One of the most difficult things you ever have to do is put loved ones in a care home. It’s also very challenging for your loved one. It’s quite often the case that they will have lived in their home almost all their lives. It’ll be filled with years of memories.
Packing up all their belongings and leaving your family member in a care home could leave you feeling very nervous. It is, after all, a huge step.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to make the transition easier. The following care home decorating ideas will help make their new living space feel more homely, less intimidating, and less clinical.
Any care home decorating ideas will have to be safe and functional, especially if your loved one moves to a hospice or dementia unit. Nevertheless, improving the atmosphere of a room only takes a few minor changes.
Here at Jackman’s Lodge, we consider it key that residents live the life they want to live, and there are several things we’d happily allow and even encourage. So when you move your loved one to a care home, consider one of the following ways you can make their room feel more homely.
Put up Family Pictures
One of the easiest ways to make your family member feel at home is to put up some pictures. They could be of other members of the family, friends, or favourite places your loved one liked to visit. Not only does it add a personal touch to the room, but it’ll also help them reminisce and keep special memories alive.
Pictures can also serve another purpose. They can be a talking point for staff and visitors and remind your loved one that they’re loved. It doesn’t have to be just old pictures, either. Put up new ones, and you’ll help create new memories.
It’s not uncommon for smells to be associated with specific memories or a person’s home. However, there are ways you can replicate certain smells with the help of air fresheners or scented candles. These items can be very comforting and help your loved one to reminisce.
Emotional Value Items
Certain ornaments or family heirlooms could have immense sentimental and emotional value, so they will help create a sense of home.
Over their lifetime, your loved one may have collected items that hold value. Think about looking for treasures, trinkets, gifts your loved one may have received, or postcards. Bring them to the care home and place them around their room for a more personal touch.
Some care homes allow residents to bring furniture because it’s an excellent way to personalise a room and make it appear more familiar. Your loved one may have a favourite chest of drawers or chair that has sentimental value. Whatever you choose to bring in, remember that furnishing should be fire retardant for the safety of your loved one and other residents.
Bring Their Own Bedding
If the care home allows, consider bringing in your loved one’s bedding or bedspread. It will make an unfamiliar bed feel more comfortable and safer. It’s also possible to add some vibrancy to the room by choosing bright coloured bedding.
So many people have a favourite colour, so you could choose to decorate their room in their favourite shade of yellow, blue, or green, for example. There might also be colourful personal items you can add to the room, not just furnishings. Ask the care home if it would be possible to paint your loved one’s walls to match the colour scheme in their bedroom at home.
If your loved one has a favourite flower, put some in their room to add a touch of personality and create a welcoming feel. Fresh flowers can also be used to bring a lovely smell into the room. But consider whether your loved one, another resident or staff member has allergies. A better option might be silk or dried flowers.
Music plays a massive role in many people’s lives, and often their memories are linked to a specific song or music style.
Help your loved one go back in time so they can re-live precious memories by bringing in a musical device such as a radio or CD player.
Doing things they used to do at home could make them feel happier and more settled. It could be something as simple as a kettle so they can make a hot drink for themselves or family members when they visit.
Try one, two, or more of these care home decorating ideas, and you’ll be surprised what a difference it makes to a new and unfamiliar environment. But don’t forget that one of the easiest and best ways to make a place feel more homely is to call and visit often. And remember that here at Jackman’s Lodge, we think it’s important for their time in our care home should be as close as possible to the one they had before.