Many nursing homes allow for a good amount of freedom regarding room and living area decorations. However, it must be kept in mind that space is often limited in assisted living facilities. Whether you have a single room or are situated in a suite, you will have to make some decisions about what to bring and what will fit into the allotted space. Nursing homes typically provide more space to work with than the average college dorm room ever did, but residents still may not be able to bring everything.
Here are some tips for tapping into your inner interior designer when making the best of the space provided and helping turn it into a comfortable new home.
Before you and your loved one start envisioning what the perfect room arrangement will be, it is important to check in with your senior care facility and ask about its policies regarding how you are allowed to decorate.
Ask questions about their rules pertaining to what you can hang on the walls, whether you can change the window treatments, if they provide their own pillows, what plants or pets are invited, and what electronics are permitted.
Once you have a grasp on how free you are to change things around, then you can gleefully get started on arranging the space in a way that feels right.
There are endless ways to personalize a home, but here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling when customizing a safe and enjoyable space for seniors.
Start with the essentials before moving onto the less important decorative things. There are certain practical items that every room needs such as a clock, a calendar, a mirror, and other small necessities that may be easy to forget when focusing on creating the atmosphere. Establish a place for these basic utilities first, then organize the rest of the room around them to prioritize livability.
Select a theme when decorating a nursing home room. As you bring in any special wallpaper, photo frames, bedding, rugs, flowers, or furniture; it is nice to have a theme that ties it all together. A hodgepodge can also be a fun approach that invites different elements and memories to the space. Be aware of everything’s designated place and position in respect to each other, and give the room a rich, positive, and consistent energy.
Have extra seating available for guests. Hopefully you will anticipate friends and family from outside and inside the facility to pay your loved one a visit from time to time, so make the room a comfortable place to entertain by including some extra chairs or a sofa in the layout (check out our review of the best sofa stand assists).
Don’t forget about entertainment. Seniors are granted a lot of personal time in nursing facilities. Make sure that there will be items around to keep your loved one’s brain stimulated. Books are perfect for passing the time, and although you can’t carry a whole library with you, it is a good idea to bring some of their favorites to revisit. A TV can provide some great entertainment for staying current with the news as well as browsing new on-demand cinema releases on Amazon Prime Video for a socially distanced theater experience at home.
Displaying mementos can add meaning and familiarity to a room. Family photos, heirlooms, cards, and letters will bring an element of nostalgia and homeliness to the environment. Your treasured memories can provide a nice and tasteful conversation piece to visiting families or residential friends who want to get to know your loved one.
Keep these ideas in mind when organizing living space at a nursing home or senior care facility to help create a safe and inviting space for new memories with and for your loved one.