Leaving the home you have known for many years can be particularly difficult for an older person who needs a little help. Assisted living facilities are designed to promote independence while at the same time offering the help needed from day to day. When laundry becomes too difficult and trouble cooking leads to poor nutrition, an assisted living center can be the answer. To make the place feel like home, it's important to take the time necessary to plan and decorate the space if possible. While you or your loved one won't have the same amount of room as an individual apartment or a whole house, an assisted living apartment can be set up so that it is comfortable and feels like home.
Plan Where to Put Large Pieces
While there may be a kitchen nook and an obvious place to put the bed, planning where to put large pieces of furniture will make it easier to set up the space. Take measurements and try to bring only enough furniture to fit in the apartment. If you have too many things, the area is going to feel cramped. Choose favorite items first, find, a place for them, and then decide what else is needed.
Use Familiar Decorations
Family photos, personal paintings, and other familiar decorations will help make the space feel like home. It is not the time to go out and buy everything new in the hopes that your loved one wants everything new. When personal items are used, the place will feel like home almost instantly. If everything is new, the assisted living facility will feel more like a hotel.
Use Creative Storage Strategies
The storage within an assisted living apartment may be limited, so it's important to get creative with storage. Hang up clothing for the season and put away clothing that won't be worn for months in storage containers for under the bed. Look for ways to utilize any cabinets in the apartment, even if they are hard to reach.
Create a Similar Sitting Area
Your loved one's favorite chair and side table can be used to create a sitting area much like they had at home. When they have their favorite chair and are surrounded by things they recognize, the transition to a new space is easier.
Assisted living can be a positive change, but it still takes some adjustment. Set up the apartment using familiar items, and keep the place organized to avoid being cluttered.