When my mother was suffering with dementia in an assisted living facility, I typically visited with her twice daily.
When having lunch one day with the other regulars at her table, I brought a little gift for her friend who had a birthday. This friend cried. I was a little surprised because I didn’t know what I had done wrong. But, they were tears of joy, at least in part. She said, “this is the only present I received.”
I was confused because I knew she had adult children in the area. Yet I learned they seldom visited. I was shocked. I could not believe someone would desert their mother or any family member.
When I asked one of the nurses about her family, I further learned that this is not as uncommon as one would think.
From that time on, I brought gifts for everyone for their birthday (just little things, a few dollars each). And for each holiday, I brought little gifts for each resident and handed them out at lunch.
Again, they were just very small gifts, yet you have no idea how happy some of them were to get a little gift, and attention.
Don’t leave your friends and family alone. And if you don’t have family or friends to support, find a local nursing home or assisted living and inquire. Take your children. Let them learn the gift of kindness. It will pay off in the long term, and you will make some seniors very happy.
Happy Holidays………. Irma