Making a Care Home Feel Like Home for an Elderly Relative
The average age of the population is growing all of the time. You can read more about it here, http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/life-expectancy-increases-globally-death-toll-falls-major-diseases. While good healthcare and better knowledge of our own needs mean that many of us can live healthily at home for a lot longer than previous generations. Eventually, there often comes a time when we have to move into a care home.
Helping an elderly relative make the decision to move out of their own home is a big deal. If they’ve lived in their family home for a long time, it can be tough to say goodbye. But, it can also be the best thing at the right time. Many seniors find that after a lifetime longing for retirement they are bored and lonely. Their health might start to suffer, and depression can be a very real problem.
If you have a relative that’s about to make the move, try to understand how scary and emotional this might be for them, and then try to help them settle by making their new setting feel like home. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Find the Right Home
Not all care homes are equal. Some, have had very negative press over the last few years, but you shouldn’t let this put you off. Homes like http://eastleighcarehomes.co.uk/locations/care-homes-devon/ are in fantastic locations and settings, offer high levels of care and can quickly start to feel like home. Just make sure it’s close enough, so that you and other family and friends can visit as often as possible.
Some homes will let you totally decorate their rooms. Others have strict rules and guidelines. Check what these are but do whatever you can. Hang some pictures on the walls, take some soft furnishings and furniture and spend some time making things comfortable and personal. Don’t forget things like books, which can make all of the difference.
Make sure you don’t do this for your relative, instead helping them as much as you can. Some people like to take old decorations and furniture from their home, whereas others like to start afresh in their new world. Both are great options which you should respect.
Whether your relative wants to take as many as their home comforts as they can, or nothing at all, they might worry about what to do with things like holiday decorations that mean a lot to them and bring back happy memories. Offer to store these for them so that they can have them back whenever they want.
They may also worry about a beloved pet. If you can, offer to home them so that they can still visit.
We live in a world where we take photographs all of the time but never print them. Make sure you place a few important photos around their room and that you add new ones when you can.
Make it Invite
One of the scariest things about moving into a care home is not knowing anyone. Change this by making sure their rooms invite people in. Get chairs and a table, perhaps some board games and invite some of their new neighbours around for an afternoon.
The very best way to make it feel like a home is with the presence of family. Visit as often as you can, spend quality time with them and get to know their new friends.
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