My mother was just moved into memory care and is not happy about it. Any advice for me and my siblings to help cheer her up? -Bill S.

Sometimes we can’t really “solve” a situation like this. And sometimes we feel the need to solve it more than the elder involved does. You are all doing the best you can under the circumstances. Books, magazines, TV or music, maybe puzzles or writing materials, may cheer her up, depending on her preferences. Send thoughtful cards that she can look forward to.  “Care packages” could include pictures or snacks, soft socks, anything that might give a little comfort or joy. I once spoke with an elder who the staff in our home was concerned about, because they couldn’t “get her to do anything”. And she informed me that she liked to “just sit”. “And think?”, I asked. “Not even that”, she said. “Just be.” Elders are better at “just being” than we are. Also, consider joining a support group with other people in similar situations, and be sure to look after yourself.

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