Moving into a care home can be a challenging time, whether you are moving a loved one or you are moving in yourself. You are likely to be dealing with a wide range of emotions, so being fully prepared can help you to reduce any anxiety. We hope that you find our comprehensive checklist helpful and supportive — making you feel more in control of this transition.
Choosing a care home is a big decision — this is a new chapter. A loving and supportive environment is vital for the person moving in to lead their best possible life. Here are some questions you need to ask.
First impressions are all-important — you should get a good feel about the care home on your first visit. The staff should be warm and welcoming — and not just at the first meeting. They need to be nurturing an ongoing welcoming environment — where families feel engaged in their loved one’s care and the person in care feels respected.
There are different types of care services available, so you need to find out what the care home can offer the resident and the resident’s family.
A care home should do more than take care of clinical needs — it needs to have relationship-centred care — an ethos of care which is built around the residents. The resident’s quality of life is directly affected by a positive culture at the core of the care home. You could ask for information on what activities are available for the wellbeing of the residents.
You want to know that the staff involve the residents in their own care as much as possible, for a two-way relationship. The home should tailor the care to the residents’ individual needs rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
Food contributes to our mental health as well as our physical health — so the meals should be jam-packed full of fruit and vegetables — but also need to look appetising. Eating well, with variety, acts as a mood booster. Mealtimes also provide a social opportunity and a highlight of the day. They need to be enjoyable! Ask to see the menus and find out if all dietary requirements are met.
Rather than just moving home, this is about moving lifestyle too. This will be a big change, but you can help make it a smooth experience if you plan as much as possible.
✔ Things with sentimental value
✔ A pinboard for reminders and photos
✔ Cushions and throws
✔ A capsule wardrobe for everyday wear (ideally enough for two weeks)
✔ Clothes for exercising
✔ Clothing for parties or special occasions
✔ Clothes for crafting or art
✔ Warm clothing
✔ A folder or scrapbook about your family, interests and hobbies to show to staff and new friends