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What is a good packing list & what not to bring for memory care?

Status: Open    Apr 11, 2016 - 12:57 PM

Dementia, Senior Living Communities

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Expert Answers

Apr 19, 2016 - 08:55 AM

There are some basics that make sense. In addition, your individual state may exclude certain items or maintain restrictions on certain iteams. Check with the Executive Director of each individual community. When it comes to memory care, avoid anything that is dangerous (or that could be dangerous) or anything that causes agitation. I have seen memory care apartments FULL and others that are bare bones. Most are in between.

This is the information I give to families as they prepare to move in:

It is important to note that some items are regulated by the state of Missouri in order to prevent hazardous situations. Some items are not permitted in any assisted living by state regulation and other certain items require a specific safety rating. If you are unsure about an item, please inquire about the community policy with the Executive Director.


· Bed

· Nightstand (ideally with drawers and shelves)

· Seating (small sofa, chairs with arms, rocker; avoid chairs on casters)

· Small table(s) (with storage, such as shelves or drawers)

· Dresser (second dresser for storage may fit in closet for extra storage; drawers are often easier than hanging everything and dressers can also serve as replacement for a television stand)

· Bedding (two sets sheets, blankets, pillows, comforter, ensure that bedding is flame resistant)

· Bath towels

· Hangers

· Surge Protector(s) (extension cords are strictly prohibited)

· Night Light

Personal items:

· Clothes (winnowed by season to fit closet space; include pajamas, robe, sweaters for air conditioning, nice outfits for socializing; two weeks’ worth of underwear and socks so there is a clean set available while the other is in the laundry)

· Shoes

· Nonskid slippers

· Medications; Coordinate with Wellness department for community policy. All current bottled medication will be used before re-order

· Photographs (to hang on display or look at in books)

· Special heirlooms or mementos to give a sense of home; Jewelry or expensive personal items that are not regularly used are not recommended

Cleaning supplies/Bathroom Supplies:

· Dish towels/Wash Cloths

· Laundry basket

· Shelving or Box Storage (many residents prefer small plastic storage drawer units for personal bathroom supplies)

· Soap Dish

· Personal Toiletries: Preferred soaps, shampoo, oils, deodorants, powders, etc.

· Paper Towels/Bathroom Tissue (if specific brand is preferred)


· Wall décor (photographs, paintings)

· Curtains (High quality blinds are already in place. Curtains may require fire-resistance treatment)

· Lamps

· Vase

· Throw Blanket(s) (for toss-on warmth)


· Television

· Music system (if used; make sure your loved one knows how to operate it)

· Hobby supplies (needlework, paints, craft materials within reason, cards, books; if used)


This list is intended to be a comprehensive starter guide on what to bring when moving to assisted living. We recommend adding your own personal style and flare to your apartment and encourage individuality! Exclusions are subject to change.


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