Frequent Contributor
Posts: 86
Registered: ‎10-27-2019

I am looking for ideas on what to do with completed puzzles.  My uncle lives in a nursing home and one of his hobbies is to assemble jigsaw puzzles.  When he completes a puzzle, he insists on putting Mod Podge on the back so that it cannot be disassembled.  He writes on the back of each puzzle to note when he finished it and the names of any nurses/residents/visitors who helped him put it together.  I think his vision is that people will frame and hang the completed puzzles.  He refuses to take them apart so that someone else in the home can put them together or so that he can put them together more than once.


Just before the holidays, he had more than 200 completed puzzles stacked in piles all around his room, under his hospital bed, in the closet.  My aunt came up with an idea to hand them out at our family holiday dinner.  She's now got the collection down to 136 puzzles.  Any ideas on how we can dispose of the rest of the puzzles (and the new puzzles he's going to keep churning out)?  I think my uncle would be really hurt if he found out we tossed them out, but we don't know what else to do at this point.  TIA for any ideas.

Super Contributor
Posts: 314
Registered: ‎05-02-2011

Your uncle is lucky to have found something that gives him goals and a sense of purpose in a nursing home setting.  Sharing puzzles with family was a great idea!  Maybe some of the folks, or the families of folks who helped him with the puzzles might enjoy having some of them, too.  The future will eventually take care of itself.  I see this as similar to unloved presents that I’ve received and kept for a time so as not to hurt the feelings of a loved one. (I’ll bet some recipients of my gifts are doing the same now!) It could be a loving gift to help him feel useful, and to help him store these puzzles for now.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,814
Registered: ‎03-27-2010

@eaesquire Wonderful that he has found a hobby that keeps him busy and engaged.  I would suggest that you divide the puzzles amongst the family members.  Then they are free to do with they whatever they wish.....whether now or after his transition.  (I'd probably keep one as a fond memory and toss the rest}...but each family member won't feel obligated to follow a particular action.



Frequent Contributor
Posts: 86
Registered: ‎10-27-2019

@Twoaces  I really appreciate your kind response, and you are absolutely right.  Maybe my aunt's next move is to get a bunch of the puzzles to her garage and let the future sort things out.  If she tells him she's going to hand them out at her church or a craft fair, perhaps he will feel better about letting them go.  And in the meantime, we'll keep buying him puzzles and jugs of Mod Podge.  Smiley Happy  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,547
Registered: ‎11-24-2013

Quite honestly how would he even know if some were tossed unless someone told him? In reality you likely won't find *permanent* homes for all of them. I know I wouldn't keep a bunch of those around.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,839
Registered: ‎04-14-2013

I don't have a good solution, but I wanted to add that your story is one i find quite touching, and inspirational.


Do the staff want any?


There are some beautiful puzzles out there.  I wonder if there could be a charity auction, to benefit caregiver services or something similar.  There's got to an an angle to make this a story worth telling to a larger audience. 

Cogito ergo sum
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,509
Registered: ‎05-01-2020

Re: Nursing Home Puzzles

[ Edited ]

I like the idea of giving them to those that helped put it together but I wouldn't stop there. I'd give each of the nursing home workers one (cafeteria help, admins, etc) since they all have a part in his care. 

Each visitor that comes could also be given one as a take home gift. Smiley Happy

Also, maybe the other residents might like some different decor for their rooms.


Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,501
Registered: ‎05-24-2010

Living in a nursing home isn't easy. I think your uncle has found a passion ,and it fills his days with something he loves to do. Just let him keep doing it. Take the puzzles home, and dispose of them. He won't know the difference, and everybody is happy. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 35,261
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Bless his heart.


I would take them away, put in large zip lock bags with a picture and donate.  Someone, somewhere, needs the comfort or challenge of them.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 86
Registered: ‎10-27-2019

@ECBG  He has Mod Podged them together.  They cannot be disassembled without destroying them.  We've all tried to talk to him out of it so someone else can reuse them or so he can work them a 2nd time, but he's really invested in Mod Podging them so they stay put together and can be displayed somewhere.