There comes a time in many people’s lives when they have to make the decision to move into a senior living facility. As we age, we lose our independence, and sometimes the perfect way to continue to enjoy our activities of daily living is simply to move to a facility that can give us the support we need to do so. Maybe you, yourself, are a senior who is considering this shift. Maybe you’re wondering whether the time is right for a senior in your life to move to one such facility. Either way, you’re probably wondering how comfortable it will be once you’re there.
One thing that makes a big difference when it comes to comfort is the ability to personalize the home decor of the entire space. Can you bring your own vases, rugs, candles, and other accessories from home? What about furniture, like a sofa? Will you be able to make adjustments to the layout, or does the entire space have to remain as is? When holidays come along, like the Christmas or Halloween season, will you be able to put a jack-o-lantern or even a pumpkin outside your front door, or is the wall decor uniform? These are all the little things that make a big difference when it comes to feeling comfortable in a new home.
Can you bring your own furniture and accessories?
When moving into a seniors facility, you’ll find that you’re probably able to bring most of your own furniture and accessories—with some exceptions. A sofa, bed, and an armchair are all usually acceptable. bringing furniture will depend on the size of the space, though, as well as on the existence of various disability support features, like grab bars.
Make sure to get exact measurements before you show up with your California king bed, lest you find out that you can’t get it through the door. In general, the rules change from facility to facility but and err on the side of safety. So, throw pillows are probably fine, but candles may not be, since they present a fire hazard especially if the older adult in question has dementia or Alzheimer’s. Medical care and personal care are the priorities for any facility.
How do senior facilities feel about holiday decorations?
If you’re a Halloween season lover, you’ll be happy to know that this type of personal touch is happily welcomed at most facilities. A plush pumpkin, a lantern, a “Happy Halloween” sign—all of these are usually fine. Again, this differs from location to location, but most places understand that older adults want to welcome their family members with a plastic lantern candy bowl or Tim Burton-esque decorations and won’t keep you from having some Halloween season fun.
Can you change the layout of your new room?
Usually, the answer is no. If you have specific interior design needs, it’s a good idea to talk to a housing counselor about these ahead of time. Do you have specific home decorations that are meaningful to you, like a mug that a family member gave you or wall art that needs to be hung with screws or nails? The easy way to make sure that these needs are met is to be clear about them when you speak to a housing counselor before the big day.
Don’t wait until you’re unpacking pots and blankets. just as the quality of health care in care retirement communities will change your family member’s quality of life, so, too, will their ability to have their home decor around them. Even side tables or decor accents can go a long way to making someone feel at home, so make sure that the room is big enough to accommodate them.