Critter Corner: What to Bring to A Nursing Home

Dear Commander Bun Bun,

I have been a caregiver for my mother for more than a decade. She is ready to move into a skilled nursing facility. She would like to make her room feel like home, and I’d like to help her do so. Do you know what kinds of personal things can we bring to a nursing home?


Faye Voritt-Thinggs

Dear Faye,

Caregivers often help their loved ones sort through their belongings and family heirlooms, to help them decide what to bring to make their nursing home room feel as much like home as possible. Here are some ideas:

  • Family pictures are important and can be posted on a bulletin board, stored in a scrapbook or photo album, uploaded to a digital picture frame, or displayed as a collage on the wall. It can be helpful to label each picture with the name of the person and their relationship to your loved one. This enables them to share their pictures without having the pressure of remembering names, faces, and relationships all at once.
  • Inexpensive artwork (prints and posters) can help make your mother feel more at home. Numerous vendors sell affordable prints of famous works of art, nature scenes, old movie posters, and much more. The options are endless, though wall space is often limited.
  • A music player loaded with your mom’s favorite music can be a very meaningful addition to a loved one’s room. A good pair of headphones may also be a wise investment.
  • Other types of treasured items might include favorite snacks or treats, favorite books, or small pieces or items from a personal collection of hers.

Please note that most facilities prohibit breakable items like china and glass, electric blankets, scented plug-ins, any sort of open flame items (such as candles), and, of course, weapons. Be sure to check the rules at her facility for a list of things she can and cannot bring!

Hop your mother’s meaningful items help her feel comfortable in her new room.

Commander Bun Bun

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.