Helping your elderly loved ones is challenging, especially when they are moving into a nursing home. It is stressful as you will have to downsize significantly to fit boxes. This becomes even more difficult when you are moving from a home you have lived years in.
On the other hand, making sure that you are packing only the essentials is not the end of the list. You will also have to pack your important documents, including health reports, prescriptions, test reports, journals, etc, that will come in handy. Oftentimes, families also consider the possibility of hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer to ensure they are prepared in advance for worst-case scenarios. Here is a list of five absolutely essential things your nursing bag should have.
5 Things To Keep In Your Nursing Bag When Moving For The First Time
- Comfortable and appropriate clothing: There are several reasons someone would decide to go to a nursing home. It could be because they are not able to take care of themselves properly and need assistance that is beyond the scope of their family members or because they want to spend time being around people of the same age and abilities.
Going to a nursing home is a very personal decision. To ensure that your elderly member is able to have a comfortable time, consider packing everyday clothes that are made of breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. Also include handkerchiefs, socks, and mufflers to ensure they are comfortable when seasons change.
Additionally, as we grow, our body’s ability to maintain regular temperature decreases, making it possible for our loved ones to feel cold even if winters are afar. Do pack light sweaters and blankets to ensure they are protected from getting cold. Avoid sending delicate fabrics, as many nursing homes use industrial-grade washing machines that can be harsh on clothes.
- Personal hygiene and care products: Many elderly have toiletries or scents that they have grown accustomed to over the years. Without these, they may feel uncomfortable and out of touch with themselves. Consider packing these toiletries and scents at first, followed by other grooming products they have been using for years.
It also gives them a sense of home while they are away. Always consider keeping a backup that you are able to provide them in case they run out. Common toiletries that you must be in their bag include toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant, body wash, body lotion, hand cream, lip balm, shampoo, conditioner, and any other products that they use as part of their daily routine.
- Electronics gadgets that are easy to use: Nursing homes usually have certain slots of the day occupied for daily activities. Besides them, there is a high chance your dear ones might have a lot of time to pass. To avoid boredom and feelings of loneliness from biting them, consider giving them electronics that can be used easily.
Consider providing a small TV (if the facility allows), radio, or even headphones that will allow them to enjoy their entertainment time in private. Opt for devices that have a longer battery backup and come with accessibility features that make it possible for people with any disabilities to use these devices. Consider enabling safety features that prevent others from using their devices or making changes to them that are not as per their preferences.
- Items that hold sentimental value for them: Moving away from your home is never an easy move. However, there could be many reasons you would want to make the shift. Including items of sentimental value gives the much-needed reassurance that your close ones are always a call away.It also helps them reconnect with old, fond memories. These are especially helpful when they are getting used to the new environment and setting.
- Supplies for their hobbies: Whether they love embroidery, reading a book, or painting, having a hobby keeps them motivated. If your loved one has a hobby, consider preparing a kit they can use when they are getting bored or have ample spare time on their hands.
If they love painting, consider putting together a kit that has different types of painting tools for them to try. If they are into reading and spend most of their time reading through books, then consider gifting them a book subscription where they can get books on a monthly basis.
Moving into a nursing home is a big life change. However, with proper care and planning, you can make sure they never feel alone or forgotten. Packing a bag with thought and mindfulness ensures that your loved ones have access to everything they need within their limits, and they don’t have to constantly bother anyone else.