It’s time to get down to checklists! With less than twenty-four hours to “pick-up” time--going to the nursing home and collecting my mom (clothes, medications, walker, special pillowcase, books, song books, letter writing materials, and all those other things she has rarely used in her holiday stays with me, yet insists on bringing “just incase” LOL)--it is now the final hours for preparations both for Mom’s stay here in the house, and for the holiday feasting itself.
Here in the house, it’s along the lines of “kid-proofing” you do when the grandkids come, and you’re house is no longer set up for “little ‘uns”. With four dogs in the house, who feel compelled to slip in front of you as you walk, ram into you in a hearty greeting every time you enter the house, and fall asleep under your recliner’s foot rest, making it impossible to put the rest down and get out of the chair, well, that is just a whole area that cannot be controlled, nor prepared for adequately. However, for all those other things that can be fixed, there is the list to assure nothing is over-looked.
We recently took up the carpet in the entry room with the intent of putting down linoleum. At present the floor is uneven between the entry room and the living room, which is carpeted.
#1. A metal piece has to be put down over the edge of the carpet allowing Mom’s walker to easily go over the difference in heights without hanging up nor Mom stumbling.
#2. All extra shoes, work boots, and slippers, must be removed from bathroom floor. (No room for Mom’s walker, nor barely room for Mom with the floor covered in footwear.)
#3. Bake cookies! Mom has a sweet tooth. As she has aged and her taste buds have died off, it takes a lot of salt, a lot of butter, and a lot of cookies and other sweets before Mom senses she’s had anything decent to eat. NO, it’s not good for her. However, she’s made it to 98, and if she wants this stuff, hey, it’s her decision--I’m not her mother!
#4. Put on all fresh bedding. One day early is too early, as three out of four of the dogs feel the extra bed in the house is NOT for guests, but instead is THEIR bed. So until someone comes to use the bed, there will be dogs and dog hair on the bed LOL.
#5. Get all the games out of the closet and downstairs--Mom likes to play games. Yahtzee, Backgammon, Chess, Scrabble, and anything else you want to teach or remind her how to play. She has always liked to play games, and in the past few years increasingly we have to re-teach her the rules and remind her of the strategies--but she still gets a real kick out of playing, and it’s something she gets none of in the nursing home.
#6. Have the piano (Mom’s piano which I brought to my home once her house had to be sold before she entered the nursing home), dusted and the seat cleaned off of all those things that get placed on it when it’s not in use. Mom still plays the piano at least two hours a day, to keep her fingers from stiffening up and to entertain the “troops”, her fellow nursing home residents. She has informed me she’s preparing for the holiday programs coming up at the nursing home and the other nursing homes in the area where she is invited to play. Mom will be the first to tell you, music to entertain IS her main reason for getting up and getting dressed each day.
#7. All those other little things it takes for Thanksgiving, baking pies, making the stuffing, dragging out all the serving dishes that are usually at the back of the upper cupboards and seeing to it they don’t need to be rewashed from just sitting there LOL. Seems there are always things that still need to be done right up to the serving of the meal.
And so goes the list. And here I go to continue checking off the things on the list. Hope you’ve made your list, checked it twice, and have means and energy to fulfill it.
May God sustain us all!