For most people the transition from a home to an assisted living center is pretty difficult. It’s not easy to leave a spacious home that you’ve lived in and loved in behind after many years and move into a much smaller place with less autonomy. But there are some benefits to assisted living that make it really worthwhile and usually after the transition is over, the residents love their new carefree life surrounded by peers and friends.
So the key is making the transition from a home to an assisted living center easier and more seamless for the resident. Believe it or not, interior decorating can be the key to making this happen.
Keep it Familiar
Rather than going out and purchasing all new bedding and linens, keep it familiar by using whatever linens you can from the old home. In many cases you can actually select your own bed so bringing the one from home is a good idea. Sleeping can be difficult during the transition phase so by keeping the bed and linens the same you’ve added an element of comfort and a feeling of home.
Most assisted living facilities feature very small apartments so not all of your home furniture is going to fit and you don’t want to go out and buy new pieces that are too large as well. Keep track of measurements as you shop and create a template on paper so you can visualize the furniture in place before you make a purchase.
You want to keep safety in mind when you make all of your purchases. Sharp edges on night stands or coffee tables are just asking for trouble. In fact, coffee tables are probably totally unnecessary as they cut down on floor space and provide an obstacle that may be difficult to maneuver around. Rugs can slip so they need proper backing or you should skip them all together.
Moving into an assisted living facility is a little bit like starting kindergarten. Everything is strange and unfamiliar and there are a lot of new people to meet. Take a lesson from kindergarten and create a show-and-tell with conversation starters. Use photos, souvenirs, and other mementos from the resident’s lifetime to give visitors a glimpse into their lives and a jumping off point for discussions. Change these trinkets and photos up frequently to keep things interesting.
There is no way you can cram everything from the home into the new living unit, in fact you’ll find it might be difficult to even store the essentials, so when shopping for furniture and accessories make sure you look for pieces with the best storage options. Plan to store items that may be needed frequently nearby and in easy to reach locations. Things that aren’t needed often can be stored in harder to reach spots but the resident must be willing to ask for help when getting these items.
Buy one extravagant statement piece that feels like a luxury to the resident. There should be something new that they can take pride in and appreciate and be excited about owning. Make sure this is something the resident will really love.
Remember when using interior decorating to ease the transition into an assisted living facility always keep the resident in mind. You want them to be safe, comfortable, happy and feel at home.