Making the move from independent living in your own home, able to come and go as you please, to a care home where you must (usually) sign in and out and adhere to the schedules of others can be a big step. Living in a care home is not the best option for everyone. If you need care but would prefer to stay in your own home you could consider in-home aged care, a Care For Family product instead. With in-home care, you can receive the high-quality care you need whilst remaining in the comfort of your own home. However, if you do come to the care home decision, then, you can begin to prepare yourself for life in a care home by learning about what life will be like in the care home. Here are some things to consider.
Can I bring my own furniture?
Many care homes understand the importance of having a place that feels like home and will allow residents to bring their favourite pieces of furniture, such as a preferred armchair, your own television, or a nest of tables. However, fire regulations and health and safety rules will prevent any room from being permitted to become overcrowded, so personal belongings should be relatively small and limited to special pieces only.
What will the daily routine be like?
For someone who has lived a relatively isolated life, suddenly being exposed to a routine of regular meals, safety check-ins, medical check-ups, medication dispensing, and even set bath times can be a difficult transition. However, those who prize their solitude will usually be able to find some peaceful hours every day, while those who thrive on company and social activities will almost always have something to do and someone to talk to.
I’m a modest person – will that be respected?
Care home staff are trained to and discretion, ensuring that privacy screens are in place or doors are closed before assisting with dressing or undressing, or preparation for medical examinations or procedures. Issues such as incontinence are handled equally discreetly, with the correct aids provided so no resident needs to feel shamed or upset by such occurrences. Your personal needs will be noted in your progress notes, so all staff will be aware of your concerns. Needing intimate care can mean that your modesty must take something of a back seat, but you will, at all times, be treated with care, consideration and dignity.
What will I do all day?
There are plenty of activities on offer at , with a little of something for everyone. There are arts and crafts sessions for people of all abilities, a variety of talks, gardening activities, and excursions to various nearby points of interest. Care homes have agreements with hairdressers who pop in every two weeks or so to offer everything from full treatments to simple trims and everything in between, so you can be sure of looking good all the time. For those who like an even quieter life, there are books and puzzles to settle down within a quiet corner.
I need time to myself every now and then…
Everyone needs alone time sometimes and care homes understand that. Most care homes will allow meals to be eaten in-room if you cannot face the others, and you can put your feet up and enjoy your book, a television show or even keeping up with some studying if so desired.
Remember, there are many different types of care homes, so take time to find the one that is right for you or your family member. Once you’ve made your decision, consider all the points mentioned above and take time to settle comfortably into life in a care home.