My blind Mom (90) will be trying a 2 week stay at an ALF. What can we do to enhance her experience? -

My blind Mom (90) will be trying a 2 week stay at an ALF. What can we do to enhance her experience?


I've described the place in detail, but I' m at a loss as to what else I can do to help her "see" the facility.

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I'd ask the Admissions Coordinator what I could do to enhance her experience. They may say, "Let us handle it," or they may have some really constructive advice for you.

My inclination would be to take her on a walking tour (wheeling tour, whatever) of the whole place, describing each room or area in great detail. Telling her what time meals are served; what kinds of programs they have; what kinds of things she might be able to participate in. Slowly and deliberately as though talking to a child. Emphasize how safe she'll be and do some comparisons between there and home that will help her see the benefits to her. Talk about how often you might visit; who else might come to see her; etc.

I wish you good luck!! We try to do the best we can for our loved ones. At this time in their lives, there's often just a short list of things we CAN do. Keep smiling. Sometimes, with my mom, I notice that, if I'm happy? So is she.
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Another idea is to introduce her to one or two of the regular people that will be working with her, and when you tell her their names, associate that name with someone they know, or if their name is 'Candy' a associate it with yummy (example) or Linda, like 'your sister' and so on. Then she will learn of some of the people that she can rely on everyday.

Counting the steps to the bathroom etc.
A clock with brail or one that will tell her the time.
Lots of positive visits (-:
I used to take my Mother a 'picnic' ever so often, and include a friend of hers at the nursing home...make sure to let them know at the nurses station not to send her a tray if she recvs them, so they won't charge her for them.
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I've tried to make my LO's recent move to an ALF as pleasant as possible. She has significant dementia, but doesn't have too many physical ailments. Does the ALF have any other blind residences?

Some things I have done is try to up play all the good things. I've told her how everyone there was so kind and helpful to me. I told her that the food smelled and looked very good. I took her favorite pillows to make her feel at home and put up her favorite photos on the walls. She also has a tv on her dresser with a simple remote she can operate. Would your mom enjoy a CD player and be able to operate it?

At first I went by every other day and encouraged her. I told her how proud I was of her for her entry into "Rehab" which is what we call it. I told her how much healthier she looked after getting there and having so much help with her meds, therapy and nutrition. I also walked with her into the family visiting room and said hello to the other residences, telling her how nice they all seemed.

If the ALF has a patio, someone might escort her out there to sit in the fresh air. Sitting outside and chatting with others might be a nice time for her.

At my LO's ALF they have performers come regularly and the staff ensures that all residences who want to go are pushed or escorted there. They all seem to like that.

I hope it all goes well for you. My LO is much happier though it was rough at first.
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Ask them to pair her with a "buddy". Emeritus assigned a buddy to mom and hand-picked the tablemates for her to sit with. Mom is 87, blind in one eye, deaf on one ear, uses a walker, but she managed to fit in to the crowd quite well.
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