Jazzing It Up: Easy Ways to Personalize a Care Home Room
Edited: October 16, 2019
Sadly for all of us, my mother recently moved into a nursing home facility after having broken her hip by a fall. Moving to an assisted living care facility or nursing home brings many changes; new environments, new faces, new routines and possibly new procedures. Personalizing your loved one’s living space gives a sense of the familiar and can ease the transition into a new place and bring a bit of comfort and cheer once your loved one has settled in.
However, before you begin this move, be sure to find out what the nursing home’s regulations are concerning personalizing rooms. Some facilities do not allow you to bring in outside furniture or hang anything on the walls. Also, it is recommended that you do not bring in any valuable jewelry, heirlooms, or fragile items, as these things can easily be lost, broken or even stolen. Label all items and clothing clearly with your loved one’s name for easy return should they be unwittingly carried off or left behind.
That said, here are some simple ideas for making a new room feel more like home:
Cover the light switch plate.
This may sound simple or silly, but replacing the generic, plain light switch plate with another covered with colorful fabric or some other personalization is a quick and easy way to add character to the room and make it feel a little more personal. You can use some favorite fabric and mod podge for an inexpensive, homemade switch plate, or you can purchase a fun one online if you wish.
Bring in a favorite bedspread.
A favorite soft comforter or quilt brings a piece of home into a new place. A lot of online furniture stores offer a wide selection of bedspreads. You can coordinate the color scheme of the entire room based on the bedspread (even if you aren’t able to change those rather unattractive window treatments), or if you wish, you can change the bedspread seasonally to add some variety.
Put up some photos.
Familiar faces on the dresser or the walls help remind elderly family members that they are loved. You can create a photo collage, put pictures in small frames that can be arranged around the room, or put together a photo album to place on a bedside table. Of course, there also digital versions of photo albums available. Update photos every so often to show how your family has grown and changed.
Decorate the door.
Many care homes allow their residents to hang decorations such as wreaths on their doors. Making a wreath may be a fun craft for your loved one to do with younger relatives on a rainy day.
Freshen up with flowers.
Real flowers are often prohibited in nursing homes because they can bring in spores and other allergens, but a basket of pretty silk flowers in coordinating colors or greenery around the edges adds color and a fresh feel to a nursing home room. My mother used to be a floral designer and so my sister brought in some silk flowers for her to make her own arrangement. She was thrilled and will refresh the arrangement each season.
Bedspreads and decorations can do wonders for a standard-issue room in a nursing home, but the thing that makes a new room feel like home the most is when friends and family are there. If home is where the heart is, then when loved ones gather together, even an elderly care facility can feel like home.
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