What you can do to make your care home feel like home
When moving into a care home or a care community, residents are often leaving behind a family home, or place they have loved for many years. That transition can be daunting, and a little sad. Much can be done by both family members and staff in the care community to help the move to be viewed in a positive light, and even looked forward to.
One of the simplest approaches is to ensure that the residents in your care home feels like they are moving into a home, not an institution or facility, by involving them in the decisions surrounding care home furniture. There are a number of areas within the home that can be identified as an opportunity for homely touches.
For many care home residents, their bedroom will be their domain, the only place that they have autonomy; everywhere else will be a communal area. This therefore becomes the prime area to help them feel at home.
General care home furniture and furnishings will be supplied by the home upon move in. Many residents will of course be able to bring touches of themselves to their own room with artwork, family photos or trinkets; for example, some may even bring a favourite armchair or other soft furnishings. This should be encouraged and welcomed, space providing.
Bedrooms should be individual, decorated accordingly and if possible, future residents consulted on colour schemes and furniture type. Soft furnishings, such as curtains, throws and cushions are easy to change and low cost, therefore making them ideal items to personalize for the resident through offering a choice of fabric colour and pattern. Ensuring the room fits the personality and style of the resident will help them to feel right at home straightaway.
The communal, shared areas of care homes are as important as the bedrooms to help residents feel settled and part of a community. Residents need to feel that, wherever they are spending time, they are at home.
The furniture you choose for your care home goes a long way to giving it that sense of being a home. Care home furniture should be comfortable and stylish as well as hardwearing and sturdy – it should not look institutional or dated. Thoughtful décor and tasteful use of colour can all help to move away from the old image of a musty, grey box. The furniture in your care home needs careful consideration.
When furnishing or refurnishing rooms in a care environment, thought should be given to the overall look and desired finish. Rather than having a “take what we can get” attitude, a sense of pride can be instilled by creating a finished room, not a mismatched jumble of furniture.
Lounges and dining areas are focus points of any care home, and making them appealing will encourage socialization and activity for residents – an important aspect of life in a care home, and in building a community feel.
If possible, why not allow residents to have a say in how communal rooms will look. This will not only provide a fun activity (and possibly some lively debate!) but it will instill a sense of belonging and ownership that many residents may be feel they do not have. Order a few of our brochures to browse over a coffee morning, create mood boards with residents and find out what would make them feel at home. Residents will have ideas of how they view the care home furniture, how it should be placed, upholstered and used and this should be encouraged – after all, they are the ones that will be using the items on a regular basis.
Involving residents from the early stages of a redecoration project will also help with making sure that everything is well kept, furniture treated well and therefore lasting longer. Human nature is such that being involved in the creation of something gives a sense of pride and responsibility.
Many residents will enjoy discussing colour schemes, the merits of different furniture in each room and room organization. This will help them feel more at home once the redecoration is completed. Redecoration will also make visits with family more appealing, another added bonus that will help encourage that feeling of “home” within the care environment.
We can help
If you are looking at the furniture in your care home and would like some help to bring it up to date, or help give your residents a sense of belonging then Furncare can help.
There are many opportunities available, to remind care home residents that they are at home. Here at Furncare, we pride ourselves on our imagination, understanding and sense of care in everything that we do, if you would like to talk to us about new care home furniture, or a redecoration project, please contact us today.
We also have our own interior designers available to help plan the perfect redecoration for your care home, or help a new resident with their bedroom.