When you visit, it is a good idea to bring along and item or items that would be something you can do with your loved-one. If they have diminished verbal and memory skills, it can be awkward to just sit and stare at each other, however; if you bring something to do and share it can make the visit much more memorable and enjoyable for both of you. You are welcome to visit anytime, however, please pay attention to the Activities Calendar. You wouldn’t want them to miss an activity or you may want to come and join in the fun! Most of all have fun! Enjoy your time here with your loved-one. If you are planning an outing, it is not required, however; if you let the staff know your plans they can have your loved-one “ready to go” when you get here. These are still good days; there are still good times to be had and this can be a good chapter for them and for you.
Some ideas of things to bring/do are:
Photos, in an album or loose, or on an iPad; either old or new, of people and places you’d like to show them. This can be people or places they know or
someplace you’ve been recently that you’d like to share with them. Have fun telling them about your adventure or talk about the people and places in the photos that they might know.
If you have an iPad/iPhone, they might enjoy facetiming with family or friends in other places. Talk to staff about whether they would be able to do it.
Buy an electronic photo frame that has a removable SIM card for their nightstand. You can put old and new photos on there and they can enjoy the slides all the time when you are not here.
A magazine or coffee table book with lots of photos of a topic they might be interested in. Turn the pages, talk about what they are seeing. Even better, give their brain some exercise by having them turn the pages!
Play Checkers or “Go Fish” Many people can still match pairs and move checkers, even at this stage. We have both in our activities cupboard. Ask the staff.
We have very special “dementia” puzzles that are made just for them. Sit at one of our tables or on the patio and do it with them. It’s fun!
We have adult coloring books and pages and Buddha Boards. Come and color or draw with them! Let the staff know you’d like to do this.
Read to them from our Reader’s Digest big print or Reminisce Magazine or from a book about a topic they like. Poems are nice, too.
Sit with them and fill out an “ALL About ME” Packet.Ask the staff for one…you might learn something new about them you never knew before!
Take them for a drive! Go get an ice cream at Foster Freeze or drive through McDonald’s; drive to the Rock, park the car, roll down the windows and see if you can spot some sea otters. Drive to Tidelands Park, park facing the water and watch the boats! Play music in the car while you’re driving and sing with them. KJewel AM 1400 & FM 106.5 plays all of the Oldies (and goodies)
We give them weekly manicures; however, you can come massage their hands with lotion and do their nails. Their hands have likely been very important in your life and this is a way for you to “give back”. Look at their hands when you are doing this and think about all the work, meals, hugs and laundry these hands have been involved with in their lifetime.
Send them postcards or flowers! Everyone loves to get mail and flowers!
Come to Garden House and participate in one of our scheduled activities with them.
If they can walk, or you can push their wheelchair, walk them 2 blocks from here toward the water, make a left and walk down to the bench that overlooks Tidelands Park. Sit back and enjoy the sounds, views, and smells!
Take them to church on a Sunday across the street from Garden House at Calvary Lutheran Church on Monterey St.; St. Timothy’s- up by the Morro Bay Fire Station; or St. Peter’s By the Sea on Shasta Ave. If you need information on times or ambulation advice, ask the staff.
Bring them an ice cream or coffee drink and sit on the patio or in one of the visitor nooks we have around the house. Ask them about whether they got to have ice cream when they were growing up…
Bring their favorite dessert for the Residents and staff to enjoy.
Bring a clean joke book and tell them jokes! You’d be surprised at how much they still “get”
Take a ride on the Morro Bay Trolly! They have wheelchair access and its only a $1 a ride! Check out the Trolley Brochure for more details.