In my previous post, So You’re Putting Mom/Dad In A Nursing Home: Do’s And Don’ts, I mentioned things like valuables, clothing sizes and socks. Can I mention socks again? Seriously they all need socks, and if they are all the same kind of socks this is even better. I swear socks get lost more than anything else in the facility. Purchase 20 pairs of identical socks and the staff will love you. Mismatched ones are hip for younger folks but on your mom or dad in a nursing home, it looks like they and the staff lack the good sense to put together appropriate attire. Often we are struggling to do just that!
So, adding to other suggestions:
Sports bras. When moving your beloved mother in with us, please forget the lacy, sexy bras, the ones that hook in back, and think in terms of COMFORT. Hooks stabbing them in the back all day while in a wheel chair or arm chair, get uncomfy. Hooks get caught on things in the laundry and get twisted. Sport bras, a size larger than necessary, are comfortable, and much easier to for all involved. Your mom likely cannot hook it herself any longer anyway. If you want to do a hook bra, get one that hooks in the front!
Coats…one is plenty. I currently have a resident who has no less than 6 coats. Really, one winter, and one spring/light weight one is all they need. Space in the closet is limited, those 6 coats take up nearly half of the space, the rest is crammed full of clothes. That brings me to the number of outfits your parent needs. 14 is good, 2 per day if there is a disaster, for a week. Most facilities are doing the resident laundry on their shower days, and most of facilities have 2 showers a week. If you are not familiar with this, don’t freak out, elderly skin dries out really bad and 2 a week is quite sufficient. We do perineal care daily (cleaning their bottoms/private parts) and apply deodorant etc so they are not going to smell foul, and this cleaning prevents skin break down as well from soiled underwear/adult diapers. Check with the nurse or aides to be sure your parent has sufficient clothing.
Slippers. If your mom or dad don’t wear shoes any longer, then nice slippers are wonderful. I recommend ones with non-slip surfaces if they walk. Slippers protect the feet of those in wheel chairs too, so think in terms of comfy, and protective!
Just a few more things I wanted to share, for those with loved ones in nursing facilities.