Holiday Gifts Ideas for Residents:  Think small, sentimental or inexpensive…

Time is the best gift you can give.  Your visit doesn’t need to be long. The resident needs to feel loved.

Small photo album… revolving around family. Don’t forget to label who each person is in the picture.

Put money into their accounts so they can buy snacks from vending machines if they are craving something.

Hair gift certificates.  Residents can get their hair cut or styled at Maplewood.  Put money into his/her account, then give them a card letting them know a hair cut or style is waiting for them.

Life sized baby dolls and stuffed animals, especially with accessories such as outfits and baby bottles.  (These can be purchased at thrift stores.)

Books.  Large print is often appreciated.

Digital picture frame.  Fill it with pictures of family.  Don’t be afraid to use old photos.


Assortment of greeting cards.  Include a book of stamps.  Offer to help write a special note and address envelopes.

Mail them something.  Everyone loves to get mail.  Send a quick note.


Make brag books of their children, grandchildren, etc. that they can show other residents & staff.

Make a family calendar marking special days.

Fresh flowers or plants… then don’t need to be expensive arrangements.  They can be wildflowers in any container.

Lip balm, hand cream, nail polish or hair clips.




There is a special kind of joy a pet can bring to your life.  Studies have shown that  interacting with animals improves health and longevity.  These studies show both psychological and physiological benefits of pet therapy, especially to the senior population.

Interacting with animals decreases blood pressure, encourages exercise and reduces anxiety and depression.   Dogs and cats are pets that are know to bring joy; however, birds, fish and other small pets also reduce loneliness and encourage healthy behaviors.

A study at Purdue University determined that Alzheimer’s patients eat more nutritious foods when aquariums were added to their dining room.  Italian research found an increased quality of life and fewer cases of depression among seniors who had been around canaries as opposed to those who had no pets.

Laughter is also something you should do to reduce blood pressure.  Being able to enjoy and laugh about the little things a pet does is therapeutic.

When your heart pumps blood throughout your body, the force of the blood against the walls of your arteries is called blood pressure.  High blood pressure, or hypertension, is dangerous because that means more strain is being placed on your arteries and the heart.

The only way to know if you have high blood pressure is to have it measured.  Blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and is written as one number “over” another number.

The top numbers is the systolic blood pressure, the highest level your blood reaches (while your heart is beating).  The bottom number is your diastolic blood pressure, the lowest level your blood pressure reaches (while your heart relaxes between beats).

A blood pressure reading of 120/80 or below is considered normal.  Readings above these numbers fall into the categories of prehypertension, stage 1 hypertension and stage 2 hypertension.

Several factors can lead to hypertension, including age, family history, stress and being overweight.

High blood pressure can be lowered by lifestyle changes and medication.  Your health care provider will be able to discuss treatment options.