The Dir. of Nursing suggested I bring in a picture book of pictures for mom to look at.
I previously had shown her a picture of her and my dad with my brother, who was about one year old at the time, from back in the 50's. She started to cry.
Last thing I want to do is make her cry. My father passed away quite awhile ago; so maybe it was just an emotional cry..still, I don't want her to cry.
Should I just make an album of us kids and our kids? Would that be better? I have so many pictures to go through; it's gonna take awhile to get this organized, but I just thought maybe those that have been down this road would know what the right thing to do is.
This is a hard question. My Mom couldn't see, so although we had family pictures all over her NH room, it was more for the staff, so they would get a sense of her earlier life and not only see her as an ancient woman in a wheelchair. One was a picture of her in a bathing suit in the 1930s ... she was beautiful!
If your Mom felt really sad and upset for a long time after seeing that picture, maybe more recent pictures are better - of yourself and your children. But, on the other hand, maybe tears are not a sign of distress but nostalgia for a happy past. You can cry and then feel better for having done so.
I know you will do what is best for her ... but it is really hard sometimes.
It depends on your Mom. You might want to take a handful of pictures several times and see how she reacts.... or leave a few and see what the staff observes. If it's a positive reaction then do the book. If it's a negative reaction then try something different. Mom enjoys her scrap book which is not pictures but other items that relate to activities of the long past. Her high school saludatorian speech, her state volunteer award, her certificate from guarian ad lidum, that sort of thing. There are a few pictures of her in high school and receiving awards. Dad has a similar one. There is a family picture, with 20 of the 21 in the family all in it, on the wall. Pictures from home tend to upset her because she wants to go home. Dad enjoys pictures from home but doesn't seem to know who those people are.
So take your mom's lead. She will let you know. I did see a good idea in another resident's room. They had a current picture of each family member... almost a passport type pictures.... with the person's name and relationship slipped in the bottom of the pictures. It gives them a current reference to names and faces.
Your Mom will lead you and you will know what to do.