It is never an easy feat to see your elderly parent or family member reach the stage in life when they can no longer care for their own personal and medical needs. Even though the transition may be difficult for you to handle, it is often more emotionally challenging for an elderly individual to pick up and leave behind everything familiar they know. To help make the transition a little smoother and help your loved one feel more at home, there are a few items that you should try to send along with them to the nursing home when they go.
1. Framed Family Photos - Make sure your loved one gets to take along reminders of the people they love the most by picking a few framed family photos to send with them to the nursing home. Be sure you check with the staff to determine if glass frames are allowed, but of not, you can always hang a small picture board and attach several photos.
2. Favorite Blankets and Bedding - Give your loved one a familiar place to go to sleep at night by sending their favorite blankets and bedding with them to the nursing home. Make sure you mark the bedding on the tag by writing your loved one's initials with a permanent marker.
3. Cell Phone - Part of the challenge of living in a nursing home is not being in touch with friends and family members. If your loved one has never had a cell phone, sending one with them to their new home is a good idea. Look for an elderly friendly cell phone with a large screen and buttons and program all of the contact information into the phone for them.
4. Preferred Recliner Chair - Some nursing homes will allow patients to bring in a few of their favorite furniture pieces, especially if they are lucky enough to have a private room. If your family member has a favorite recliner from home, ask about bringing it into the nursing facility. Just having one piece of familiar furniture can help your loved one feel a lot better about the move.
5. Mini-Fridge - Some nursing homes do allow their patients to have a small refrigerator in their room if they choose. It can be comforting for an elderly loved one to know that they can still have their own drinks, snacks, and foods within reach, so if the addition is allowed, it is a good idea to purchase a mini fridge for your loved one's room.
For more information and particular options, talk with local nursing homes, such as Regina Nursing Center, about what they allow in the rooms.