What to do when moving into your new Care Home
Moving into a care home can be an emotional and stressful experience. Like anything new, there are nerves about what it’s going to be like, but there is also sadness about leaving your old home and life behind. But, if you know what you need to do and the more prepared you are, the better you will feel when it is time to move and it will help you settle in faster, and help you feel more at home.
Before moving in it might be wise to visit the care home a few times and get used to the surroundings. Say hello to staff and residents and become familiar with the building. This will make the eventual move less strange and may take away some nervousness of what to expect. During your visits begin to plan how you can decorate your room and what activities you might want to join.
Ideas to help you Settle in:
Take your home with you
A great way to feel more comfortable and relaxed is to bring items to help make your room feel more like your home. It is a good idea to decorate your room with personal items and pictures or paintings, and some care homes allow you to furnish your own room, which means you can bring your favourite lounge chair, a TV or even your own bed. This ensures you are familiar with what is around you and can help you settle in better.
Allow staff to get to know you
The better the people caring for you know you, the better they will be at understanding your needs and preferences. A good start is to provide the care home with details of your life in advance, such as where you grew up, your occupation and lifestyle and interests, so the staff can get to know you before you move in.
Notify relevant people of your new address
To ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible and to avoid any hassle once you have moved in, make sure you let the relevant institutions know about your change of circumstances and address. Notify your local council, bank(s), GPs, utility companies etc. as well as friends and family.
Moving into a care home can be one of the most emotionally difficult decisions you have had to make in your life. Although everyone is different, the tips below might help you relieve some of the stress and upset.
- Talking to friends and family or an independent person about it can help you come to terms with the move and help you think positively about the decision.
- Involve yourself in the move as much as possible to ensure your needs and wishes are catered for.
- If the home offers an exercise programme it is a good idea to get involved as exercising is beneficial for both physical and mental wellbeing.
- Visit the home a few times before moving in and imagine how you would like your room to look and what hobbies/activities you will get involved in. Try to imagine your life there in a positive way
- If you start to feel continually anxious or down, it is important you talk to someone about it. Staff at the home, your GP and friends and family are all there to support you.
- Arrange for friends and families to visit so you have familiar faces for the first few weeks but also try to meet new people.
Knowing what to take:
The move and knowing what and what not to take can be very stressful. The Care Home should be able to help answer any questions you may have. Here are the key things you need to do or take with you:
- Clothing – no need to take everything on the first day, moving into a care home can be scary without emphasising it is for ever
- Personal items to make it feel like home – you need to bring enough to make it homely but be careful not to over clutter.
- Medication – care home staff can only give prescribed medication so ensure all tablets are in their original boxes
- Dietary requirements – make sure the home is aware of any dietary requirements before you join them.
- Signed contract and initial payment – it is important that you have a contract signed; it is a CQC requirement and protects the home and the resident. Check that you know what is included in your care home fees so you are not surprised later.
- Complete any paperwork beforehand and bring with you so its one less thing to worry about on the first day
- If you are acting as an attorney, the home will need to see the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) otherwise, by law, they are not allowed to let you make any decisions for the resident.