Autumnaged Care

How to feel at home in an aged care facility

Autumnaged Care

How to feel at home in an aged care facility

Moving into an aged care facility can be a daunting experience.

The person has to cope with a new environment in an aged care facility. They are no longer surrounded by the familiarity and comforts of home, and they have busy, unfamiliar people all around them.

It’s not hard to understand they may feel overwhelmed and upset.

Moving into aged care also often coincides with the loss of ability or poor health, which can make the move even more trying.

But the move into aged care also has its positives.

The resident will be able to receive around-the-clock care, medical assistance is always nearby, and there are likely to be more opportunities to socialize.

At Autumn Aged Care, there are several ways we can help to ease the transition for new residents into our aged care facility.

Helping residents settle in

What can carers do to make new residents feel more at home?

  • · Encourage the resident to familiarise themselves with the facility before they move in. Could they visit the home before they walk in, and even share a meal with the other residents?
  • · Let staff and other residents know a new resident is moving in. Encourage them to welcome the person, and if possible, tell them a little about the person so they know what to expect and what the person might be interested in talking about.
  • · Explain what is happening to the resident, and what they should expect as they settle in. Let them know it’s understandable for them to feel unsettled at first, but that it will pass. Explain daily activities and routines.
  • · Build positive relationships with family and keep communication channels with them open. Warn the family the resident may feel anxious at first, and that this is normal. Keep family informed about how the resident is settling, even letting them know what the resident has been up to. Ask family if they have received any feedback from the resident and encourage them to visit often.
  • · Does the resident have any cultural or language requests? Understanding the resident’s cultural identity will help make the resident feel understood, respected, valued and that they are being treated with dignity.
  • · Suggest the resident bring some of their own possessions with them, including old photos, artworks, their own drinking glass or cups and saucers, and even furniture, such as a favourite chair. Being surrounded by familiar possessions will help make the resident feel at home. Help them, or encourage family, to set up the new room so it is familiar and comforting for them.
  • · Answer the resident’s questions patiently, keeping in mind the enormous change they are going through. Think about a time you have been through a significant difference in your life, and how you would have liked to be reassured.
  • · Learn about the resident’s life story. Talking to them about their lives and their memories is likely to make them feel happy, and will also reassure them they are around people who care about them. You may like to help the resident put together a scrapbook about their life that others can look at.
  • · Find out about the person’s interests. Is it possible for the resident to continue taking part in some of those activities? Can they play their favourite music on earphones? Do they have books they’ll enjoy available to them?
  • · Encourage the person to take part in the activities at the nursing home. Participating will help the person get to know other residents and make them feel involved.
  • · Give them time. It generally takes around four weeks for a new resident to settle into their new home. If, at first, you notice the resident seems down or even confused, it could just be that they are adjusting to the change. Although of course if these signs persist, you should consult a doctor.
  • · But most importantly, maintain a positive attitude. Let the resident know it’s normal to feel worried and even sad at first. Talk about the positives of being in care, and reassure them that their new home will really feel like ‘home’ before they know it.
Autumnaged Care

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