Letters for Mom. Any ideas on what to write to her? - AgingCare.com

Letters for Mom. Any ideas on what to write to her?

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In my absence of a few months at a time, my mom's psychologist recommended I write some letters and leave for her at the nursing home. He suggested I put the dates on a schedule to be given to her. I'm struggling with what to write? Ideas?

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I don't think that I would necessarily write a letter. Depending on what her mind is capable of, I think a simple photo "scrapbook" type of thing would be good...a picture of a heart for Valentine's Day, shamrock-St. Patrick's Day, etc. Put a big "I LOVE YOU, MOM" on each. Even draw pictures of animals, whatever you know she likes.
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All the ideas sound great and if you mail it the cards to her it will be something special - getting any real mail from anyone is not so common these days. And she will connect with the past in getting mail from friends and family. I don't think it has to be a long letter just something that lets her know she is special. If she has a bulletin board or large mirror in her room it would be nice to include something small that a nurse could post on it. Maybe a family photo, a picture from a catalog of something that you think is interesting, a pressed flower, or a sample of wallpaper or fabric that you are working with. Just a small surprise in the letter. The adult equivalent of a "Cracker Jack" surprise. I think the letters are a nice idea and very thoughtful!
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have you spoken with the nh about how they will handle your request ?
Does your mom have any regular visitors who could bring her these letters and spend time reading them with her?

I have never seen any staff spend any individual time with residents in my mom"s very expensive memory care center and any personal items brought into the common area get set down and picked up by other residents

So she may be thrilled to get mail from you but don't spend a lot of time creating a keepsake for her which could get lost the same day she receives it

If she still has capacity to read or at least look at pictures maybe send her a gift subscription to a weekly women's magazine - they don't cost much and I find they soothe my mom - especially in the evening hours
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Years ago as a young adult, I wrote letters to both of my grandmothers thanking them for the love and the memories that I had growing up with them, things like bird watching, one taught me to knit and to bake, or the card games we played, the books that they read to me. . . and I heard from family that they were really touched by them, and saved the letters.
So I think If you just thank her for some happy times in your life, she might be able to remember those. My mom can't remember what she ate 5 minutes after eating it, but she does remember a lot of fun stuff from my childhood.
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Yes, for residents of a NH especially Moms , letters that speak of happy childhood memories, the favorite pies cakes she baked, things you couldn't find and she helped you look for them, trips you took, it goes on and on. Silver Threads
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Before Mom was put on a Seroquel generic for anxiety and agitation, I used to leave her a simple note when I went out and a nurse's aide came to stay. The note said I'd gone out, where and when I'd be back. I attached it to the fridge door with a magnet and the aide would show it to Mom whenever she expressed concern.

The aides told me this was effective in calming Mom down. However, as the dementia progressed, nothing worked and we had to resort to medications. I put it off as long as possible but finally gave in when Mom's quality of life obviously was suffering. (Mine too.)

Blessings for an effective solution to your challenge.
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buy a box of cards with photos that she will find pleasing with blank inside. Or make your own or you can buy ones for your printer. Then write a letter about a subject that taps into her long term memory, e.g. family vacations, going out to eat, etc.
Be sure to enclose a photo of yourself or your family. Then she can look at it independently of the card and show it to others more easily than a card.
If she has someone to take her out of her facility, then you could send a small gift card for a restaurant or store she likes to visit.
If it all possible, have a backup visitor scheduled before you go.
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You can put your pressed flowers etc., under clear sticky shelf paper the ideas for your project is endless you can do ahead some projects for future travels. Silver Threads
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Another thought (I'm on a roll, now!) - If you can't think of something to write about in letters, the cards are a nice cheerful alternative.

If your mother has specific interests, you could also leave magazines with the staff, to be handed out when they think you mother could use a "pick me up".
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All great ideas, and kudos to your mother's psychologist for this suggestion! The posters have offered a lot of helpful suggestions that I'm going to add to my own "cheer-up file." This is a great thread!

About a decade and a half ago, my parents used to winter in the South. This was at a time when computer graphics were still in their infancy, but there were some good ones. I sent them letters with graphics of cacti, a trailer, on the road travel, etc. I used similar themes for the address labels (I loved to get special labels for seasons, interest, etc.)

When Mom stayed with me during recovery from a broken foot and Dad segued into the Winter Snow Bird mode for his health, at Valentine's Day Mom and I made homemade, dipped chocolates. (Of course, we had to sample them frequently to ensure high quality!

I created a mural of a trailer and other designs to simulate an RV park, we colored them, and sent a box of chocolates to Dad and some for his friends. Dad said they were really a hit with his Snow Bird friends.

You can also make your own cards with card stock from Michael's or JoAnn Fabrics. You can add cut-outs from magazines, use computer graphics, or even rubber stamps.

You can make nonstandard size cards, folded in thirds, with the first third section folded back and glued to cover the middle section, in which you've cut out designs. E.g., either create from a folded pattern (remember grade school activities) a snowflake, glue on some lovely paper or even fabric on the back of the middle section design, then glue the first section and adhere it to the back of the design section.

Mom can be greeted with a lovely homemade snowflake in November. Hearts, back to school themes, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all good upcoming candidates for cutouts or glued on photos as well.

When a relative was recovering from surgery, I got about a dozen cards from the boxes we receive from soliciting charities and created theme designs on the envelope. E.g., I had a collection of rubber stamps with animals, so I used the MomCat (loved that cat!) in big floppy high heeled shoes and another cat design - a cat on an exercise bicycle.

Captions were, for MomCat in heels: "oh, my feet are really hurting!" Exercise cat: "well, you shouldn't be wearing those high heeled shoes!"

I used dolphins and sea weed stamps to create cooler ocean scenes, and wrote appropriate captions. I had a LOT of fun doing that. In fact, I think I'll do that again today - it really took me out of my doldrum moods.

You could address various emotions, such as "read this when (a) you feel tired (b) you feel sad (c) you feel great (d) you're hungry" (e) just before Labor Day (f) when the leaves fall (g) at Halloween, etc.

The little quips were easy to write and read, but you can easily include these kinds of adaptations in your letters. And use lovely stationery. Fed-Ex Kinkos and Office Max/Depot still sell beautiful stationery. Or make your own.

One thing that really cheers me up is to cut out photos from gardening catalogues. I make a full 8.5 x 11 collage page which I slip into the plastic front covers of 3 ring binders. Just seeing all those beautiful flowers immediately cheers me up. In fact, that's a major anti-depressive activity that I do when I'm really dragging and even chocolate doesn't cheer me up.

I used to dry violets and ferns and use them in cards, but they really don't preserve that well on a long term basis unless you use adhesive, and I try to avoid those kind of sprays.
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