How to thank rehab facility folks helping my mom?
January 31, 2013 4:01 AM   Subscribe

My mom is in a skilled nursing facility short term after a difficult surgery (she is getting better fast, yay!). There are aides and nurses who are being very good to her. What is the protocol for showing appreciation for them? Can I give cash gifts/tips to the aides? Gift cards? How about the nurses? I don't want to give offense but do want to thank people appropriately.
posted by Cocodrillo to Human Relations (16 answers total)
When my brother left intensive care, we bought a ridiculously enormous box of chocolates for the entire team. It's simple yeah, but we didn't like the idea of anyone getting left out, because the whole team looked after him at one point or another and we only got to know a few of them.

Congratulations to your mom on her good recovery by the way :)
posted by greenish at 4:11 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

If there's a Starbucks nearby (or any coffee place), get a $40-50 gift card so those involved in her care can all get special coffee "for free" one day.
posted by kuanes at 4:16 AM on January 31, 2013

My mom works at a facility like that (both short and long term care tho), and besides chocolate, fruit/fruit baskets would also be good, or some bagels/baked stuff and coffee. Anything shareable as you suggest. She has received individual gifts but only from long term residents families on a rare occasion when they worked closely on really difficult situations. Thanks for thinking of them, and glad your mom is doing well!
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:28 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I am a registered nurse. I work in outpatient rehab. We get a lot of chocolate. Just yesterday we got another Whitman's Sampler. We do end up eating a couple pieces, and we do appreciate it, it's just a lot of chocolate.

I am against accepting cash from patients and their families. It's very awkward and not necessary. If you want to give individual presents, I would put a $5 Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts gift card inside a greeting card with a nice note.

Fruit or a bagel/muffin platter is also a very nice idea for the group. I also like nuts. We got a beautiful pecan sampler from a patient. One row was salted, another was chocolate covered, another was candied. Yum!

Whatever you do, it will be nice and I wouldn't sweat it. It will be appreciated.
posted by Fairchild at 4:36 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

DW is a physical therapist and after completion of the treatment, many patients give her a box of chocolate with a thank you card or something small. She personally would prefer just a thank you from bottom of the heart and a referral to other patients.

You may want to leave a positive (detailed) review on Yelp or something similar.
posted by zaxour at 4:37 AM on January 31, 2013

How about one of those fruit bouquets that are made of prepared fruit cut into flower-looking shapes? Care providers are generally drowning in too much chocolate, and so many people are trying to watch what they eat nowadays. The prepared fruit bouquets are nice because the fruit is ready to eat. Sometimes there are some bits of fruit that are dipped in chocolate for those that want that. And they could even share the fruit with other patients in the facility.
posted by hazyjane at 4:52 AM on January 31, 2013

In many facilities, nurses and aides would not be allowsed to accept cash tips, and wouldn't want them anyway. The nurses/aides I've known would feel awkward about cash gifts. Food gifts for the group are fine and appreciated, but stick with small, bite-sized, easily covered things. I'm guessing that's why chocolates are so common. Nursing homes/rehab facilities have to deal with germs and sick people too, and some might be reluctant to eat from a fruit bouquet in that environment.

The sentiment that you express will be the biggest thing for most of them, regardless of what kinds of treats are attached. The gesture that recognizes their caring and how they made a difference for a patient is worth more than the chocolates or coffee or whatever.

If there are individuals you know were a help, a heartfelt thank you note to them (with a copy sent to the director of nursing at the facility) would go a long way. I've known nurses to save these types of letters in a folder to pull out and read after a tough day. Those letters are invaluable to them.
posted by terilou at 5:30 AM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm going to contradict a couple of other posters and say that I've never met any nurses or healthcare assistants who thought that there was to much chocolate on a ward. Shareable chocolates are great, but if you want to be more inventive anything edible that's tasty, shareable and easy to grab would be great.

I don't know where you are, but in the UK professional guidelines discourage healthcare staff from accepting individual gifts. Something for the whole team gets round this.
posted by Coobeastie at 5:31 AM on January 31, 2013

A small amount of high quality chocolate or other candy and a heartfelt - handwritten - note works here.
posted by evil_esto at 6:15 AM on January 31, 2013

Working in healthcare, I know many people will not eat homemade foods so avoid that. And since a lot of people send food anyway, I would go a different route. How about a big basket with the small bottles of hand lotion from a place like Bath & Body Works? Each person could grab one to take home, keep in their desk or pocket. Especially this time of year with the extreme use of hand sanitizers and hand washing, they probably all have dry and cracked skin. Maybe get some non scented types for men and/or people with sensitive skin.
posted by maxg94 at 6:20 AM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

We made up a basket for the nursing station with food treats. Mostly in individually wrapped small packages-- the idea being that some people are not going to want to eat out of a thing people are sticking their hands into.

I love the hand lotion idea and will borrow it another time!
posted by BibiRose at 7:04 AM on January 31, 2013

I don't drink coffee, and people are always giving me Starbuck's cards. I know that they have tea and hot chocolate, but it's not a place that I ever go unless I need to use up the card, so maybe if you decide to go that route you could include a few cards for other places (like Dunkin' Donuts) so that someone could choose that one if they wish.
posted by la petite marie at 7:56 AM on January 31, 2013

nth-ing the above advice. No cash or gift cards, people may get in trouble from the facility if they accept and will likely feel conflicted about accepting/rejecting. Writing a card is nice and if your mom had a few people who always worked with her, you can name them in the card, but if it was a team effort, just write "thanks to the staff on East Wing" or whatever is appropriate. Agree that some food gift is nice but things that are homemade or could get contaminated (pastries or fruit tray/basket) won't get eaten (in my experience). Chocolates are classic and can be set out in the break room.

It's nice you are thinking of the staff, they will appreciate the thought and consideration more than anything.
posted by artdesk at 8:37 AM on January 31, 2013

A heartfelt card for the staff and a fruit arrangement would be perfect. When I worked in a hospital, patients' families tended to give cookie or pastry platters, but my coworkers would feel guilty about eating sweets. Fruit is (mostly) healthy, and I think that would be really appreciated.

A box or two of coffee from Dunkin' Donuts along with sweeteners and pints of cream and milk would also be nice. In my experience, health care workers tend to flock to caffeinated beverages :)
posted by constellations at 10:04 AM on January 31, 2013

My Mom wanted to thank the staff at the rehab facility where my Dad had it turned out, this was just after Halloween and I'd bought a bunch of bags of small candies (different candy bars, Dum-Dum suckers, Sweetarts, etc) and hadn't had a lot of trick-or-treaters. Gave the leftovers to Mom who dumped it all into a large plastic punch-type bowl she got at a dollar store and took it to the staff. The bowl was empty by the next day. Staff liked it because they could walk by (it was placed in the break room) and quickly grab a wrapped small treat, and she heard comments later that folks were excited to find Twix or 3 Musketeers some other candy bar they loved but never bought on their own. Dad passed away a little over a year ago, but Mom still goes to the facility once a week to chat with residents (she made a lot of friends there) and every few months brings in a candy bowl for the staff.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:13 AM on January 31, 2013

Fruit baskets! I always loved getting fruit instead of candy.

I'll add in too, when I worked at a nursing home/rehab center several families would have 3 baskets delivered, one designated for each shift. I always thought that was a nice touch since the night staff kind of miss out on perks a lot.
posted by abitha! at 2:13 PM on February 1, 2013

« Older Moving Emergency in Montreal   |   What additional tests should I ask the doctor for? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.