Living in a Care Home: How to Personalise Your Loved One’s Experience

Living in a Care Home: How to Personalise Your Loved One’s Experience

Adding photos and personal touches can make all the difference when living in a care home.

When we talk to the families of potential new residents at our care homes, there are understandable concerns. One of these concerns, which lurks behind many questions, and indeed potentially holds back a sensible move, is how to ensure your loved one is treated as an individual and receives both personalised care and an adapted environment. It is right and understandable that you are concerned that a loved one may lose their sense of identity when they move away from their home.

At Eastleigh, we believe that a resident’s care and environment should be tailored for them so that they don’t lose this sense of identity. Our goal is that residents benefit from the care home environment and structure, without losing their individuality.

Moving to a care home or nursing home should be about providing security and safety, without compromising the individual. There are ways in which families can help to achieve this. For further information about what is required and the preparation you need to undertake before moving, follow the previous link.

Be open about your concerns

When it comes to elder care, there are a great number of myths which abound. There is also a notable difference between different care home facilities. At Eastleigh, for example, we have no set visiting times and we actively welcome personal items being brought from their previous home. As you visit potential care homes, check if this is the case to put your mind at ease.

When you are considering a care home for your relative, ask questions, lots of it. Speak to the care staff and have a good look around. How homely do the common areas feel? How welcome are you to personalise your loved one’s room?

Bring along photos

One of the simplest things you can bring along to make their new living space feel both secure and like home is photos. By putting up pictures of family members and friends, both recent and old, you can help to make the space feeling unique as well as facilitate memories. Our maintenance team can help put up pictures so that your loved one feels you close.

It’s also worth gifting your loved one some photo albums containing photos from through the years. This is particularly beneficial for dementia patients. Giving our staff a talking point and a way to stimulate memories can greatly benefit your relative. Indeed, for dementia patients, we will often use photo albums as discussion points in reminiscence therapy.

Personal touches

Similarly, if your loved one has some favourite art or ornaments then these should be brought along too. These small touches often offer security and familiarity, as well as working to transform an ‘institutional’ space into one which feels considerably homelier.

Have a look at what your loved one sees from where they usually sit at the moment in their own home. What could you bring along to help?

Furniture

At our Eastleigh homes, we have invested heavily in furniture which assists older people. At our Raleigh Mead home, we are renowned for our dementia-friendly furniture. Your loved one can move in and be well catered for.

However, small items of furniture, or a favourite chair, for example, can be brought along too. Many of our residents have their own footstool or side table. This connection with the past is invaluable.

Food and drink

Unfortunately, many care homes have a reputation for poor and generic ‘institutionalised’ food with restrictions on drink. We believe that a good healthy meal is key to so many parts of elder care. It’s a way of facilitating socialisation between residents which can help alleviate loneliness. It’s a way of providing sensory stimulation. It’s of course a way of bringing nutritional wellbeing and a sense of comfort.

Our chefs are therefore very popular members of the Eastleigh team. They cook a vast range of delicious fare which tantalises the taste buds. You can see our example menu. What’s more, if your relative has a favourite tipple, perhaps a glass of sherry or wine, we will make sure this is offered too. Recommendations to the menu are welcome too!

It’s also worth bringing favourite biscuits or treats along to visits as well.

Activities

The care your loved one receives is always personalised. We work with you and healthcare professionals to ensure the right level of care is provided. However, we extend our personalised care to the activities we facilitate and enable.

While we offer a range of on-site activities, as well as offsite excursions, if your loved one enjoys a particular activity, you can bring this along too. Board games, cards, music, art sets, or even gardening, can all be facilitated as unique activities for your family member. Helping a resident to keep up their previous activities and hobbies that they enjoyed, can help to ensure they continue to feel positive about their life after a move into a care home.

Speak to us

The easiest way to feel reassured is to speak to us. We welcome the input of families and understand that this can be a concerning time. Get in touch on 01769 573166 to talk through your concerns, or perhaps arrange a visit to see for yourself how we differ.