How could your relative feel more at home in a care home room?
Going into a care home is not something most people relish, and it can be a very hard decision for a family who feel there’s little alternative but to arrange a care home place for a relative.
Even if it’s a good care home, it can still feel strange – and yet it really needs to feel like home. There’s no place like home, and making sure your relative can feel at home is important.
If you’re in this situation, there are lots of things you can do to make it feel more comfortable for your relative – and like home – and help the care home staff to get to know your relative in a more meaningful way, too.
Here are five ideas:
- Create a scrapbook with photos of people and places that help trigger memories and conversations.
- Get some photos enlarged and put on the wall, positioned where your relative can see them easily. (Check first that the care home doesn’t mind you putting things on the wall.)
- Put some photos in frames by your relative’s bed – as long as they won’t get knocked over or present a hazard.
- Get a DVD player installed in your relative’s room, and find some of your relative’s favourite films and comedies. It’s nice for your relative to be able to watch them with you and with the whole family.
- Get children and grandchildren of all ages to paint or make pictures at school or at home, and put these up in your relative’s room. The colours in these are guaranteed to brighten things up, and it means the children still feel part of their relative’s life – and vice versa.
Creating familiarity and comfort, and environment that feels a little bit more like home, can make a big difference for someone in a care home. And, of course, familiarity is particularly important for someone with dementia.
What ideas have worked for your relative, to help them feel more at home in a care home?