I can't have fun with Grandma without proper financing. Advice?

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Recently, I've been foiled by my husband when I try to do something nice for my grandmother who lives in a home. I've wanting to buy new clothes for her, but he doesn't want me spending our money for it. She's in a section 8 nursing home, so my grandma HAS no money. The home gets both her pension and social security.


Recently, I've had the nice idea of taking my grandma to the Philly Flower Show, but husband's concerned about me buying her a measly $28 ticket for her. I'm going to resent my husband if she dies one day and I regret never spending more time with her. Would I be wrong in telling him exactly this? I feel angry that I can't give her a nice time in her years.

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After reading through the posts I see a lot of great ideas that don't cost anything...

But if you can afford to spend your money on Grandma then go ahead spend..

I personally would tell my husband to screw if he told me I couldn't spend MY money on my Grandmother...
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How do you know that Gram doesn't do any activities? If I believed my mother (95) I would think she doesn't. But the activities director loves her because she goes to almost all the activities. Some she watches and some she participates in. One day as I walked in an aide pointed down the hall and said, "Your mom is down there in the sing-along." It was over and I saw her being wheeled out. When I caught up with her I asked her how she liked the singing today. She said, "What singing?" Sigh.

At the beginning of each month I ask at the reception desk for the activity calendar. I note if there are any that she might like me to attend with her. There are movies, crafts, musical events, live entertainment, gardening activities, active games, trivia sessions -- at least 2 things going on every day. I don't often go to bingo with her, because she can handle that perfectly on her own. But I try to always go to the beading sessions because that requires help and she likes making a bracelet. All of these activities are absolutely free. Even if Gram doesn't do activities now doesn't mean she wouldn't like doing them with you there. (Residents like to show off having visitors.)

My mom loves plants, although she was never an outdoor gardener. When she was still mobile enough to go places I'd take her to a large gardening store and wheel her up and down the house plant aisles. We both loved looking at all the wonderful plants. No charge.

Now my mom can't get into a car. My sisters and I push her all around her building, sometimes commenting on pictures on the wall (Doesn't the barn in this picture look like the one on your brother's farm?), sometimes noting the clever decorations on residents' doors. In good weather we wheel her around the neighborhood. She sees the passing of the seasons this way. Mostly she is getting some fresh air and some attention and she knows she is loved.

I print out coloring pages from various web sites, on card stock so it doesn't wrinkle as she colors. I bought her a large set of coloring markers, and somehow a big box of crayons showed up in her coloring box. (Bingo prize?) I color with her sometimes, and one of my sisters likes to do that with her, too. Last week she was sitting with a friend having coffee when I arrived. I brought out the coloring box and the three of us sat coloring! Mom's friend said to her, "Oh you stay in the lines so well. And the colors you picked out are wonderful!" It is great to have that kind of interaction.

Although she hasn't cooked in about 10 years, my mom still likes to look at recipes in magazines. Sometimes I bring in one of my cookbooks with a picture on every page and we look at that. If there are other ladies at the table the cookbook always starts conversations. They remember things they liked to cook or things their families wouldn't eat, or some disastrous experience we can all laugh at.

I'm also "the scrapbook daughter" and I'm the one who brings in photo albums so we can talk about the pictures. (Each daughter tends to do different things with Mom.)

I have visited and had fun with my mom at least a hundred times since she has been in a nursing home. Sometimes I do bring something I've spent money on -- a new African Violet once in a while -- but the majority of the visits cost me only the gas to get there.

In our state the monthly Medicaid allowance is $90. Mom spends most of it on getting her hair done. But if she "needs" new higher slippers to keep her ankles warm, the daughter who is in charge of her money withdraws it from her allowance account.

It is so good of you to want to spend time with your Grandma at this stage in her life. Spending your time is far more important than spending money on her.
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Thanks Rainmom! I am always surprised as of late if my brain kicks in at all.
It is easier to pass on information someone else has already covered before, and then just remember it. I credit them, whoever they were.
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Good thinking, sendme!
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The home gets her pension and social security. They are obligated by law to keep a personal allowance for her personal needs and clothing. Others will know more, but this can be $30/mo accruing in her personal account. Have the home's administrator give you an accounting of these funds. Then use some for gma!
Who is her POA?
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You did not mention her age. I know the Philly Flower Show & am wondering if that is a lot of moving around for her? Could it be too much for her in one day? I think if she can walk well enough you could go to the park and pack a little lunch picnic on a bench! Feed the squirrels! Older folk don't usually care too much for extravagant things. Your love & conversation is what matters! Dollar store is great place to grab a little flower pot and dig up a plant from your yard! Surely you have a relative who could share some daffodils! She is lucky to have such a caring grandchild like you! Blessings to both of you! Enjoy each other's company!
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several of our local churches have free family movie nights ( not late, start at 7 or so) with free popcorn, etc. family movies, could be fun? They don;t preach, just want you to enjoy yourself as a family. not to be rude, but are you so cash strapped that hubs is realistic, or is he just being cheap?
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P.S. if your grandmother likes dogs, if you have a friend with a little dog, bring the dog for a visit (if it's allowed) - maybe in the lobby. I have two little dogs I dog sit from time to time and I've taken them both to visit mom. I took pictures of them on her lap and printed them out on my computer and took them to her to remind her of the visit. She still talks about them and she doesn't remember anything normally. Free entertainment!
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Some of the friendliest people in the whole world work in thrift shops. Tell them that you would like to find a nightie and a sweater for Gma but ;you only have a few $. Bet they will help you find something. These days most of the stuff in thrift shops has only been worn once and some still have tags on them.

Another idea is to visit your own local library and find a large print book or a beautiful book of photographs. They now even have pre-recorded books you can have them listen to with small earbuds. Library cards are still free!
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this was more simple than I thought. THanks guys!
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