A few great tips for making a new aged care home seem familiar

If you are looking for an aged care home in Toowoomba, you have probably thought about how to make the move as easy and painless as possible. Changing homes at any age is stressful, and more so if there are health issues. One of the big concerns we see a lot is the disruption of familiar surroundings. So here’s a few tips that can make it easier.

Fear of change is natural. Talk about it.

Whether you are moving yourself or an older loved one, there will often be hesitations and a sense of loss for the previous life. That’s a natural emotion, especially if the new residence is smaller and unfamiliar. Many times there will be a sense that independence and freedoms will be lost. Use the opportunity to talk about it with family or friends.

Remember why you are moving.

When the time comes to move, it’s easy to cling to previous possessions and ways like a lifeline. Remember that it’s just a house, and there are more important issues now. A community like Glenvale Villas is not a hospital-like institution with nurses stations and room confinements. We are a supported living community, and that means we help support your life and your independence. If there are health concerns behind the move, we help plan your level of independence as best possible. Supported living is not the end. In fact, for most of our residents, it is a new beginning. Just ask them if you like.

Plan the new living space.

We all hold on to items that provide emotional stability and a sense of home. A favourite chair, a painting, or even a set of books. These anchors are important in transitioning to a new life, so make a list of the most important things and plan how they can be accommodated and arranged in the new home. Glenvale Villas homes are more than twice the size of a traditional nursing home room, with separate lounge room, kitchen, and dining. So some of those cherished items can make the trip. If you help plan where they will go, it begins to feel more like your home and create belonging.

With a complete kitchen in a Glenvale home, even the crockery can make the move. That can’t happen in a typical nursing home room where you have space for a bed and a small desk and chair!

Minimize the clutter, during, and after the move.

Moving safely around a home is crucial for older persons. They do not have the dexterity or balance of youth, and eyesight may also be affected. Disorientation can happen easily, and more so at night. That means that there shouldn’t be excessive clutter left around the home while you’re packing, especially on the floor, where it becomes a fall hazard.

Apart from the physical dangers, uprooting someone’s life has a powerful emotional impact. Pick an area (like the kitchen or study), plan what can make the move and what can’t, and pack it carefully and completely before moving on to another area. This makes it feel less disruptive. Sifting through possessions accumulated over a lifetime can be a challenge, but the effort is well worth it in the end. Make a decision on what needs to be done with items that can’t move to the new home.

Arrange the house according to needs.

When you’re unpacking the kitchen, be sure to remember to put commonly used items in easily accessible locations. Regularly used items should not be placed on a high shelf or in a low cabinet. Utilise counter space for important appliances. The same is true of the bathroom and in the bedroom. Place the most important items at eye level, where they’ll be easy to find. By taking these things into consideration, you’ll make a new home much easier to live in.

Regular visits.

Until new friends are made and a new house feels like a home, unfamiliarity can create depression and a sense of disconnect. At Glenvale, we spend a lot of time getting new residents settled into a new lifestyle and becoming part of the community, but nothing replaces family. Family members should visit regularly.

Looking for more ways to make the transition to an aged care home easier? Contact us today for more information.

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