No matter how much a memory care center does to create a warm, homey and comfortable ambiance – it isn’t possible to satisfy the personal tastes of every resident who call the community “home.”
At The Memory Center (TMC), we’ve developed a Town Center experience for the overarching design, using iconic stimuli from the past and including amenities such as a movie theater, pub, hair salon, general store, and more.
Our common spaces are filled with natural light and style and our landscapes are beautifully designed. We also recognize residents and their families want spaces to feel like home and familiar. This is especially true in resident bedrooms. That’s why we heartily encourage residents and their families to think of our beautiful space as a backdrop to create the bedroom space representing what home feels like to you.
Tips To Make A Senior At Home In A New Environment
If you have visited loved ones in senior living facilities, or even toured some, you may have noticed sleeping areas resembling a hospital or rehab setting vs. an inviting and comfortable space. When it comes to individual rooms at TMC, we intentionally create light filled spaces with neutral color palettes, and without standard furnishings. This way, each resident has the opportunity to add his/her personal furnishings and touches from home. We encourage families to bring familiar artwork, furniture and bedding that express individual style and a lifetime of memories.
Below are some of tips to make a new room in a senior community feel like home.
Re-Create An At Home Space With Familiar Furniture Pieces
To help your family member settle into the new space and re-create their comfortable bedroom from home, bring pieces that are familiar and reflect their design style – such as their favorite chair, side table and small dresser. Just make sure to leave family heirlooms at home.
When deciding what to bring, look around your loved one’s current bedroom and take notes. Is there a nightstand on the right or left hand side of the bed and what do they keep on the nightstand? Which side of the bed are they used to getting out of in the morning? Do they keep a robe and slippers on a hook nearby? With planning you can provide the small touches of home they are used to.
If bringing existing furniture isn’t possible, we can provide suggestions on where other families found home-like furnishings that work well in the space and we can provide guidance on how to prepare a comfortable room. We will even help with furniture placement.
Use Favorite Colors, Bedding, Throw Pillows & Blankets
Decorative bedding, throw pillows and blankets help meet your loved one’s preferred comfort needs but also provide a simple way to add color, pattern, and personal style to the new living space.
Do keep in mind we don’t encourage you to bring expensive or cherished items. Family heirloom quilts or expensive bedding is best preserved by other family members to keep them safe and sound.
Bring Favorite Artwork & Photographs
Think about which pieces of art are favorites for your loved one?
Bedrooms at The Memory Center have enough wall space to accommodate a few favorite pieces of art or bulletin board of family photos and notes. Looking up to see a favorite work of art or framed photos of the family and pets creates an immediate sense of familiarity and can be essential for new residents as they settle in and begin creating a community of their own.
While rooms at The Memory Center are spacious, there simply isn’t enough room for every favorite photograph to be on display. Thus, we encourage families to assemble photo albums, curating photographs through the ages. A small, portable album – with an easy-to-clean cover – will be well-appreciated as our residents often enjoy carrying albums around to share stories and “introduce” family to their new acquaintances and friends.
Incorporate Potted Plants Or Ready-To-Fill Vases
Was your loved one an avid gardener? Did s/he grow fresh herbs or look forward to a fresh flower arrangement on the dining room table or buffet? Consider an easy potted plant and/or a vase that’s ready to accommodate flowers. If fresh flowers are important, consider a seasonal bouquet subscription which can be delivered regularly. Our staff will ensure plants are watered as needed and we can switch out fresh flowers when they arrive.
TMC’s extensive and beautifully landscaped grounds will also provide a connection to Mother Nature and growing things. Our residents love to spend time in our sunny patio and garden. If your loved one is an avid gardener, we’ll make sure s/he can help point out favorite flowers in the garden or along our secure walking trails so s/he continues an activity that is familiar and productive.
Personalize Your Frame
Each room at The Memory Center has a frame next to the door ready to be customized by, and for, the resident.
Fill this space with a background color or pattern (wallpaper works well) that suits the resident’s style. Then add things like a favorite photo of themselves and family and/or a pet, or a picture of him/her doing something s/he loves.
In addition to personalizing the space, they’re helpful reminders for new residents so they can easily tell which room is theirs. Decorated frames also help new residents get to know neighbors, staff and passing guests, often providing a perfect segue to begin a conversation.
The more personalized the framed board the more special the space will feel and the sooner your loved one will sense a connection to their new home.
Don’t Forget Music
Did you know music is proven to reduce anxiety and helps those with dementia to recall more memories?
Feel free to bring a pre-loaded iPod/docking station or a CD player and CDs. Nothing says, “I’m home…” as the ability to switch on a music player to hear your favorite songs. We’ll make sure we know which radio stations are their favorites as well so staff can turn the radio on/off occasionally when residents want to hear something different.
Personalizing Your Loved One’s New Living Space
The more personalized a room is decorated, the more at ease a new resident will feel.
Have questions about what does work – or doesn’t work well – to personalize your new living space? All you have to do is ask. Our administrators and staff are always happy to answer questions and brainstorm ideas to help new residents settle in peacefully so they feel at home in their new space.
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