Ask Before Giving Items to Residents

Well-meaning visitors bringing in items for residents in long-term care facilities may accidentally cause dangerous situations.

Consider the following examples:

  • A visitor notices that a resident has a nasty cough and decides to give the resident some cough drops. A possible consequence of a resident taking an over-the-counter medication (i.e. Advil, Tylenol, aspirin, etc.) is an adverse reaction due to the interaction with the resident’s prescribed medications.
  • Cognitively impaired residents may not be able to assess the danger of an item that is given to them or left in their room. They may ingest cleaning supplies or use them inappropriately.
  • Other residents may have dietary restrictions because of medical conditions. Things like candy, salty food, or tobacco items may be detrimental to their health.


Please check with the nursing supervisor before you give items to a long-term care resident.


   Northern Virginia
Long-Term Care
Ombudsman Program

12011 Government Center Parkway
Suite 708

Fairfax, VA 22035 

 Intake Line: 703-324-5861
 To request reasonable accommodations:
Call TTY 711 or 703-449-1186;
Fax 703-653-1796

8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

E-mail: NVLTCOP@FairfaxCounty.Gov


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