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Reagan 30th May 2013 Administration Manager
I know that I am getting in early, but can anyone suggest inexpensive purchased Christmas gifts for our residents? Soaps, talks, body lotions etc are unsuitable. Last year they were each given a calendar. Thank you.
debbie 1st Jun 2013
Hi reagan,

I was in the same situation last year where I had to buy 23 xmas presents for our Day Centre. I was given a budget of $5.00 per person and 4 weeks to find the gifts.

As we all know this is not a lot of money and as our clients are a mixture of community, and residential we had to be careful of choosing the gifts. As the majority are from the community and live independantly I focused on their hobbies and interests. However, this can be easy do for residential too, if you know your client base well.
I tend to stay away from soaps, perfumes, chocolates etc as these may cause skin problems and also clients who are diabetic.
I was lucky to shop at a major shopping centre and looked in the cheap shops, cheap as chips, neds,also the main department stores and look for discounted items. Here is a list of some of the items I managed to buy.

jewellery boxes
boxed tea cup and saucer
plant pots
cook book
xmas cookie cutters
coasters for the table
photo frames
puzzle books
diaries and note pads
book markers
travel mugs
flasks to keep water cool
knee rugs
joke books
travel books
sewing kits
knitting wool and patterns
I brought a couple of each item and they all had a lucky dip. The residential clients xmas presents were chosen seperately and marked with their name as we needed to be careful on which present they received.They mainly recieved the necklaces for female and the men had the diaries and note pads.

I have learnt from my experience last year and I have already started to collect items. I look at the Junk Mail that gets delivered and see if there are any items of use.

hope that helps

Cheers Debbie
Elizabeth 1st Jun 2013 Diversional Therapist
Always ask for a discount, take your staff id card etc and explain that you have a limited budget and could the store please help. Some stores may give up to 25% discount - as a 'donation'. Make sure you thank them in your newsletter etc too.

Start taking photos of residents now, and utilize online coupons and deals, like vistaprint. Get a mug etc printed with their picture. Or frame a lovely photo of them with something they love doing in the center.

I have previously had to provide 120 gifts for retired volunteers for very little $$. Think outside the square sometimes helps. It's the thought that counts.
carol 5th Jun 2013 activities team leader
I used factory outlet shops in Melbourne, you will have some. they are very happy when you tell them where you are from to give their products at cost and no gst, we got lovely plaques with quotes on them from one source and a very nice hand lotion ( with a free body wash thrown in ) for the ladies, for the men we got them all the same coloured cap and I have seen several men wear them in the summer also a men's lip balm and a soft shower scrubber. we have ninety all total to buy for and theses gifts were by no means cheap and nasty.
kathryn 5th Jun 2013 Therapeutic Recreation Director
I made a number of "stretchy" beaded bracelets in red and green and some of them are still wearing them!
Tammy 5th Jun 2013 Lifestyle coordinator
Last year forn 45 mixed sexes I bought little drawstring coloured bags off the internet for # for 50 ans inside put for the men a certificate to have a free stubby at the bar (we have one at the village) and in the ladies bags I put a certificate for a home foot massage in the village. Also in the mens was a bottle opener from the cheap shop and the ladies had a scented fake flower.
Solange 6th Jun 2013
You can visit Discount and Variety Stores such as Dollar Stores, Chip as Chips, Crazy Clarks, Outlet, Overflow, etc. You will find small gifts such as bath sponges, hand-lotions, handbag mirrors, hair clips for the ladies. For the men you can buy hats, wallets, shoehorn, handkerchiefs, etc.
Heather 11th Jul 2013
Hi Regan, last year I purhased face washers from one of the cheap shops that way I was able to get packets of 6 or so, then purchased lip balm sticks the same way and wrapped them up like a xmas cracker our resident loved them, another idea I've done is I purchase small photo frames then found a nice poem on the computer and typed them up with there name and glued a small ribbon hook to them, resident all love them and have them in their rooms, as I've had several pass away, I have many families thanking me for the gift and now they have their loved ones still at christmas as they now can hang their personalised poem on the tree as an ornament.
Linda 5th Oct 2013 Recreation Therapist
Xmas, yes it is coming and last year everyone received a good quality skin cream(men and women) This year all the residents will be asked to write a word in a christmas card and these will be given to another resident. The gift inside the card will be a book marker. Made from a paper clip using a cut length of grosgrain ribbon then fold the ribbon and loop through the sing end of the large paper clip looks great eary to see and it is the thought that counts and the residents will make these in craft workshop held weekly
thanks hope this is helpful
Christine 5th Oct 2013
I wrote to Dulux as they have a promotion giving away 2014 vintage calendar and they have sent one for our facility. Lovely for a reminisce program. Worth asking them for it.

Kind regards,
Linda 9th Oct 2013 Recreation Therapist
Small hand creams are useful and gratefully received avon has a great one @ $2-00 a tube
Tammy 9th Oct 2013 Lifestyle coordinator
I went onto the internet (ebay) and bought lovely pens for $1 each and added a small note pad from the cheap shop. They looked beautiful.
Sheryle 9th Oct 2013 Centre Based Day Care Officer
I gave my clients a small photo album with photos from the year of themselves inside, only paid a couple of dollars for albums, and photos done at officeworks. Now I give them their photos to put in from this year. They love it and can show others their updated album.
I am going to make a christmas hanging decoration for them to hang where ever they choose. etc, candy cane, bells, wreaths. Sheryle
Janida 10th Oct 2013 Div. Therapist Co-ord
We are going to make Christmas baubles personalised with resident's name to hang on Christmas tree, then give to them afterwards. Buy plastic baubles, and using fine paintbrush and diluted craft glue, write their name then roll in very fine glitter. Add a bow. With 105 residents we better start soon!
Lyn 10th Oct 2013 Student/Activities coordinater
I have ordered from Avon, a shower gel for my residents male and females perfume, Avon has a few to choose from and you can also get low alergy ones. This is a gift that they all enjoy and love I have ordered 2 for 1 price this time. We also put them in a small xmas bag, to save the residents trying to open the sticky tape.
Bianca 11th Oct 2013 Lifestyle Coordinator
Hi All, the chemist that supplies you facilities is a great place to ask for a donation of gifts, when you consider how much bussiness our residents give them (we have 120) , how can they refuse. They even pack our donated gifts in little gifts bags! all for free.
Helen 16th Oct 2013 Diversional Therapist
Last year purchased clear baubles from Officeworks that you can put a photo in. We put a photo of each resident and on the back of the photo we wrote Merry Christmas from ... whatever your place name is , hung them on the Christmas tree and then gave them to the residents families when they came for our big Christmas party 2 weeks before Christmas. Kindy Glitz works great for writing on coloured baubles no need for craft glue just write on the bauble and leave to dry.
Colleen 31st Oct 2013 Diversional Therapist
Hi from Maryborough,

We are having Adopt a Door this year for xmas. Each staff member draws a residents name from the hat and they then decorate that residents door for xmas.

Cheers Colleen
Reena 20th Jul 2020 diversional therapist
last Christmsa we has each residents receive personalised coffee mug with their photo printed on it which is still being used for their cuppas and the ones who cant use their cups are in their rooms which will be passed on to their families when they are gone as a memory.
Susan 21st Jul 2020 Activity Director
Wow Reena
This sounds like a great idea how did you do it??
Lisa 5th Aug 2020 Activity Director
I started an Adopt a Resident program several years back and it has just grown! Around Thanksgiving, I put a large Christmas tree up in the lobby with paper ornaments that have a number written on it, the hall the resident is on, and the sex. When someone picks an ornament off of the tree, they bring the paper ornament to me and I am able to tell them who they have by matching the number against my Master List. I have never writen the resident's names on the ornaments because I don't want staff playing favorites and I don't want the residents to go up front and see their name is one of the last ones picked. (Every year I use a different code that staff try to figure out, with zero success!) Once staff knows who they have, they purchase a gift and bring it and the paper ornament to me. I like to wrap the gifts myself because occasionally I may need to throw in a little something extra. I try to make sure that the residents gifts are pretty much equal. During their Christmas parties, Santa comes in and delivers the presents to each of the residents. They are floored that someone bought something specifically for them. This is hands down my favorite activity of the year. We have never had a resident left on the tree!
Susan 5th Aug 2020 Activity Director
Hi Lisa
I have used an adopt a resident program with limited success
It seemed like some of the staff was very into it and some were not
But you will know your staff best so you can bring this up at a morning meeting and see what the response is
Kim 7th Aug 2020 Activities Director
We have churches that "sponsor" residents for Christmas. They put names on their angel tree for parishoners to pick up. The churches always appreciate gift suggestions, so that is my task--thinking of what to request for specific residents. Hoodies are popular, along with cardigan sweaters, sweats, games, and gift cards. For my residents who are veterans, patriotic gifts are popular. From the time I send in the lists to the churches to the time of the actual giving of gifts, of course there will be some who have died or are not there any more. So I try to ask for things that can be transferred. We have 2 churches who sponsor us every year. I am glad this is what I inherited when I got this job. I call them early October to verify that they are on board again for another year, and they request that the gift suggestions be turned in by Nov. 1.
Susan 7th Aug 2020 Activity Director
Hi Kim
We had church members that bought things for residence all so you might think about it home health aide companies who want to get some referrals from your facility they may be willing to donate some gifts also
Sometimes veterans groups are willing to donate presents to the veterans
Solange 10th Aug 2020 Diversional Therapist
Hi Kim I think it is a lovely thing for the churches to sponsor residents, especially those who have no relatives and no visits.

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