It’s no secret that the transition from a home environment to residential care can be a difficult one, particularly for those who have become so accustomed to their familiar belongings and surroundings. Becoming a member of a care community doesn’t have to be daunting; as a trusted family member, you can take simple, yet effective steps to help make the transition easier for your loved one.
The absence of familiar, homely surroundings can be upsetting for those transitioning to residential care. That’s why it’s important to try and create a home-from-home environment in their personal space, incorporating some of their favourite items.
Decorate the room with photos
Distributing your loved one’s favourite photos around their space is one of the best ways to both warm up the space and make settling in easier. Not only do they provide a sense of comfort, they also act as a mood booster in times of difficulty, reminding the individual of their strong support network.
Photos are particularly important for those suffering with dementia. They can help to recall past memories that may be forgotten, and act as visual cues.
Try getting creative with the photo frames – you can use different textures and colours to add points of interest. Tactile stimulation is also great for dementia sufferers, providing sensory experiences that can act as a good distraction technique.
Incorporate familiar items and scents
One of the most effective ways to help your loved one settle into their new environment is, most certainly, encouraging them to bring familiar items with them. This could include their own bed sheets, a favourite blanket, small pieces of furniture or an air freshener. Items that remind them of their home environment and hold sentimental value can help to make the space feel instantly more comforting.
Create a memory box
This is a particularly special touch for dementia sufferers, but can be equally as useful for any resident. Try creating a memory box to give to your loved one that they can keep safe in their personal space. Place a few treasured items in there, and then encourage your loved one to add to it regularly.
Flowers and plants
As humans, we are instinctively drawn towards nature, and our exposure to it has been shown to improve mental health. Try placing a couple of low maintenance plants around the room to purify the air and provide an instant mood booster, as well as some fresh or synthetic flowers to add a wider variety of colour.
Decorating your loved one’s space doesn’t have to be challenging; by simply adding some colour, texture and a few of their most treasured items, you can instantly make the room feel more comforting. At Huntington and Langham Estate, we encourage our residents and their families to personalise their space as much as they can. To find out more about the care we offer, please see here.