Moving is one of our most stressful life changes. When you add in the emotions that are a normal part of moving into an assisted living home, it can ratchet the stress level up to 11.
One of the factors contributing to that stress is the fact that you’re moving into the unknown. Personalizing your space goes a long way toward making the unknown feel known and comfortable. It also helps create a sense of identity, similar to the way many employees personalize their desk or workspace.
If your parent still lives at home, take a few photos of its current décor. This helps you arrange their new home to resemble their former home.
Please remember that not all assisted living homes have the same guidelines around room décor. Before making changes, talk to the management to determine what the facility does and does not allow.
Bring Personal Photographs
Photos of friends and family immediately make a space feel more like home, so include these in your parent’s new home. If you took photos of your parent’s former home, you can easily arrange their personal photographs in similar patterns.
Decorate with their Personal Furniture
If the facility allows it, moving in some of your parent’s personal furniture helps create a homey feeling. Some assisted living homes allow residents to fill their rooms with personal furniture; others allow only one or two pieces. A small chair or table, lamps, a dresser or bookcase, may seem like small changes but they can have a big impact.
Add a Touch of Greenery
Adding indoor plants to a room serves multiple purposes. First, of course, they look attractive and make a room look and feel more inviting and less sterile. Second, live plants improve air quality. Finally, giving your parent something to care for, even a plant, helps instill a sense of purpose and responsibility. Look for nontoxic varieties, such as African violets, spider plants, and Boston ferns. Placing the plant near a window helps ensure it receives ample sunlight.
Buy New Bedding
Most people moving into an assisted living home need new bedding. This allows you to pamper your parent with new bedclothes that are attractive, soft, and comfortable. Look for bedding in their favorite colors or patterns. Or, if your circumstances allow it, take your parent with you when you go shopping to turn an errand into enjoyable quality time together.
Hang a Bulletin Board
A bulletin board lets your parent display greeting cards, post photos and snapshots, hang reminders and calendars, or put up any other items they’d like. If you worry about pins, or your parent has dexterity issues, a ribbon bulletin board looks attractive and safely displays items without having to use pins.
As with personal photographs, wall art makes your parent’s new home feel personal and cheery. The snapshots you took of their old home helps recreate that décor in their new home.
Include Visitor Seating
If space allows, include seating for a visitor in your parent’s room. If there isn’t enough space, a folding chair tucks easily behind a door, under the bed, or in a closet, and doesn’t present a tripping hazard.
Paint the Walls
For a truly personalized space, painting the walls, or even a single wall, in your parent’s favorite color goes a long way toward creating a homey, cheerful room. Again, check with the home’s management team. They may charge a small fee, or require repainting if your parent moves away.
The caregivers at East Shea Assisted Living do all we can to make our residents feel comfortable. If you have any questions, or requests about personalizing your parent’s new home, our team is happy to work with you.