Moving into a care home – top ten tips

Moving into a care home – top ten tips

We understand that moving a loved one into a care home can be an emotional and difficult time for all involved.  We’d like to share some ideas to make the settling in process easier.

  1. Ideally agree the care home with your loved one before they move in and visit together if possible.  If the person moving into the home is already slightly familiar with their new surroundings it will help the settling in process and they will also feel involved in the selection process.
  2. On the day, the person may be reluctant or have forgotten the arrangement. Try to reduce their anxieties, and think in advance about anything that might cause conflict, so you can avoid it.
  3. You could explain the move is a trial, and that a review will take place after a settling in period. Many families approach the issue of long-term care by arranging a short ‘respite’ stay in the home beforehand, again to make the new surroundings more familiar.
  4. Make your relative’s/ friend’s room as homely as possible.  Ensure any photos are easy to access, so you can put them up as soon as you arrive. Place pictures of family and friends, and items like ornaments that they treasure around the room. If they have a favourite blanket, cushion or pillow, make sure this is in their room as well. By making the room more like home it will help to sooth both you and them during this period of transition.
  5. Wardrobe space is often limited, so think carefully about what clothing to take. We recommend clothes that are easy to take on and off and layers of clothing which can easily be added or removed depending on the temperature.  Clothes will need to be machine washable and ideally labelled.
  6. Getting used to the layout of the building will help everybody to feel more confident in  the new surroundings. We suggest a walk in the gardens or finding the dining room. Ask the staff if you’re unsure where anything is.
  7. Agree when you are next going to visit, ideally the next day to start with, so that it will only be a short time before you see your loved one again.
  8. Agree a rota of visits with other friends and family.  This avoids everybody turning up at once and also means the visits will be nicely spread out.
  9. Keep talking to the staff who are there to help.  If you have any concerns or queries, the staff should be able to help and also offer support and guidance.
  10. Our final tip is to stay connected. Keep involved with the care home; attend any events they may run or volunteer to help when required. Social media groups will often allow you to know what’s going on at the care home when you can’t be there, so you still feel connected.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the care of a loved one, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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