crochet hook or knitting needles, they can make wonderful Christmas gifts for the family.  A gift made especially for you is a gift that will be treasured long after your loved one is gone.
     Crafts and crossword puzzles are a good way of keeping busy and exercising the mind as well.  It is important to keep the mind active.  Anyone can do crafts, even if they are confined to bed.  There are tables that are made just for that purpose.  They have wheels, so you can push them anywhere, and they are cut out to fit under the bed and over the lap of the patient, just like the ones used in hospitals.  They are so handy for crafts and writing letters or reading.  Of course, when you are encouraging your loved one to do a craft project.  It is nice if you pitch in and help, or at least work alongside them.  No one likes to do things alone.
     My mother used to crochet lap robes for the nursing home.  She enjoyed making them and the residents enjoyed receiving them.  I would take them to the home and the residents who were able would write, would than send notes to Mom.  She was so pleased to receive them and it made her work a little faster on more of them.  She knew that it meant a lot to receive a gift, even from a stranger.  Many of the nursing home residents outlive their families and have no one.  Mom made enough lap robes for all the residents of the assisted living home and was working on finishing up the nursing home.  She felt useful, even when she couldn’t get out anymore.  It meant a lot to her to stay busy and productive.
     If your loved one is mobile, they might like to try volunteering at the local hospital.  They can work in the gift ship, greet visitors, read to patients, or bring books and magazines to the patients.
     Wouldn’t it be good for your loved one to talk with an old friend, someone that hasn’t been heard from in years?  Talk to your loved one about her friends and get the name of one, then call that person and give her the phone number.  It may take a little time to find the person, but it will brighten your her day and keep a smile on her face for some time to come.  There is nothing like a phone call from an old friend to bring back happy memories.
     Let the person know when he or she will have visitors.  This will allow your loved one the pleasure of anticipation.  Looking forward to a visitor is not only wonderful, but it gives the patient the opportunity to spruce up the room and to put on their best dress too.  If you set up a schedule of visitors, it will also allow you to set the time and length of each visit.  It makes it easier on you and your loved one.

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