Maintaining a Sense of Home in Long-Term Care 

If a loved one is moving into a long-term care facility, it can be a hard transition. It’s a big change physically, emotionally, and mentally, and it’s only normal for them (and you) to feel nervous our scared. Maintaining a sense of home in long-term care can help ease the transition for both seniors and their family members. While this time might be full of changes, there are things you can do to make this new place feel more like home for your loved one.

  • Find community together. While it may not be possible in every situation, choosing a community or long-term care facility with your loved one can make a big difference. Having them involved in the decision gives them more independence and control. 
  • Choose décor that feels like home. When moving your loved one into their new place, try to make it feel as much like home as possible. You can bring familiar items from their previous home, hang pictures of family, and make the new space feel as homey as possible. Be sure to check with staff at your loved one’s facility on what is and isn’t allowed and ensure that nothing creates a fall hazard or other issue for your loved one or staff members. 
  • Come by often. You and other family members are a great way to make the new facility feel more familiar and like home. Come by as often as you can to help them know that they won’t be isolated from their family just because they’re in a long-term care facility. Encourage other family members to come by as well and call or video chat if they’re not able to come in person. 
  • Encourage your loved one to get involved. While it’s important to retain familiar items and people when someone moves into a long-term care facility, it’s also important to forge new connections. Many long-term care facilities have lots of activities for residents, and this is a great way for them to reduce isolation and loneliness and feel more at home. They can have fun and make new friends. Even encouraging your loved one to attend meals with the other residents, rather than eating them alone in their room can make a big difference.