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Packing with Dad for the Holidays


Is there a simple way to help Dad pack for visiting my brother’s home during the holidays?

I am concerned he will leave without necessary items. I don't want my brother to panic when he discovers that he is not prepared for Dad’s visit. I would like this holiday to go as smoothly as possible. Selfishly, it will provide me a much-needed break, which is why I am trying to prevent any problems. Any words of wisdom?


How wonderful that siblings are relieving each other and that you are looking out for your father. 

I would make a checklist for your father. This checklist will be slightly different for everyone based on their unique situation and the amount of time they are leaving home, but having a list always helps. I personally use a checklist that I have developed. Before the final departure, I check that list to see if I packed it all. I am quite confident that you will forget something if you do not prepare in this way.

I have started a list that you can tailor to Dad’s specific needs.

  • Medication - enough to cover his time away
  • Over-the-counter medication/vitamins if he takes any
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Insurance cards
  • A list of your father's medical conditions
  • Phone numbers of his physicians and any other numbers he may need (family, etc.)
  • Advance Directive
  • Gait belt  - if used to help transfer
  • Eyeglasses, sunglasses
  • Incontinence products
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
  • Storage container for any dental appliance
  • Shaver/shaving cream
  • Lotions – prescription or favored
  • Shampoo and/or soap if special brands are used
  • Underwear
  • Pants & Shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Belts
  • PJs, Slippers, Robe
  • Coat, Hat & Gloves
  • Walker and/or cane
  • Nightlight
  • Travel wallet or money belt
  • Stopping the newspaper and mail - if necessary
  • Turning down heat
  • Preparing the home
  • A note from you wishing him a wonderful trip

This may not be an exhaustive list, but it should get you started. The most important thing for his sendoff is that you included items to make his stay safe and incident-free, as new environments place the elderly at higher risk of falls and require adaptation. 

I wish you the best.


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