The Scholarship System website notes that depression is common among college students, especially those who have moved away from home for the first time to live on campus and attend classes. These students are away from the support structures they have known for years — including friends and family. They have to learn how to live a new lifestyle while making new friends.
You might not realize it, but that’s also true for older adults who make the move into an assisted living community. Yes, living with the support of compassionate staff and easy access to amenities and social activities such as those available at Collinwood assisted living community in Fort Collins, CO, means many benefits for seniors. But that doesn’t mean they won’t go through a period of adjustment or miss their old life from time to time.
The Scholarship System points out that one way parents and other family members can support college students is by sending regular care packages. The same is true for seniors in assisted living communities.
Care packages are a physical demonstration that someone was on your mind and that you care for them. And you can send them anytime! Consider sending care packages to older adults you know when:
You can also send a care package for no reason at all — a small care package can be a great way to brighten someone’s day!
Not sure what to send someone living at Collinwood or any other assisted living community? Check out our list below for some guidance.
Small jars of homemade jelly, boxes of favorite crackers and gift boxes of candy might all be appreciated by a senior, especially if you know exactly what they usually crave. When sending food in a care package, it’s important to consider both daily health and the safety of the food in question.
For example, if you’re sending sweet treats of indulgences, make sure the older adult isn’t trying to cut these out of their diet for a health reason. Even if you get the all clear, consider sending a small amount so they can enjoy the goodies in moderation.
Make sure you send items that won’t melt or spoil, especially during warmer months. Consider packing items with dry ice if they need to remain cool and sending them next-day air.
Reading materials can be a welcome way to spend time in an assisted living apartment, especially if you know your older relative loves to learn or immerse themselves in fictional worlds. Books are a great way to show you care, because you can order one on Amazon and have it shipped directly to your loved one to cut down on shipping expenses. And you can pick up a magazine at the store or invest in a subscription so the senior gets something in the mail every month or two.
Not sure what book or other item an older adult might appreciate? An Amazon gift card or a card to a local store might be appreciated so they can choose their own gift.
Socks and slippers make thoughtful gifts, especially in the cold Colorado winters. Choose items that fit the older adult’s personality and opt for slippers with nonslip soles for added safety.
If you know what a senior likes to pamper themselves with, consider sending them a vial, bottle or jar of their favorite skincare or bath product. Shower gel, soap or lotion might be appreciated. If you’re not sure what someone uses, unscented lotion is always a good choice. It’s less likely to interfere with a senior’s own respiratory issues or any experienced by their neighbors but can help treat dry or chapped skin during the winter.
Seniors who enjoy essential oil use in a diffuser or who engage in personal care with essential oils are likely to appreciate a bottle of favorite essential oil. You can also create a roll-on blend for a senior you know well so they can pamper themselves.
Small items that bring extra comfort are always a welcome addition to care packages, and in the colder months, that can mean gloves and scarves. Choose items that are super soft to reduce irritation on senior skin and opt for colors that you’ve seen your loved one wearing before so they can match the accessory to existing outfits.