Moving into a nursing home can be frightening, it is a big change to make, and there are lots of new things to get used to. One of the biggest struggles is leaving a home that someone has lived in for a long time, to somewhere that feels institutionalized. They may have once had their own kitchen, living room and garden, and now their only private space is their room and perhaps a bathroom. It can feel like a prison cell. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help their room feel more homely.
If someone you love is moving into a nursing home, it is important to make yourself aware of the increase of reported cases of elder abuse in nursing homes. This will allow you to step in if you ever need to.
Before making any decisions on how you are going to decorate their nursing home room, be sure to involve your loved one. They may feel that their independence is being taken away from them when they move into a home. And so, it is important that they have as much autonomy in the process as possible.
By adding some color or something of interest to the walls, you will help make it feel personalized and warm. Choose paintings, photographs or tapestries depending on their preferences. You could also look at something with inspirational quotes or something of religious significance if their faith is important to them.
You may want to consider bringing their favorite chair. They may feel more comfortable in this than one that the home provides. Another big factor for many people is bedding. Consider bringing their own blanket and pillows.
Think of things to keep them busy. Boredom can be a huge problem for people in nursing homes, and boredom can be dangerous. It can have an adverse effect on their mental health and wellbeing. Give them easy access to a TV, radio, laptop, or any activities that they enjoy doing. Be sure to label everything and have spare batteries easily accessible.
Any mementos from life achievements or special occasions will help to keep their spirits high and make them feel connected to their past. If they have any awards or medals or perhaps something from their wedding or a special birthday.
Plants bring natural beauty to our living spaces. They also look pretty and improve air quality, which can even improve mental wellbeing. Choose something low maintenance and perhaps give them a small watering can so that they can care for it themselves.
A final idea is a wall calendar or diary with family and friends Birthdays and when they plan to visit. Staff in the home could also add any activities to it. This will help them to feel connected to the outside world as they will be keeping track of days, and they can see what they have to look forward too.