Moving into a care home checklist
You have probably moved house once or twice (it’s quite difficult to forget!) and moving into a care home is like that but with a few more considerations. Apart from the change to your lifestyle, there are some specifics you need to bear in mind.
1. Check if you can take items of furniture with you.
This might sound obvious, but how much space you’ll have will determine what you can take with you. And different care homes have different rules on items of furniture, and this may depend on how they match up to safety guidelines (fire retardancy, for example). Ask if you can take your favourite armchair, chest of drawers or bureau. If you know the size of your room, you can more easily visualise what might fit where. And do you need to provide bedding and towels or are these included in the fees?
2. Which personal items do you want to take?
Moving into a care home is downsizing like never before. You will have to choose your personal effects carefully – pictures, photographs, ornaments. Check what you can hang on the walls and if you’ll need someone to do this for you. It might be difficult to be super selective, but you won’t want too many items filling your room. Perhaps you could ask your family to keep a box of ornaments and rotate them every so often, so you have a change and get to keep more.
You will have to choose your clothes carefully too as storage space for clothes will also be limited. Everything will need to be machine washable – check on the care home’s policy of labelling clothes, whether by name or room number.
Electrical items will probably need to be safety checked by the care home’s electrician. Again, find out what you can and can’t take.
You are bound to have some valuables you want to take but make sure these will be covered by the care home’s own policy and take out your own if necessary.
3. Do you have any pets?
Some care homes can cater for certain pets whilst some don’t allow any. Be sure on your own home’s rules and either arrange for your pet to arrive once you’ve settled, or ask for help rehoming them before you move.
4. Will you have a phone in your room?
Being able to stay in touch with your family and friends will help you feel like your life isn’t changing too much. Ask if you will have a phone line in your room, or if you can take a mobile phone with you. Perhaps you’re used to sending emails or making online video calls – check if you will still be able to do this and if you need your own laptop.
5. Communicate your preferences
From the food you like and dislike, any diet you follow, activities you particularly enjoy or not and any morning or bedtime routines you have – tell your new care home and they’ll accommodate you as much as possible. It’s important for you to retain your individuality and they will respect that.
Moving into a care home is an upheaval. But if you try and embrace your new lifestyle, join in with activities and make friends with the other residents, the transition to the next phase of your life will be much more enjoyable.