Top 10 tips to make moving into a care home easier
Moving into a care home is big change in our lives. At Brendoncare, we go to great lengths to ensure the transition is as easy as possible. Here are our top 10 tips on making this important move.
Moving into a care home is a huge life change, but one that can be incredibly beneficial to your health, wellbeing and personal relationships.
Getting the right care at the right time can change your life for the better. It can allow you more freedom and comfort when your needs can no longer be met at home. Also, visits from loved ones can be enjoyable social occasions.
Having chosen your care home, here are some tips on how to make the most of the move.
1. Home Comforts
A care home isn’t going to just be somewhere you live, it’s going to be your home. Make sure you bring the things that will make your room feel homely and familiar.
Do you have a favourite throw, ornament or picture? Bring them with you! Your room is your living space, so pack those home comforts that will make you feel relaxed and comfortable.
2. Talk to the staff
No one will know your new home quite like the staff working there! From carers to wellbeing coordinators to the chefs and housekeepers, everyone is there to give you the best possible experience.
Have a chat with them early on so they can get to know you, your likes and your dislikes. If you like to go to bed at a certain time or have a favourite breakfast, these are the details they want to know. It will also help them personalise their support to you.
3. Find your way around
When you first arrive, it can be tempting to go straight to your room – but don’t forget to also spend a bit of time having a look around the rest of the home and gardens. Find out where the key areas are. These are the lounges, dining rooms and kitchens. Is there a space where activities take place?
Familiarise yourself with where your room is in relation to everything else – it’ll help you feel more comfortable moving around the home.
4. Make a folder all about you
This may sound silly, but it can be really useful for your carers, nurses and helpers.
Make a folder of information about you – but not just the standard information. Include your hobbies, your favourite song and any key information about your family, what work you’ve done, or places you’ve lived. If you have a favourite birthday cake, make sure they know this!
All these little things make you who you are, and it’s essential that this information is known about by the staff so they can help you feel as at home as possible. This is particularly important for those living with dementia and their family might be able to help with this. Dementia UK has a life story template that might be helpful.
5. Get involved
One of the benefits of living in a care home are the activities it offers. Activities have so many benefits, from physical and mental stimulation, the ability to keep up lifelong hobbies and provide shared experiences. At the same time, they are great for building friendships with others in the home.
We have some incredibly passionate wellbeing co-ordinators at Brendoncare who are committed to offering a wide range of fun and stimulating activities to keep everyone engaged and happy.
Even joining in with general activities of daily living can be extremely beneficial. Some of our homes have been using material citizenship to improve the lives of those living with dementia.
Speaking of lifelong hobbies, try to keep these up where possible! You don’t have to always stay within the home. If you have a regular class or club in your local town, don’t give it up!
These hobbies are so important to our well-being and social life. Your new home should be able to organise a taxi there for you or use it as a good way to catch up with a relative while they give you a lift.
You can also take up new hobbies and activities. Music is always one of the most favourite pastimes in our care homes. We welcome a wide variety of entertainers who provide some fantastic musical memories for everyone. Singing along and dancing is always encouraged.
Bring all your favourite photographs to display around your room. Not only does seeing happy memories lift your spirits, but they make great conversation starters with staff and visitors.
You can talk to your new neighbours about your children, grandchildren or even your beloved pets! Photos of the people and places you love will make your room feel more like your own.
8. Change your address
Moving into a care home is just like moving house – it’s the next step in your life and it’s important to make sure you’ve kept everyone up to date with your change of address.
Whether it be family, friends or other correspondence, it’s helpful to get your change of address out ahead of your move. It’s one less thing to think of and frees you up to spend time meeting your new neighbours.
Make sure you have enough medication to take with you for your move and for a period of time afterwards, particularly if you are moving out of your local town.
9. Medication & health
All homes will have a GP to whom they are linked with whom you can register if needed. If you find it more convenient, you can choose to stay with your own GP.
10. Keep in touch!
We do understand that it can seem like the world is moving on without you when you move, but that’s not the case! Your friends and family will still want to hear from you. They will especially want to hear about how you are settling in along with all the new stories and experiences you’ve had.
We always welcome visitors. If they live some distance away, then why not make the most of technology and have a video call with them? The home’s staff can help you with this.
Moving into a care home is a change but is often a very positive experience. Brendoncare is here to support you from your first visit to your move-in day and beyond.