First of all, think about the timing. Ask the staff there when there are event or things happening that she likes to be a part of and if you can volunteer at all during those times. Or do you have a special skill that you can co-lead with a staff person? Do you sew? Crochet? cook? paint? Maybe you can share yourself with others as well as visiting your Mom?
I used to keep my visit bag when I went to see my Dad in the nursing home. I felt I was ready with something if the conversation lagged or he didn’t want to go for a “roll” outside. It was used more and more as he became less verbal.
It was a zip lock bag that had these items in it:
- A small comb – he liked for his hair to be combed
- travel size lotion – his skin was always dry
- small pack of kleenex – to clean glasses
- latest Reader’s Digest – great for jokes and sometimes interesting articles that I would read
- a couple of fishing lures without the hooks – we would talk about fishing or fish
- a combination lock – for a while. He enjoyed trying to open it. Then it just started to frustrate him so I stopped. and added:
- colored pencils, small ruler and small pad of paper – Dad was an architect and artist. So he would draw some with me
- chocolate – always have chocolate
TIP: Remember that they are struggling to remember.
“Hi, Mom! Do you know who I am? What’s my name?”
Make it easy for them. Tell them who you are and who they are. If someone knows your name it feels they know me, they are my friend.
So maybe, ” Hi Virginia. it’s me Karen. It’s so good to see you!”
Hope that helps.