Before Your Parent Moves, Pack a "First-Night" Box

When your parent first arrives in her new living quarters -- whether it's a smaller home or apartment, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home -- there are a few key things she'll need from the get-go. Here's what to put in a suitcase (or a box that goes in your car rather than the moving van) for easy first-night access:

  1. Sheets, pillows, and other bedding

  2. Paper towels and toilet paper

  3. Coffee maker or tea kettle (plus coffee or tea)

  4. Toiletry kit with toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, hair products, and other essentials

  5. Prescription and over-the-counter medications your parent takes regularly

  6. Checkbook

  7. Pajamas and a change of underwear

  8. Bedside clock

  9. The book your parent is reading

  10. Address book or list of key phone numbers

  11. A framed photo or other memento -- to make the new place feel a little more like home right away

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