What should mom take or not take to assisted living? - AgingCare.com

What should mom take or not take to assisted living?


Obviously, good jewelry is a no-brainer. Someone told me to get mom some costume jewelry that looks like her jewelry. Of course, I can bring her real jewelry to her to wear when I visit and bring it back home with me. I did an inventory of mom's stuff (lives with me) and I want to make her "new home" cozy with reminders of family and her things she's had since she lived on her own. But I don't want to send anything that might "grow legs" and walk away if you know what I mean. The center is very nice but having been the victim of theft (years ago but you never forget it) I know it happens......

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Oh, PLEASE don't leave a Suitcase with your elderly loved one in the ALF. Some of them Pack Every Day if it's there.
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Well, there are some good answers here, but also, there is good research to suggest that bringing a pillowcase a loved one has used, and taking home one from the facility (rotating them every few days) can calm and comfort a parent and help them settle in at the ALF. It works. Music is Such a Comfort to elderly people with dementia.
At our small ALF in south FL, we pay musicians, not because it's fun or we have the extra money, but because we See how it Works. Music and smells are very Tied to memory. Think about apple pie, cinnamon, vanilla, pine needles, all the smells of Christmas, of Home.... And the Songs we grew up, fell in love, raised our babies to. They will always bring us joy, for we were young when we used to hear and sing them. And there is so much now in the way of "brain music" to calm and comfort the elderly as well. We put that on at night to get our residents off to bed in a good mood, and chirping birds in the am, gradually increasing in volume with soft rain and music begins somewhere in there, as the mind wakes up enough to perceive each sound, and they come smiling to the breakfast table.
Definitely her own bedspread, it's Comforting, Familiar, but maybe have a talk with the management, that they can take it off in the evening, leaving a tougher blanket/cover on in case of incontinence, so that favorite quilt can last longer, instead of washing it to death. We have rules and we Do that stuff already, but we are small and we Know each of our residents personally. It's hard in a big place for the resident and management - with much less attention to detail.
Yes, photos, in fact a flip book of them is good, or one of those "rolodex" type things for pictures. And I've had good results with the digital frames, because the photo changes, and they get to see all the photos without having to get them all out and pack them up again. Few things get them smiling like music and photos.
I think the elderly spend entirely too much time watching tv, it rots the mind.
If it's not good for our kids, it's sure not good for our folks. We've cut our tv time way back, with more music, activities and socializing bringing wonderful results!
I would be fine if my mom didn't have a tv in her room, but that's me.
She should take things to Do, books to read, yarn for crochet or knitting, stuff that will help her feel good, and talk to them about having someone encourage her and remind her to keep active with hobbies.
Oh, if she's wearing pullups so much the better. Some people feel they have to send 'regular' underwear, so that mom doesn't "realize" she is incontinent...
That's a struggle for the ALF. I just tell them I wear that kind too, "just in case" and then we ditch the regular panties.
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The AL will give you a suggested list of items appropriate for their facility. So much depends upon what they provide. I saw my Aunt bring linens and towels but then she used the ones from the facility. (And frankly, after they wash them you might as well have plain ones.) How much room is there in her unit? Can she use her own bed? Eventually , she may need a hospital bed so understand that a lot of moving around goes on in these places. A comfortable chair, great. Many folks have a TV in their room, others watch the ones in general areas. ID everything and take photos of small important items. (Eyeglasses for instance We couldn't find my MIL's eyeglasses and no one could give a clear description to the aides so they could do a search of the place!) Is there a frig in the room? Some beverages and snacks. The memory care place I have experience with didn't allow any cleaning materials/aerosol sprays, etc. One daughter at this place put a lock on one of the cabinets and kept her cleaning stuff and non perishable food in it. Non breakable (and duplicate versions of) a family photo. Make it from the 'old days' for her memory is likely to recall that better. If you live close, I'd suggest you keep a lot of the stuff at your house and rotate it at the AL when you visit. I kept out of season clothing and decorations at my home and brought them as needed. For a memory care resident, the bedspread, pillows and pictures are the key items. Make everything else indestructible. Facilities are hard on EVERYTHING. No matter how hard they try, other residents visit rooms and admire and hold on to personal items. Residents feel ill and get sick on bedspreads. Cups and mugs fall. So do picture frames. Use florist/supermarket vases, not family heirlooms and certainly not crystal. Good luck.
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Pictures of family and if she is religious, those pictures too. A hint is those things that she kept by her favorite chair and the chair itself.
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You seem to have a good grasp. I agree, no valuables. I would say, if she has a favorite chair, rug, end table, lamp, pictures, etc. -- by all means set that up in a little corner just like it looks in your home. Create a wall collage of family pictures including maybe some framed prints of her favorite rooms, house, favorite storefronts, neighbors and friends, etc. that you can start collecting in advance of the move. This can also create conversation piece for other residents or staff. Is there a vase or favorite cup and saucer she is fond of that you can set on her dresser or side table? Also, consider her bedding, blankets, decorative pillow, etc. that she likes. Maybe a CD player/radio with her favorite music.

By all means, ask her what she would like to select and take and whats most important to her. You can also shop together for something special - a new quilt or pillowcase perhaps.

I think some places will even let you paint a wall as long as you repaint when she leaves.

Good Luck.
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