It can be a trying time for all involved when a loved one finds themselves moving into a care home. Confusion, disorientation and isolation can easily take hold, especially among those contending with a mental affliction such as dementia. Fortunately there are several methods available for easing the transition.
The day of the move to their new address should be as undisruptive as possible, so if you can, try to do it at a time that will least likely interfere with their routine.
Give them some guarantees by providing them with a solid timeframe and ‘reward’ for when the entire transition will be over. For example, if they regularly watch Channel 4’s Countdown then reassure them that the move will be completed in time for that day’s episode – accompanied by their new home’s delicious tea and cake offering!
Help make your loved one’s new environment feel less alien by bringing some of their personal items along.
For visual comfort adorn the walls of their room with treasured photos, fill shelves with their favourite books and ornaments, and ensure any special, sentimental items they have are present. In order to reassure their olfactory senses place their usual toiletries on a dresser or shelf so the room smells like home. Keep them emotionally comfortable by decorating the area in their favourite colours and textures to create a relaxing atmosphere.
A favourite chair, footstool or small item of furniture can often go a long way to making someone feel comfortable in their new environment.
Avoid any feelings of discomfort during those early days by ensuring that they have everything they need from the start.
It can be difficult to know exactly how much of their wardrobe to bring, but make sure they have all their favourite items of clothing from the offset, and at least enough to wear for 2 weeks. Here we more information on the suitable clothing to wear in a nursing home.
Long before the day of moving, work with them on creating a checklist of items they want and need, and any information they require. Doing this together will make them feel more a part of the process and on the day of the move they can take some reassurance in checking off a list, helping them feel secure that all has been done and nothing important has been overlooked.
Staff at Eastleigh Care Homes are very friendly and go the extra mile to get to know new residents. You can help them do this by providing us with a bit of information about your loved one’s life. By getting your loved one to work with you on a page about their life story we can more easily initiate conversation and develop bonds with them which will speed up the process of getting to know one another, ultimately reducing the time it takes to make them feel at home. Some details to consider sharing with us include:
There are many organisations that will likely need contacting when a loved one is going to a nursing home. Be sure to update the GP, dentist, optician, council, bank, utility companies and others of the change.