Moving into a nursing home can be daunting, as it often feels like a loss of independence. But staying in a retirement home does not have to be a bad experience, and there are many people who happily live for in a nursing home environment for many years. The key is to choose the right retirement home and take proactive steps to become a part of the community.
To help you settle in, here are a few tips to make your stay more enjoyable:
1. Making Friends with Common Interests
Making friends is essential when it comes to settling into a new place. You will find that many people are in a similar situation and are also feeling a little lonely, so having somebody to chat with and share interests with can make all the difference. Be open minded, polite, and friendly to settle in with a new friend group.
2. Newspaper or Crossword Subscriptions
Knowing you have a weekly newspaper, new crossword book, or even monthly magazine on the way can be something to look forward. It is great to read about what has been going on in the world, and things such as crosswords and sudoku can help keep the mind busy.
3. Bible and Prayer
Having a strong faith can make you feel more supported and secure when entering new and nerve-wracking situations. Reading the bible can offer support and guidance when you are unsure how to feel or what to do next. Prayer also provides an outlet to offload worries and ask for strength.
4. Know Your Medication
Always be aware of exactly what medication you should be on and which dose. This allows you to stay in control of your health and prevents you from feeling anxious about healthcare assistants giving you the wrong pills or the wrong dosage.
5. Decorate Your Room
Try to recreate a homely image by decorating your room with items from your old home and by recreating a colour scheme that is familiar to you. Keep all your sentimental items on show and surround yourself with photos of happy memories with family and friends.
6. Read Books
Reading a good book can be an ideal way to help you relax and escape from your own mind; it also gives you an interesting topic to discuss with others. You could even begin a book club with your new friends whereby you pass books to and from each other and discuss the storylines.
This is a hard thing to do for anybody who must make the big move, but acceptance is the key to true peace. Accept your current situation as you cannot change it, and just try to make the absolute best of it.
8. Stay Independent
As much as is possible, try to maintain your independence in terms of walking around by yourself, managing your personal hygiene, keeping track of your medications, and more. You can also make your own arrangements with friends and family. If you stop doing things for yourself, you may render yourself incapable, so keep going and you will be able to stay mobile and active for much longer.
9. Try New Activities
Don’t be afraid to try new activities or hobbies. There are often clubs and groups going on in nursing homes. Just because it isn’t your favourite activity, don’t be put off from having a go. It may help you find new interests and make new friends, or even find a skill that you never knew you had.
10. Maintain Past Hobbies
Lastly, don’t give up your past hobbies just because you have moved home. If you loved gardening and plants, continue this within the grounds of the nursing home and keep your own potted plants in your bedroom.