Elderly Neighbor Gift and DIY Large Christmas Bow

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I am lucky enough to have many elderly people living around me.  One women especially is very dear to my entire family.  She lives on the other side of our yard, and has grandchildren the same age as my kids.  Her grandkids come over to her house once a week and my kids go to her house so they can all play together.  In the summer she has them over to play in the sprinklers together. We have known her for over 9 years.  My kids consider her a grandma and call her Nana, which is what her own grandkids call her.  We all love her as much as any member of our own family.

Over the past few year my neighbor’s health has gotten poor. She has even been hospitalized.  Because of this she has started needing help cleaning her home and taking care of her yard.  I’m so glad we are close enough that I can help her with her home and look in on her at least once a week.

Every year at Christmas time we take plates of goodies to all our neighbors; however, with her declining health, my elderly neighbor can’t have a lot of sweets.  Sugar isn’t good for anyone; however, it can be extra hard on elderly people.  So this year I am giving her something a little different.

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Like many elderly people, my sweet neighbor has lost control over her bladder and bowels.  This is quite embarrassing to her, as it would be for anyone.  So, when I clean her bathroom and help her change her bed sheets we don’t really speak about any accidents that might have happened.  The last time she came home from the hospital, she started using bed pads.  She puts these under her sheets so her bed looks normal but the mattress is protected from any unwanted stains, and cleanup is much easier.  

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I know this is an extra expense for her and has been difficult to accept, as she told me the other day “She just isn’t ready to get old yet”.  So we are giving her a pack of Member Mark underpads and a case of adult facial washcloths, she already uses both of these all the time.

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I pick up these large packs of both items as Sam’s Club. The Members Mark brand helps me save money so I can give more for the holidays.

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Because these are such large packages, we also picked up a roll of Members Mark ribbon to wrap around the present.  I wanted to dress them up a little and the ribbon worked perfect.

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I wrapped the ribbon around both packages and used double-sided tape to secure the ribbon.  This will keep the packages together and keep the ribbon on the packages.

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Then I made a large bow to dress it up a little more.  This bow is great for large presents, wreaths, and tree toppers.

Make a Large Bow from Wirred Ribbon.

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You start by taking two long lengths of ribbons about 1 yard each and set them to the side.  Then, using the ribbon still on the roll, measure out one yard and fold each end into the middle of the yard. {remember you will not cut the ribbon off the roll till we are almost finished with the ribbon}

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Fold over the ribbon, making a loop. The wrong side of the ribbon will now be showing.

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Twist so the right side of your ribbon is showing.

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Fold to create your next loop. Repeat til you have 4 loops on each side of your hand.

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Leaving about 6 inches of ribbon cut the bow from the roll.  Then take the two lengths of ribbon you cut earlier, twist and gather them in the middle making sure the right side of the ribbon is showing. These two lengths will create the tails of the bow.   Don’t let go of any of the loops you already made.  It’s a lot to hold on to but you don’t worry you’ll get it.

Take a piece of wire, twist tie, or short piece of wired ribbon and twist it around all the loops and tails.   I used a piece of ribbon. Then move all the loops to where you want them to look like a beautiful ribbon.

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Use the 6 inch tail you left, when cutting the ribbon from the roll, to cover the wire or ribbon you used to wrap around the loops and tail making a nice looking center of your bow.  Then “fluff” your loops and rearrange your tails to make your bow look beautiful.

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Attach the bow with a piece of double sided tape or wire to the ribbon you wrapped round the packages.

We will be leaving this gift on her doorstep so we don’t embarrass her.

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Each year we like to get our kids involved in a service, this year we thought other elderly people in our area could use some help.  So I called my local Assisted Living/Retirement Home and asked what types of things they need donated during the holidays.

In case you are going to be donating or doing service for the elderly here is the list they gave me.

They told me they don’t allow any food to be brought into the residents. Again sugar is bad for elderly people and many of their residents are on restricted diets.  Here is a list of the items my local Retirement Home said they need.

  • New or gently used wheelchairs
  • Adult diapers/undergarments
  • Warm blankets
  • Brushes and combs
  • Large print books
  • Lotions and soaps {fragrance-free}
  • Scarves, hats, and shawls
  • Warm socks with rubber treading on the sole
  • Under bed waterproof pads
  • Adult facial wipes
  • Facial Tissues

They also reminded me that they can only accept unopened packages, and that each Assisted Living/Retirement Home may have different needs and requirements. For most of these items and many more, visit the Sam’s Club Family Caregiving.  If you are looking to donate to your local assisted living home it would be a good idea to call ahead of time to check what items they are in need of.  One thing they told me that the residents are ALWAYS in need of is company. Adopting a resident and treating them like family is one of the best gifts you could give your family this holiday season.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Our family tried to do community outreach service projects all year long. I’m pinning now so we can use your tips in the future.

  2. Thanks for sharing this bow tutorial and caregiving ideas! #client

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