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Gifts for Nursing Home Staff

Updated on April 18, 2015
You can't go wrong with a gift basket!
You can't go wrong with a gift basket! | Source

There are people who come into our lives that are truly special. Included among them are the staff at nursing homes. A nursing home staff works 24 hours a day ensuring that our loved ones are well taken care of. They have jobs that are difficult, both physically and emotionally. Nursing home staff are there, caring for our loved ones as their lives come to an end. They feed and bathe them and sometimes just hold their hands to provide a bit of companionship.

Many times, loved ones and their families form a special bond with a particular staff member. They reminisce with them or just have a laugh to ease the tension. If a loved one is in the nursing facility for a long period of time, families get to know the staff fairly well. Because of these special bonds, families like to show their appreciation by giving gifts.

Deciding what sort of gifts to give to nursing staff can be tricky. There are a number of things to consider when giving these gifts:

  1. Are the employees permitted to receive gifts at the nursing facility?
  2. Do you want to recognize an entire staff?
  3. Do you want to recognize a particular staff member?
  4. Has your loved one formed a special bond with a particular staff member?

I cannot overemphasize the importance of the first factor. Many nursing facilities do not permit their employees to receive gifts of any kind from residents or their families. Some facilities only permit certain types of gifts. Before giving a gift to nursing staff, check with the facility management to see what their policies are. In some cases, accepting gifts can be cause for immediate dismissal of the employee.

The suggestions that follow should help make it a little easier for you when it comes to giving gifts to nursing staff. You will find ideas that take all the different factors into consideration.

Gift Ideas if the Nursing Facility Does Not Permit Gifts

If the facility policy where your loved one resides does not permit their employees to receive gifts, there are still ways to show your appreciation. In most cases these ideas are acceptable, just double check.

Gift ideas for an entire staff:

  • Fruit basket/platter
  • Deli/sandwich platter
  • Baked goodies tray
  • Potted plant for the staff room
  • Thank you/commendation letter to the nursing facility management

Gift ideas for an individual staff member:

  • Homemade Goodies
  • Heartfelt letter of thanks
  • Commendation letter to the employee's supervisor
  • Drawing from a child
  • Donation in the employee's name to a charity

Fruit makes a wonderful gift that the entire staff can enjoy!
Fruit makes a wonderful gift that the entire staff can enjoy! | Source

Tips on Putting Together an Inexpensive Gift Basket

Save some money by making your own gift basket. It's easy!

  • Most of us have a nice basket around the house, but if not, pick one up at the local dollar store.
  • Determine what sort of basket you'll be putting together and purchase enough items to fill it up.
  • A tea basket, for example, could contain 2 or 3 varieties of tea, 2 mugs, a tea towel, a box of sugar cubes, a packet of cookies and some candies. The mugs and tea towel can be purchased at the dollar store and the other items can be found at the grocery store.
  • Arrange the items in the basket, using the tea towel as a way of giving another item some height for interest.
  • If you wish, wrap the basket with clear wrapping paper and a bow. If not, just put a bow on the handle of the basket.

Sandwich trays are always a big hit!
Sandwich trays are always a big hit! | Source

Gift Ideas if the Nursing Facility Does Permit Gifts

If staff are permitted to receive gifts, here are some ideas. If the gift is for an individual staff member, try to make it personal since you may have learned a bit about them over time.

Gift ideas for an entire staff:

  • Baked goodies tray
  • Deli sandwich tray
  • Fruit platter
  • Personalized items, like mugs for everyone that say "Thanks for a great job!"- There are many online shops and catalogs which sell personalized items when purchased in bulk. This option can be costly.

Gift ideas for an individual staff member:

  • Coffee/tea basket
  • Bath basket
  • Sports memorabilia
  • Bouquet of flowers
  • Inspirational book
  • Scarf/hat/gloves set
  • Memento from your loved one's room - This is appropriate if your loved one has passed and they were particularly close to a staff member. It may be something your loved one wanted this employee to have.
  • Gift Card - While being easy an easy option, gift cards can be impersonal so unless you know that the staff member really loves going to a certain restaurant or purchases things from a certain store, it's better to get something else.

Flowers brighten anyone's day!
Flowers brighten anyone's day! | Source

Cookies for a Crowd

Here is a quick and delicious crowd-pleasing cookie recipe!

Swedish Jam Drops

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add flour. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Make an indent in each ball with your thumb. Place 1 teaspoon of jam in each indentation. Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies and is easily doubled.

Things to Remember

For many families, there is a deep debt of gratitude for the nursing staff member who has helped their loved ones, and it is only natural to want to show your appreciation by giving them a gift. It is important to remember to choose your gift with care and not to go overboard. Even more importantly, always check the nursing facility rules before giving any gift. You never want your gesture of appreciation to get an employee in trouble.

© 2012 Glimmer Twin Fan

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Glimmer Twin Fan, beautiful article on what to get for those who take care of loved ones in a nursing home setting. I even loved the recipe you offered up here for Swedish Jam Drops. I am pinning this for the recipe and for the gift ideas more so for my daughter's dance teacher and assistants for Christmas time (sorry I don't have anyone currently in a nursing home). Have voted up and shared too!!

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

      Excellent! I think nurses in general deserve all the gifts, baskets, goodies & etc. we can give them!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      What a lovely thought and hub. It is so easy to forget those who do so much. These dedicated care givers deserve to be recognized and you have provided wonderful suggestions.

    • stillwaters707 profile image

      stillwaters707 4 years ago from Texas

      Families really appreciate those who give their best to care for our loved ones. Thank you for including ways to check policies as well as your ideas for gifts.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks as always Janine! I really appreciate your support. I've met such nice people here on hubpages. The cookies are super good and easy. And pretty at Christmas too!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Paradise - Thanks so much for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks lrc7815! You're right. It is easy to overlook people who do so much. I appreciate the comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      stillwaters - I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I knew to add the policy check because my parents are in a retirement community and for them it's a no-no. Thanks for the comments.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Potted plants are a great idea because the residents can enjoy those too. Especially holiday ones the staff may leave out for all to see.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Wow, Glim, you really covered this completely! Great job! Voted up and shared.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Lots of great gift ideas and I love the formatting and photos you put in this hub.

      Recognition of nursing home staff who are taking good care of a loved one can go a long way toward improving morale, even if it's in the form of heartfelt letters of thanks or commendation letters.

      Am voting this hub up across the board except for funny.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Completely useful Glimmer. Nothing like rewarding these unknown heroes and their efforts. Nice lay out! Enjoyed that fruit decoration and your ideas about sandwiches and some flowers. Take care!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Jackie - You're right and I always love poinsettias at the holidays. They are so bright. Thanks for commenting.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much for the vote and share ttoombs! I appreciate it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Happyboomer - Thanks so smuch for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I do think it's important recognize people who do so much for us.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Lord - Many thanks for the comments. I appreciate them.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 4 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Such valuable advice and so many beautifully presented ideas and personable choices. I like the little raspberry cookie cakes too - now who wouldn't? So cute.

    • Craig Hartranft profile image

      Craig Hartranft 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Nice hub. Showing respect, encouragement and thanks to caregivers never goes out of style.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks for reading and the comments Craig! I appreciate it.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks GoodLady! Try the cookies. You'll love them. I appreciate the visit.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      very useful advice, showing respect to the deserving, great share, voted useful.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you girishpuri. I appreciate the visit!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      Caregiver are more than deserving! Wonderful ideas and advice ^_^ thank you! voted a bunch

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Mama Kim! You are right. Most of them are very deserving. I appreciate the votes!

    • Rosie writes profile image

      Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

      Important hub reminding us of the things we can often forget to do.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Rosie!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love your suggestions here, Glimmer. I love the fresh fruit idea, it is certainly something that would be healthy and enjoyable.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I like the idea of the coffee or food, all staff are so busy they forget to eat sometimes, I know, I remember when my mum was in for a while, my mum and dad used to stay in a nursing home sometimes for us to have a couple of days rest, or after they had been in hospital, and we were allowed to take stuff in, I remember taking sandwiches for them, and little homemade fairy cakes, they loved it! great hub and so important, nell

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good for you for writing this; I have had a lot of interaction with people in nursing homes. They are overworked, underpaid and many times doing a thankless job. Giving them recognition in the form of a gift is a wonderful idea.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      These are great gifts ideas for these hardworking folks who take care of our loved ones. I hadn't thought about how some of them would not be allowed to accept gifts, but it does make sense. I love the idea of bringing something especially food for the entire team, since you may not know what contribution each person makes individually when you are not around.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thank you teaches. Fresh fruit is one of those things that almost everyone loves and that most people can eat too! I appreciate the comment.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate it Nell! I think that people appreciate all gestures of thanks and I find it so easy to overlook some of the people who do the most for us. Thanks for commenting and I'd love to know what a fairy cake is!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Bill! They really are overlooked and their jobs are really difficult. They do some of the most personal tasks for people who can no longer do it for themselves. I always appreciate your comments.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      That's a good point Millionaire! We don't know who does what behind the scenes and often our loved ones can't tell us. Thanks for commenting!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Glimmer,

      In my current role, I teach nurses who work in all areas. Nursing

      Homes are a place where there is much heart and dedication exhibited

      for little in the way of relief: physical, emotional, even financial.

      Your intention and thorough breakdown of how a family member could

      show recognition is beautiful and heartwarming. For so many nurses, a

      thank you of any kind is treasured. It is so not about the monetary value,

      rather they were respected and appreciated for doing a job from the

      heart. "How would you care for your own family" is an expression I hear

      frequently...so many nurses have this philosophy

      Excellent job and THANK YOU! Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Wow Maria - What a lovely comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. These employees really are special. Thanks so much!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Glimmer, what a great idea for a hub, nursing staff (yeah, that's me) are always starving! Food is a wonderful idea and really makes us feel all fuzzy, warm and loved. Great hub, voted up! Thanks!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks eHealer! It was actually one of the eight assigned to me but I really ended up having fun with it. My parents live in a retirement community so I know how important nursing staff is.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      A nurse regularly visited my in-laws home when my mother-in-law was terminally ill with cancer. She became like a part of the family and we will never forget her loving care. These are helpful ideas to show appreciation. Of course, nothing could ever compensate the work that healthcare workers do! Thank you so much for these great ideas.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I appreciate your comments vespawoolf. You were lucky to have such a wonderful caretaker for your mother in law.

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      I love this hub. You think like I do. Great ideas for showing how special caregivers are to us. I've worked in home health care on and off since my teen years. It's rewarding work but difficult too. It is nice to be recognized.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks Sharyn's Slant! My parents live in a retirement community and the people that work there are great. I like to reward them.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      A neat look at gifts for nursing home employees, and a timely reminder!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks RTalloni! It's getting near the holidays so people are probably starting to think about these things more.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Thanks for sharing some excellent ideas for such gifting.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image
      Author

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Thanks so much rajan. My parents live in a retirement community and I have been thinking of different gifts to give their helpers lately. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

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