A Baby Boomers guide to taking care of momma
By Patti Covello Pietschmann
When my wonderful mother reached that stage when she needed to live in a nursing home it broke my heart. She was 3,000 miles across the country, in Pennsylvania, so it wasn’t possible to visit her every day as I would have liked. But when I did go I learned that there were little things I could do while visiting her that meant a lot:
- Something as simply as a hot wash cloth on her face, which she asked for while bedridden.
- Makeup. One day I sat her up and applied foundation, powder, mascara, blush. She beamed at her image in the hand mirror. Later that day a young woman came to visit her and marveled about how lovely she looked.
- Rubbing her head. I gave her these scalp treatments and she purred like a cat.
- Making her laugh. Laughter is good medicine especially for someone bedridden who was use to being active. I would try my darndest to get a smile or giggle from her.
- Lay down beside her. She loved me to cuddle next to her. One night she held my arm so tightly I couldn’t get up.
- Bring her a special treat of what she likes to eat. Mom didn’t have much of an appetite but she wolfed down a Subway meatball sandwich I brought her.
- Show her photos from your phone or an album to keep her connected.
- Talk about the future like trips you’ll take together or upcoming events.
- Tell her how much you love her as often as posible.
- Decorate her room for every holiday. I did this for my mother-in-law who was in assisted living near us and she beamed with pride but also it helped to keep her aware of the seasons. I decorated for Easter, Halloween, Christmas etc. sometimes extending the decor to the lobby.
Mom in the nursing home looking so sad.
My brother Tony with our Mom.