Whether it’s a decision to move your loved one to a care home because of medical needs that cannot be provided at home, or your loved one simply choosing to live in a care home on their own accord – transitioning to a care home can be a large change. There are going to be adjustments that need to be made, both for you and your loved one, and there are multiple ways to begin supporting your loved one in their transition into a care home. The important piece of information to remember here is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to best support your loved one in a care home. It differs based on their readiness for the transition and yours, too.
CHOOSE FAMILIAR ITEMS AND PHOTOGRAPHS TO PERSONALISE THEIR SPACE
When you moved away from home for the first time, it likely came as a bit of a shock – the same can be said for transitioning your loved one into a care home. Bringing items that are familiar to them, or photographs of their happy memories, can make their new space feel more like home. Familiar items bring about a sense of comfort, so even in a new setting, your loved one has a higher chance of a smoother transition.
It is quite common during the “adaption phase” that residents may experience symptoms of depression as they acclimatise to their new environment. As struggling with a new environment is not an uncommon occurrence, regular visits from their loved ones will aid greatly with their adjustment to living in a new environment with a new community. Whether it’s to come for a quick chat, a cup of tea or even just to enjoy each other’s company – care home residents look forward to visits from their loved ones, and it often makes their day.
LISTEN TO YOUR LOVED ONE
If your loved one has concerns or questions about their new environment, listen to them! As this is a big change out of their normal routine, they’ll want a loved one to speak with that will listen to how their feeling and help them adjust. This communication can allow you to fill in care home staff and make your loved one’s life at their new residence must more fulfilling and an enjoyable experience for you both. It’s important to not dismiss the feelings of your loved one. Providing someone a connection to their support base and to express their emotions validates their sense of self worth.
ENCOURAGE PARTICIPATION IN CARE HOME ACTIVITIES
Staying social is an important aspect of residents’ happiness in a care home. Engaging in social activities in a new environment can be intimidating – especially in an unfamiliar setting. However, with the help of their loved ones, residents can lead much happier lives whilst in a care home. One way to encourage your loved ones to participate in these social activities is to look at their care home’s calendar and pick out certain activities together that they may enjoy.
THIS MAY BE HARDER FOR YOU THAN YOUR LOVED ONE
Moving your loved one into a care home and helping them adjust isn’t just a big change for them, it’s a big change for you as well. If you’re used to the way things were when they lived in their own home, you may find yourself wondering if your loved one is happy, if they’re adjusting well and feel an overall sense of concern for them in their new environment. It’s completely normal. They key is to allow your loved one and yourself to adjust at your/their respective paces and be there to support your loved one when they need it.
Here at the Hollies, we are known for providing high standard care well-tailored to suit each resident that lives at our care home. For more information or for any enquiries please contact The Hollies directly on 01453 541400 or firstname.lastname@example.org