New Room, New Home. How to Make Your New Space Feel Like Home!
Moving in to an aged care home can pose a challenging time for both residents and their loved ones alike.
Here at Mayflower we aim to make this transition as easy as possible, and we aim to make every day better for you by providing genuine, individually tailored support and care. It is important to us that you feel comfortable and a real sense of homeliness in your new space, and we encourage you to personalise your room with familiar possessions until that contentment is reached.
This transitional period gives opportunity for family and friends to work together, spend quality time in each other’s company and to play an important role in helping their loved one to settle in to their new home.
It is important to us that anyone moving in to Mayflower feels happy and settled, and Mayflower staff How to make your new room your new home
The space we live in is important to us and bringing in personal items that give you a sense of comfort and home, as well as personalizing your new space can really help make your transition that little bit easier both practically and emotionally.
Simply by changing some of your language, and encouraging regular visitors to do the same, and referring to your room as “home” can also help your mind transition to your new environment.
Below are a few tips to help your new space have a lovely sense of home.
Give those walls some colour and interesting texture. By adding colourful tapestries, a small corkboard with memos and cards from loved ones, memorabilia of milestones such as special birthdays, framed photos that help tell your story and your favourite artwork, you can really make bare walls sing. At Mayflower, our maintenance staff will be happy to help you hang these safely. Soft furnishings such as quilts, familiar doona covers, doilies and table runners can really soften and personalise a space. You may also want to put up some colourful drawings or notes from younger members of your family such as artwork from the grandchildren on your wall.
Familiar items can make all the difference. Some of us find nothing better than to cosy-up with a favourite book or catch up with current affairs in the daily paper. Bringing in your favourite armchair to relax in, if it is still practical for you to use, can be a great piece of furniture to add to your new home. Don’t forget to bring in plenty of clothing that you feel comfortable in and can wear throughout the seasons. Sometimes just putting on a warm cardigan you have worn for years is just the comfort you need.
Bring a little extra life in to your new home: By adding a living indoor-plant to your décor scheme you can really add some life and beauty to your room, helping you feel more relaxed and at-home. Plants help clean the air in a room by removing carbon dioxide and ozone and releasing oxygen. Studies have shown that indoor plants can reduce stress, boost mood and creativity, and deliver positive changes in the brain's electrical activity, muscle tension and heart activity. You may also wish to consider having a pet fish in a small tank such as a goldfish (away from sunlight and power-points, of course!).
Bring in some activities to keep your mind and hands busy: By bringing in some books you would love to read, knitting or craft supplies, word puzzles and word games, computer or tablet, or subscribing to your favourite newspaper, you can keep your mind and hands busy while you settle in.
The “do’s” of making your space feel like home:
- Do remember familiarity and comfort is key to designing your new space
- Refer to your new room as “home”
- Favourite armchair from home that is still practical
- Keep safety and size in mind when choosing furniture to go in to the new room
- Put up framed artwork, awards, learning achievements or photographs that really mean something to you and help tell your story
- Favourite doona cover or quilt
- Throw cushions and throw rug
- Reading lamp for reading the morning paper, knitting, etc.
- Decorate your door with a name plaque or wreath
- Favourite clock that is easy to see
- Table cloth, doily or table runners for the bedside table and other furniture you may bring
- Decorative book, corner or wall helves to display photos and keep-sakes such as trophies, awards and collectables
- A living indoor plant or silk flower arrangement
- Cork-board for collecting cards, photos, memos, etc
- Extra chest of drawers for storing clothes, stationary or craft supplies
- A small table for puzzles or your current novel
- Favourite books, craft supplies, card games and other things you enjoy doing
- A small trunk or storage ottoman – these are great for storing a throw rug, knitting supplies, magazines etc
- Ask your friends and family to bring in your pets for a visit
- Label copies of your photographs in frames “e.g. John Smiths youngest son, John Jnr” – this can help stimulate conversation with staff and visitors, and is great reminder of who loves you
The “don’ts” of a homely approach:
- Floor rugs and carpets can pose a safety risk for anyone entering the room
- Don’t overcrowd the room so much that mobility aids can’t be easily navigated through
- Avoid bringing in any valuable or fragile items
- Avoid bringing items that can become a trip hazard, such as decorative table legs
- If you already own something that is familiar to you, and you like it, don’t replace it with something new
- Don’t forget to discreetly label items and clothing