Moving into a care home or assisted living facility is a significant change for your loved one. It can be a great decision that improves their health and well-being, gives them a better quality of life, and even raises their life expectancy. But those first few days and weeks can be challenging. They might feel homesick, anxious, and unsettled. Doing what you can to help them to feel at home can be a great way to help them reap the benefits of their new lifestyle. Here’s a look at some things you could do to help them settle in.
Give them Time
Some care homes have guidelines about when you should and shouldn’t visit. They might ask you to stay away for the first few weeks to help your loved one adjust to their new home. Even if they don’t, your loved one might prefer to spend time alone. Have an honest conversation with them and their carers about what to do for the best.
Help Them to Explore
Places like this Mansfield care home have a lot to explore in the surrounding area, as well as on-site. Your loved one might feel anxious about getting out and about on their own, so go with them. Take them for a walk around the local area and spend some time looking at facilities on site and in the grounds with them. This will help them feel more comfortable and mean they can get out and about without you.
Help Them to Create a Home They Love
When they first move in, their rooms might feel a little bland and impersonal. This can make it much harder to feel at home. Spend some time with them, creating a comforting and safe space. They may be able to decorate and bring in their own furniture, but even if decorating isn’t an option, there’s a lot that you can do with the addition of accessories, home comforts and finishing touches like photos and memoirs from home.
One of the best things about moving into assisted living is the social life it offers older adults. Your loved one might be used to living alone and may have struggled with loneliness, and getting out can be hard. Taking them to see groups and clubs at the home, talking to neighbours and saying hi to other people can make it easier for them.
Plan Regular Visits
Visiting regularly will help your loved one to feel safe and loved. It will also give them a chance to show you how well they are doing and to show you and your family off to their new friends.
Make Yourself Available
There may be times when they reach out to you for comfort and support as they settle in. Make sure you are available for a chat or visit when they need you to be and that they can use tools like video chat to make communication easier.
One of the best things you can do to help your loved one settle is offer support and reassurance. Be there for them, spend time enjoying their new location together, and take the lead in showing them how much fun they can have.