Moving into a senior living community presents a stressful lifestyle change for those who’ve lived in the same home for many years. The old home has memories and a particular comfort in which you or your loved one have grown accustomed. In contrast, a new home may feel foreign and uncomfortable, making the transition to a senior living community more difficult.
However, that doesn’t have to be the case. The right décor can help transform your parent’s Assisted Living apartment into a stylish, comfortable home, just as welcoming as the last. The following decorating tips will help you get started.
You can make your parent feel at home by taking some decorations, pieces of furniture, etc. from their old home. These familiar items will help your parent better acclimate to their new living arrangement. Although, keep in mind that your parent will only have a room rather than an entire house, so you must prepare them for the process of downsizing their personal belongings.
Begin by helping your parent create a list of their favorite belongings. This list can include anything from family pictures to books and antique furniture. Avoid cluttering the new home by keeping the list small. Consider only the objects to which your parent has a deep personal attachment or objects that are essential. For the rest of the items, make a list of furniture to give away to friends and family or to donate.
Think Safety First
Take careful measurements of the available space in the new home. While the goal is to recreate the feeling of the previous home, every piece of bedroom furniture will not fit into the new space. Think of it this way: the smaller living space forces you to capture the essence of the old home, so less is more.
When arranging furniture, focus on accessibility and safety. You should keep pathways clear to prevent falls and other accidents. If you’re using a rug for decoration, reduce the risk of trips and falls by securing it to the carpet. For electronics, tuck the cords behind furniture or use cable management tools.
Add a New Touch
While you want to recreate the feel of the old home, don’t be afraid to embrace the idea of a “new beginning.” After living in the same house for years, many people never get around to updating their home’s décor. Downsizing and moving gives you and your parent the chance to reinvent their style. For ideas and inspiration on where to start, take a look at HGTV’s breakdown of the most popular styles in interior design.
Make the Home Engaging for Guests
Your parent will make new friends, entertain old ones, and host family members on a frequent basis. Studies show that a social life is a healthy life, so create enough space to entertain the occasional guest.
Add extra chairs in the room for guests. A small side table can double as a decorative piece and extra space for your guest’s belongings. Give your parent entertainment options by providing board games, card games, etc. For example, video game systems such as the Nintendo Wii are great entertainment options for seniors. Not only can it work as a social hub, it can help your parent stay physically and mentally active.
Create Additional Storage Space
Your parent’s new smaller home won’t offer the same storage opportunities. You’ll need to get creative to maximize the space you have.
Install a bookshelf to store books, photos, collectibles, and other memorabilia. Armoires can provide extra closet space to store clothes, linens, and electronics. Utilize wall space by installing wall shelves. Take advantage of furniture that can have dual uses. For example, look for ottomans or trunks that can open and double as storage spaces and tables.
Helping your parent feel comfortable in their new home is crucial to a successful transition. With these tips and a positive attitude, you can make the new Assisted Living apartment feel like home.