Are you about to move into a care home or assisted living community? If so, you’ll know how difficult it can be. But, if it does become necessary, there are ways to make your new abode feel more homely straight away.
Although a room in a care home can’t replace a family home, it doesn’t need to feel clinical or impersonal. No matter why you’re moving into a care environment, your new room can become your space where you can feel safe and comfortable.
In this blog, we’ll explore ways to make your care home room feel more like home by giving it a personal touch. Most care homes are more than happy for you to bring along some personal possessions and home comforts. After all, they want you to feel as happy and comfortable as possible.
Moving into a care home or assisted living care facility brings many changes, such as a new environment, routines, people, and processes. Personalising your new room provides a sense of familiarity and can make the transition more comfortable and easy.
We all have our own decorating styles, whether we’re aware of it or not. Many people simply have specific ways in which they like a space to look and feel. A room in a care home or retirement facility can feel clinical because they’re designed to be neutral and inoffensive.
You can make your apartment or room feel like home by adding your own style. But how do you go about doing this?
Our Top 14 Ways to Give your Care Home Room a More Homely Feel
To make your transition to your new care home easier, we have covered everything you need to know about moving into your new space below. Just take a look at the following ideas for some inspiration.
1 – Decorate with meaningful photographs
Putting up photographs of friends and family members, travel adventures, and special occasions is the perfect way to make your space feel more homely. Photos can help you reminisce, keeping your memories alive and helping you feel closer to your loved ones.
Even if you didn’t have any photographs hanging in your previous home, having your life experiences in frames around your living area is a great decorative idea, and it can help make the room your own. Having photographs of familiar faces around all the time can be very comforting.
Photos can also provide a good talking point for staff and visitors, reminding you of how much you’re loved. Don’t forget, you can also hang up new photos as well, as creating memories in your new home is important too.
2 – Add your favourite colours
Colours can have a powerful effect on your mood. Decorating your new room in your favourite colour scheme helps to create a home from home feeling. This includes personal items as well as decorating and furnishing.
If the care home will allow it, have your room painted to match the colour scheme in your old bedroom, so it creates a familiar space.
3 – Freshen up with flowers
Having your favourite flowers in your room adds personality and a welcoming touch to the space. The familiar smell of fresh flowers can be comforting, but be aware of bacteria and allergens. For this reason, dried or silk flowers are a great alternative, and they still bring a little life into the space.
Another great way of livening up your room is by decorating your door with a beautiful wreath. Making your wreath can also be a fun craft activity to do when younger relatives come to visit.
4 – Introduce homely smells
Smell is the sense that’s most linked to memory, and it can evoke memories and nostalgic feelings. For that reason, introducing your favourite scents can be incredibly comforting. Every home has a scent that can be tricky to replicate, but scented candles and air fresheners in your favourite aromas can help achieve this.
Bringing items from your home that have familiar smells will add to the homely feeling, and it’s another great way to personalise the room.
5- Bring your personal items
What makes a house a home is the personal items and memories that live in it. So when moving into a care home or assisted living community, don’t leave them behind. Ornaments and collectables can hold a lot of sentimental value, creating a homely feel.
Lots of people collect items over time, each one holding sentimental value such as presents from loved ones or treasures from travelling. Placing these items in your room will help to make your room your own.
If possible, bringing your furniture, such as your favourite chair, is another excellent way of personalising your room and making it feel more familiar. Additionally, items like a chest of drawers or a bedside table are functional as well as familiar.
6 – Add soft furnishings
As well as silk flowers and your favourite chair, adding your favourite soft furnishings will create a home from home feeling. Cushions, curtains, bedspreads, and bed linen can all add the homely finishing touches to your room.
They can also help to inject colour and brighten up the room, helping you feel more secure and comfortable.
If the care home doesn’t allow painting or redecorating, adding your favourite soft furnishings is the perfect way to make the room feel more familiar and comfortable. Also, soft furnishings tend to hold familiar smells as well, so you can bring the scent of your house with you to the care home.
7 – Make a memory box
Memory boxes are a great way of keeping important items and personal trinkets safe. Creating your memory box is also a nice thing to do with your family members before you move into the care home.
The great thing about memory boxes is that they’re so easy to make. You don’t need a fancy container; a simple cardboard box of any size will work perfectly. You can decorate the outside of the box in your favourite colours to make it even more fun.
But what do you put inside a memory box? Anything that evokes memories and is important to you can be placed in the box. For example, photographs from your younger years are lovely to look back on.
Other items you could put in the box include old tickets from special events, something that reminds you of your work life, favourite books, or small mementoes.
8 – Display cards from loved ones
Birthday, anniversary, and Christmas cards can all give you a sense of comfort and displaying them is another excellent way of making your space brighter and cosier.
You can create beautiful card displays, making them the room’s focal point. Having cards out on display will also be a constant reminder of how loved and cherished you are.
9 – Replicate a space from home
Replicating a space from home can help to give your new home a familiar feel. We aren’t talking about completely remaking an entire room piece by piece, as this would prove to be quite tricky.
If you have a particular piece of furniture that you keep a vase on and regularly fill with fresh flowers, have figurines or small sculptures set out in a certain way, or even a variety of family photos, it is possible to replicate this scene.
Even simple ideas like this will make moving into a care home or new environment more manageable.
10 – Use your own bedding
The first night in a new environment can always be tricky. If the care home permits, using your own bedding is one way to ensure you get a good night’s rest.
You will be familiar with how it feels, and it will also help to give your new room that personal touch. You will also be able to use it to dictate the colour scheme of your new room.
11 – Make the most of music
Like scent, music can hold sentimental value for individuals with strong associations to family members, friends and different life events.
Having a CD player with a selection of your favourite artist’s music, or even a radio will help to add a bit more life to the room and allow you to enjoy your spare time.
You will be able to enjoy music as you get ready in the morning, prepare for bed, or if you have family and friends over to visit.
12 – Maintain some independence
For many people, the idea of moving into a care home comes with the fear of losing their independence. This does not have to be the case.
If you have hobbies like knitting or sewing, bringing your materials and equipment will allow you to keep up with them.
Having a kettle can also be a great way of maintaining an independent routine, whether enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning, settling down in the evening with a cup of tea, a biscuit, or enjoying a good book.
When bringing any items like a kettle into care homes, you should check to see if they are allowed. For safety reasons, certain items may not be permitted.
13 – Create a hosting area
Creating a nice hosting area for family and friends when they visit means you can enjoy their company without worrying about finding seats. A few chairs and a table will be more than enough for you to sit together and catch up over a hot drink.
Having your own designated area for visitors will be more comfortable and make your space feel more like home.
Maintaining regular contact will be necessary for anyone moving into a new home. Though you will want to start enjoying your new routines and begin making new memories, keeping in touch with loved ones is very important for your mental health.
14 – Set up your TV
Most care homes will have a day room that all the residents will have access to. You might find that activities are planned here as well as entertainment that includes books, games, and a TV.
Having your own TV in your room will let you keep up with your favourite shows. This sense of routine can help people to settle in more quickly.
It will give you a private space that you will be able to relax in, and you will not need to worry about booking time for the right channel to be on the communal TV. It will also let you concentrate on your favourite shows without interruptions or distractions.
It can also be good when entertaining friends or family. After all, not every visit has to have a free-flowing conversation from start to finish, and sometimes it is just nice to have someone there.
Feeling unsettled and homesick is completely normal when you’re in a new setting, so don’t be disheartened if it feels difficult at first. It’s important to make your living area feel like home in your own time and when you’re ready.
Before you start the move, find out what the care home’s rules and regulations are when it comes to personalising rooms. For example, some places don’t allow things such as outside furniture or anything that has to be hung on the wall.
It’s also recommended that you don’t take any very valuable jewellery, breakables, or other fragile items in case they get broken or lost. Before you move, be sure to label everything with your name should they get left behind or misplaced.
If you are helping someone move into a care home because they are not as capable as they once were, it is vital that you ensure your loved one’s room will be welcoming for them. Care homes and dementia units will have their own rules, and it will be worth discussing what will be allowed with them.
Hopefully, the ideas and advice in this blog will have given you some inspiration and help make your new home more familiar and comfortable.