Care homes are safe havens for those who need assistance. That doesn’t mean moving into one is easy, though. Moving into a care home can be really scary, especially if you have been in your current home for a long time. The new space may feel unfamiliar and even somewhat scary.
While uprooting your life is always going to be a little overwhelming, there are ways to make moving into a care home a lot easier. It’s all about getting used to the environment and focusing on settling in. If you’re ready to make the most of your new life living in a care home, use these handy tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Spent Time at the Home Before Moving In
You don’t want the first time you see your new room to be the day you move in, as this would feel sudden and unfamiliar. Instead, visit the care home a handful of times before the move-in date to get used to the space. Take note of things while you’re there, too, such as the layout and where the dining hall is.
You could even go a step further and choose respite (short-term) care before moving in. So, you could spend two weeks in respite care at the home to see if it works for you. Then, when the official move date comes around, you’ll already know the place through and through.
Choose a Nearby Care Home
Moving into a new environment is a big enough change – you don’t need to add to that stress by choosing a care home that’s a three-hour car drive away from everything you know! Instead, look for care homes in your local area. The surrounding area will feel more familiar to you and make it easier for friends and family to visit (which is very important).
Of course, there may be some cases in which moving further out is the best option, perhaps because there aren’t many good care homes in your local area. If this is the case, try choosing a care home that best reflects what you’re used to. For example, if you’re used to living in a village by the countryside, Signature Care Home in Farnham Common offers luxury-style living in a beautiful village in Buckinghamshire. That kind of care home would make the most sense if you enjoy garden views and a peaceful lifestyle. You don’t need to push your limits.
Create a Homely Environment
If you wake up in an unfamiliar room with only a couple of your personal belongings, you likely aren’t going to settle in fast. Instead, it will feel as though you’re only a visitor. That’s why creating a homely environment is so important.
The idea of a homely environment differs from person to person, so you can get creative. Hanging up photographs of your loved ones is a great start, as memories’ll surround you. You could also use your home’s furnishings in your room for additional familiarity. The more that feels familiar, the better, so fill your care home environment with everything you love, whether trinkets, blankets, cushions, or curtains.
One handy trick people use to create a familiar environment in a care home is bringing the scent of home. If you often burn a lavender-scented candle at home, consider bringing something lavender-scented to the care home. If you’re used to a particular air freshener, bring a bottle to freshen up your room. It makes a difference!
Invite Your Friends and Family to Visit
People feel more comfortable when their loved ones surround them. The last thing you want is to live in an unfamiliar setting without seeing anyone you know. That’s why inviting your friends and family to visit is so important – they can help you make fond memories there, helping you love the new place you live in.
Get Stuck into the Activities
Most care homes have an array of activities on offer to get stuck into, so make the most of them. Your goal is to start making memories and enjoying yourself – the sooner you do that, the sooner it will feel like home! That might mean joining the gardening club and growing a plot of vegetables, or it may mean attending an exercise class.
Of course, the type of care home you move into matters here. Some care homes offer a bigger range of activities, from crafting sessions to dancing, so keep that in mind when choosing the care home. Don’t be scared to try something new, either. Joining the book club makes sense if you’re an avid reader, but you might find painting a good pastime even if you haven’t tried it before. Branch out, and you may discover a new part of yourself.
Make Your Preferences Known
No two people are the same. One person might love attending the music group and eating ice cream after dinner, whereas another might prefer spending time in a quieter environment and never want to touch ice cream. Your likes and dislikes matter, so talk to the carers about what they are. Remember, they want to get to know you. The more they understand about your preferences and lifestyle, the more they can accommodate you to ensure your living arrangements are as homely as possible.
Last but not least, form friendships with the people you meet at the care home. Remember, the residents there have all been through that scary move, so they’ll know how to help you settle in! Plus, having friends by your side makes any place feel more comfortable and familiar. Before you know it, the care home will feel like your true home.
No one will tell you that moving into a care home is easier. Like any transition in life, it can take a while for things to feel settled. However, you can speed up that process by using the top tips laid out in this article, from getting stuck in activities to creating a homely environment.