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Preparing for the Transition to Assisted Living (Memory Care) – Part V What NOT to Pack

Preparing for the Transition to
Assisted Living (Memory Care) – Part V

What NOT to Pack for Your Loved One

 

Preparing for your loved one’s transition into assisted living can be a very stressful endeavor.  It’s always difficult to sort through belongings and decide what stays, what goes, and what can be disposed of or donated to charity.  You’ll surely come across many items that have significant inherent or sentimental value.  Taking into consideration your loved one’s condition and the fact that dementia is progressive, you’ll want to be very careful about packing any items of worth, particularly anything small.  Things tend to get misplaced and damaged quite frequently in a community of folks in various stages of dementia.  Of course, the staff does everything they can to ensure that items remain with their rightful owners in the appropriate place, but residents and their belongings are not monitored every minute of every day.

 

You’ll want to avoid packing anything that is worth a lot of money, such as expensive jewelry, artwork, or antiques.  In some instances, you can replace items with imitation versions.  For example, if your loved one has particular pieces of expensive jewelry that they tend to wear, you should find articles of costume jewelry that look similar.  Along the same lines, residents typically don’t need to carry cash and credit or debit cards on their person.  However, for some residents, not having the perceived ability to pay for anything can be a source of agitation.  Family often fill their loved one’s favorite wallet or purse with inactive cards that they carry around with them at the community.

 

It’s important to keep in mind the limited amount of space as well as your loved one’s safety when considering what not to pack.  First, you definitely want to try your best to avoid packing too much of anything as a cluttered space can be a safety hazard and a common source of agitation.  Second, anything breakable and, particularly, made of glass should be avoided as it can quickly become a safety hazard if it gets knocked over.  Lastly, avoid anything that could easily cause your loved one to trip and fall, such as area rugs, bath mats, and electronics with long cords.  While comfort and convenience are obviously big considerations when packing, your loved one’s safety should be the top priority.  

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