A guide to supporting your loved one
moving into a care home

Moving into a residential care home can be stressful, not just for your loved one who is making the move, but for you and your family as well. For your loved one, especially if they have dementia or other cognitive conditions, it can be intimidating and confusing, which can be upsetting to see.

Thankfully, there are ways you can make the transition easier so your loved one quickly settles into their new life as a resident in a care home.

In this post, we are going to explore the ways you can help a loved one moving into a care home, including how you can prepare them, what you should pack and how you can help them settle in once they have moved in.

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Preparing for the move

Before your loved one moves into a care home, there are many ways you can prepare them so that they are not shocked, confused or upset on the day itself.

Introduce your relative to the care home

When making such a big move, one of the biggest causes of upset can be the lack of familiarity with their new environment. Take your loved one to the care home to meet staff and the existing residents beforehand so they feel comfortable there before the moving date.

Try to pre-empt any problems

You know your loved one better than care home staff, so try to address any potential problems ahead of time based on what upsets or worries them the most. This can help prevent conflict and anger.

Be open and honest

Sometimes, loved ones will resist the need for them to move into a care home, even though it is to ensure they receive dedicated and experienced care. While honesty may cause some friction, withholding information from your loved one and springing an unwelcome surprise on them is usually met with even more upset.

Talk to care home staff

Before your loved one moves in, speak to the care home team to discuss your worries and concerns with them. They are trained and experienced, so are the best people to help you with the transition.

Put together a checklist

Preparing a moving into a care home checklist will ensure you have everything in place ahead of the move. This includes:

  • Clothes, shoes and accessories
  • Toiletries
  • Medication
  • Personal items such as photographs and ornaments
  • Furniture (check with care home staff with regards to space in their room)
  • Electronics
  • Soft furnishings like blankets or cushions
  • Books, hobby items and games
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Moving day – what you need to know 

On the day of the move, make sure your loved one’s belongings are packed to avoid any last-minute stress. If you are stressed, your loved one could also pick up on this.

Ask a member of the care home team who is familiar with your loved one to greet them and yourself at the entrance. You should also encourage your loved one to speak to residents they have spoken to previously to help them feel at ease.

While your loved one settles in, take the opportunity to prepare their bedroom so it is ready for them as soon as they are taken to it. You should also consider leaving the care home when your loved one is socialising with others or enjoying a meal. This can help prevent upset.

Speak to care home staff ahead of time to check that everything is in place to ensure a smooth transition so you can leave when the moment is right.

How you can help your loved one settle into care

Beforehand, try and take advantage of adult day care services so your loved one can spend time at the care home and get used to being there. This can help make moving day a far less stressful and upsetting experience.

To help create a sense of familiarity, make sure you take items of furniture, ornaments and photographs to use in your loved one’s room. Speak to care home staff and let them know what your loved one likes to watch, listen to or read, their routines, their favourite food and more. Staff are usually happy to accommodate so new residents feel at home straight away.

It might be hard, but for the first week or two, resist the urge to visit your loved one and give them time to acclimatise. It can be tough, especially if they were upset when you left, but visiting too soon can lead to them thinking you are there to take them home.

If there are relatives and residents meetings, try to attend and contribute to discussions. This can help voice any concerns and ensure your loved one has everything they need.

How we help your loved one settle in

Here at Ashberry Care Homes, our experienced teams do everything we can to help your loved one settle in and feel welcomed. We offer personalised, one-on-one care, which involves listening to each of our residents to make sure they receive the care they want and need. We will encourage your loved one to take part however they like, whether that is with one of the many activities, taking a stroll in the gardens or continuing to enjoy their hobbies.

Book a visit (our locations) 

We have several residential care homes across the UK, with each providing affordable but experienced care. Contact a care home today to arrange a visit and see what life is like with Ashberry.

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