Just tidbits of information for those of you who have loved ones in a facility.
I've found that when providing supplies, such as shampoo, razors, toothpaste, undergarments (diapers), it's best to send them in limited supply. Even though everything is labeled, sometimes supplies get "moved" to another room. Diapers disappear more quickly, for example. Think about it. If a resident goes through 2 diapers per shift, that makes 6 in one day. Multiply by 7, that's 42 per week. Times 4, that is 168 per month. 16 Depends at $20, that's $210 per month. (on top of the $4500 that you are already spending on the facility. Yikes!) Those little things are made of gold (not to be confused with yellow, ha.) So, hand them out with caution.
Clothes are good to refresh every season. Even though the temperature is constant, it's still nice to have a change of seasons...colors..and shoes from time to time. However, too many clothes just end up being wadded up and not worn. At Jerry's facility, the laundry is done daily.
When Jerry first went into the facility, I kept a supply of Oreos in those mini packs, a can of peanuts, and some snickers in his drawer. We don't do that anymore. We also had CD's of his favorite things, like: Carolina basketball, Alabama football and bluegrass music for his room. He rarely stayed in his room, however, so eventually he didn't even need that. I brought the TV home, because he stays in the main activity room and sits with his new friends.
Hmm. What else? There are a few things that I try to do when visiting. Since there really isn't much two way conversation, sometimes it's difficult to keep coming up with things to say. Reading and looking at magazines is good. When the weather is cooperating, we sit on the patio with the other residents. Even though Jerry doesn't speak, it still feels like he is included when we all sit an rock on the front porch together...like people use to do in the good ole days. Sometimes I bring a small speaker to plug into my iPhone and play music. Everyone seems to like that and sometimes Jerry's foot begins to tap. (or at least it use to.) For Jerry, a ball use to get some reaction: football, or big rubber ball. Last but not least.. pets always bring smiles. Montana comes to visit at least once a month and sometimes sits in Jerry's lap whether she likes it or not.
Hang in there, my friends.