If you’ve chosen a good assisted living facility, chances are you feel a strong sense of gratitude towards the staff for the excellent care they’re providing for your loved one. It’s common in these situations for families and others to want to show that gratitude with a gift. Below are some tips to keep in mind when deciding how you want to go about saying thanks.
- First, check with management at the facility to find out their policy about gifts. Many places have rules about what employees can accept, especially when it comes to recognizing individual employees over the staff as a whole. There may be one person who has gone above and beyond who you’d like to do something really nice for, but you don’t want to put them in an awkward situation where they have to refuse your gift or worse, get them in trouble with their boss or even fired!
- If you can’t recognize that one special staff person with a present, there’s never anything wrong with sending them a thank you card or personal note expressing your appreciation. Even better, send a letter to their supervisor singing their praises. You may be able to help them get a raise or a promotion later on down the line. Make sure you send the note to both the boss and the employee, so that you can be sure they both know you sent it. You may also want to consider making a donation to a charity in that employee’s name, especially if you happen to know of an organization that means a lot to them.
- If you do get the green light from management to give gifts to specific employees, but are stumped for ideas, you may want to consider ordering a gift basket, or even making your own custom gift basket yourself. Fruit and sweets are of course popular treats, but if those ideas seem stale you can really get creative here. Consider bath items, coffee or tea, or baskets with a theme that include food and non-food items. For example, a summer basket could include flip-flops, lemonade mix, a gift card for a local ice cream shop, tickets to a summer event, key lime flavored goodies, and body lotion with a summertime scent.
- Other ideas for individual gifts: if you know what sport teams the person follows, some memorabilia will probably be appreciated. Women are often glad to get a bouquet of flowers or a gift certificate for a manicure and/or pedicure. If the staff member was emotionally close to your loved one and they have passed away, you might also consider giving the staff member a momento from their personal belongings.
- Gift cards are tempting because they’re easy, but they can come off as impersonal. Unless you know the staff member is a big fan of a particular store or restaurant, try to choose something a little more heartfelt.
- If you want to get gifts for the whole staff or floor, food is always popular. You may want to consider that some people may be burned out on cookies and candy or unable to have them for various reasons. In that case, consider fruit (Edible Arrangements gift baskets are a crowd-pleaser), fancy cheese and crackers, sandwiches, bagels and coffee/tea, or a few boxes of pizza.
- Check with management to see how many people work in the facility or on the floor. It’s likely more than you think, and you want to be sure you have enough for everyone.
- Don’t forget the late shift! Though you may never see them, they are working hard, at odd hours, to take care of your loved one as well! When you drop off your gift, insist that some be set aside specifically for them. Even if you bring plenty for all, if it’s just left out it’s too likely to disappear. Physical therapy staff are also often forgotten too.
- Lots of families bring gifts for the staff around the holidays, and it can easily become too much. Food brought in at this time could go to waste and be thrown away. Your gift will make a much bigger impression if you give it at a quieter time of year.