Ah, the comforts of home. They can make a big difference when it comes to personalizing a room in a long-term care facility. Small touches like photographs and plants can make a room seem warmer and comforting. But adjusting to new surroundings is also about more than just what a room looks like. It’s about making the most of where you are.
Whether it’s for yourself or a loved one, these tips for making a temporary or permanent move into a rehabilitation or long-term care center may help make things a bit easier:
MAKE IT PERSONAL
Decorate the space with favorite photos, artwork and plants (real or artificial). Request a specific curtain or window treatment and don’t forget to pack a favorite robe or loungewear for when you just want to feel cozy. Larger pieces are provided, and small and meaningful furniture is allowed and encouraged!
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
While friends and family may come and visit, it’s still important to build relationships with other residents. Get to know people during meal times, group activities or even during therapy sessions for physical or occupational wellness. Chat with the staff and get to know the “team” that takes care of you or your loved one. That small step can aid in improving the quality of your experience.
PARTICIPATE IN ACTIVITIES
Check out the site’s event calendar – what activities do you like or want to try? It’s never too late to learn something new! Go on site-sponsored field trips or bus outings if they’re offered and if you’re physically able to. Even if you’re not a natural “joiner,” attending maybe one or two events a month may help you feel more at home with your new surroundings.
LABELING AND LEAVE-BEHINDS
Before you move, make sure you label your clothes and belongings. Lastly, it’s typically recommended that residents do not bring in any valuable jewelry, heirlooms or fragile items, as these things can easily be lost, broken or even misplaced.
While moving into long-term care may be difficult, it can also be considered a milestone: It provides a sense of relief for both the resident and his/her caregiver that vital health and wellness needs can be met in a safe and welcoming environment. Making the transition feel more like moving to a new home – with all the excitement, opportunities and creature comforts that entails – can add to the experience.