Packing Up Mom or Dad's Clothing For A Long Term Residence (Nursing Home)
How do you know what to bring to a Nursing home when you are moving a loved one from their family home to their new residence? I guess one might think that the answer depends on whether you live in a warm climate or a cold climate? On the contrary, the answer is almost the same for a variety of climates because elderly frail patients or "residents" as we say, have their own thermostats which may defy the real world.
Dad Still Thought He Lived In Florida, But There Was Snow on The Ground
When I brought my dad up from Florida to the Northeast a few years earlier, I needed to buy him a winter coat, boots and warmer clothing such as sweaters and flannel pajamas. But dad had dementia and was convinced he was STILL living in Florida ! In his apartment, before he was moved to a Nursing home, he preferred to crank up the heat and dress in tropical clothing, a short sleeved golf shirt and Bermuda shorts. He had a closet filled with pastel colored summer clothing which he was very attached to. While I was wearing a scarf and several layers of clothing, dad was in beachwear.
Bringing Favorite Outfits to Nursing Home
When dad's dementia advanced further, he was no longer able to dress himself or to "dress for success". He needed help with his clothing and now dressed for comfort (jogging pants and a zip up light weight sweat suit jacket, worn out golf shirt). I brought his favorite outfits to the Nursing home and relied on his aides to help him with dressing.
Do Need Boots in a Nursing Home?
As I packed him up for the Nursing home, I wondered if he would need a winter jacket in the Nursing home....after all where is he going? Or did he need his boots, gloves? I wasn't sure if he would be cold or hot in his new environment? Would he need pajamas or would he be wearing the Johnnie gowns you see in hospitals? You will see below my answers and tips on these questions.
TIPS FOR WHAT TYPES OF CLOTHING TO BRING TO A NURSING HOME
1. Most Nursing homes are kept very warm.....so short sleeves or -shirts are fine.
2. Many older people are cold no matter what the temperature is so sweaters and light weight type jackets are needed.
3. Residents do leave the Nursing home to go to outside doctor appointments so you need jackets, boots etc on hand.
4. Clothes get soiled very easily so don't give everything away when you are making the transition.
5. Even couch potatoes who don't usually do very much in the way of activities or socializing may change their ways in the Nursing home environment and may want to dress up every now and then.
6. Loosely fitting clothing is often needed when medical conditions warrant catheters, IV's etc.
7. Be sure all clothing is labeled. You can use a permanent laundry marker. Or the facility may have a laundry department which places labels on clothing.
8. Unless you are willing to say goodbye to family heirlooms such as handmade or special blankets don't bring these items in because frequent laundering may damage them.
9. Pajamas are personal preference, but Johnnie gowns are always available.
10, Bring sneakers or safe shoes to the Nursing home.
11. Keep extra clothing as back up in your home and bring in when needed.
12. Bring a gift of a new sweater or article of clothing every now and then.
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro café.
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