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What to bring, what needs doing and what to expect

Whether you are moving into a care home yourself, or making the difficult decision to move your loved-one in to a care home it can be a very emotional time. Change is always somewhat scary, and particularly when the move wasn’t planned or expected things can be daunting. Despite this there are a lot of steps that you can take to help make the move a positive one.

Preparing the room

When moving from a home that has been lived in for many years, often filled with many sentimental objects and memories with family, it can help to bring some possessions along to make the new surroundings more familiar.

Some items to consider bringing with you:

  • Soft furnishings and bedding, particularly in any favourite colours or patterns
  • Shelves to put up and display personal items and ornaments
  • Treasured pictures and paintings
  • If the room permits, any favourite furniture such as a cosy armchair
  • Diffusors or pot-pourri with favourite scents and smells

How much should you pack?

This is heavily dependent on the amount of storage space in the room and also if you are able to bring in regular changes of clothes for seasonality, for example. We would recommend initially bringing enough clothes and toiletries for two weeks to get you started. We would also recommend bringing toiletries that are familiar to you or your loved one to make things feel at home.

Getting to know the staff

The best approach is to help the care home staff get to know a new resident before they move in. One way of helping this process is to compile a Life History Book that contains key facts about yourself or your loved one. You can include copies of photos, dates of special events and key interests to act as a conversation opener. If you don’t have time to compile a full book a simple list or story can still be very helpful.

Things to consider including in a Life History Book:

  • Where did you/they grow up?
  • Were you they/married? If so when and where?
  • Do you/they have any children? What are they doing now?
  • Do you/they have a favourite pet?
  • Where did you/they work?
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Favourite foods
  • Favourite music

Telling people about the move

As with any move, there are many people and organisations that need to be made aware. We recommend making a list of who they are and their contact information to make things easier, you can do this yourself or with help from relatives.

If you find yourself with a long list of people to contact it may help to give your relatives permission to deal with matters on your behalf so that the list can be shared between you, meaning less phone calls to make and less letters to write yourself.

Some people and organisations that you may need to contact include:

  • Banks
  • Utility companies
  • Local council
  • GPs
  • Dentists
  • Opticians
  • Subscription services

The day of the move

Everyone is different but we would advise you allow yourself the full day to handle the move itself and give time for settling in. We would suggest that relatives helping with the move stay to have a meal together, and you can even ask your chosen home to prepare a favourite food to mark the special occasion.

We would also recommend speaking with the home leading up to the move to get an idea of what to expect on the day of arrival and the initial days of settling in.

Your Home

  • “Everyone went above and beyond looking after my mum and I appreciate the kindness and sincerity they showed her.”

    Relative comment
  • “I feel my mam is in caring and excellent hands by all staff. They are always sincere and treat my mam as a person, not a number. I thank everyone for all they do to make her feel loved and at home.”

    Relative comment
  • “All of you are excellent, your manner is more of care professional friends, rather than just ‘staff’”

    Relative Comment
  • “We would not hesitate to recommend the care given to our Dad. It was often above and beyond the expectations of a care home and more like that of a nursing home. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff. They treated him with the greatest respect.”

    Relative Comment