Moving into a care home is not easy. It means giving up precious independence, familiarity and routine, and it can be a daunting and stressful time for new residents, especially those living with dementia. So how do you help newcomers adjust to their new home? Let’s take a look at some simple tricks to make the transition easier, from interior design ideas to assistive technology that can make life safer and easier for those in your care.
Make it feel homely
Your residents will have moved from their own personal space to a shared environment, where they will most likely live out the rest of their lives. So it’s important to make it feel as homely as possible. Make sure there’s plenty of space for photos in their rooms, use soft and familiar furnishings such as bedspreads, cushions and throws, and arrange rooms to allow for socialising and hosting, so residents always feel that their relatives are welcome.
Draw on personal memories
Making a care home feel personal is a crucial part of integration. Encourage new residents to celebrate their memories with photo albums or creating memory boxes – where they fill a box with treasured possessions. This is particularly helpful for those with dementia, as it can trigger past memories and help them feel more settled. Even stimulating the senses, such as recreating familiar scents using perfumes, air freshener or potpourri, can help new residents feel at home and at ease.
Cosy and clear spaces
Sometimes care homes can feel a little like hotels, or even clinical. If you have the space, consider prioritising smaller cosier rooms rather than large shared environments and use furnishings that clearly signpost their purpose, such as designated dining spaces or sitting rooms. With 70% of care home residents living with dementia or memory problems*, this type of signposting can help prevent confusion and alleviate stress.
Invest in assistive tech
We’re living in a golden age of technological development. And for the care sector, which so often suffers from staff shortages and underfunding, technology can be a lifesaver (literally). Safety monitoring technology, such as motion sensors that can alert a carer if someone has fallen or left their room, can help make life easier when looking after those with dementia. Using tech to help residents communicate with family and friends more easily can help combat loneliness. And something as simple as hoists and lifting aids will make both residents and staff feel more secure if someone needs assistance getting up or moving.
Prioritise safety with care home cover
Making interior design changes and introducing new assistive technology could make a big difference to the wellbeing of your residents. But it’s always important to make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong. A comprehensive care home insurance policy will give you protection in case accidents happen or technology fails – offering you peace of mind that you can still make the most of the care home environment to benefit your residents, without putting yourself at risk. 511 words
For more information, contact the Aston Lark Care team on 01622 528 141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org