Many people who are faced with the difficult reality of an ill or incapacitated parent find that an aged care home can be the best solution for all involved. Whilst it can be difficult to no longer have mum at home, there are several things you can do to make the aged care home into a true new home. Here are several helpful guidelines that you can use to make mum's transition easier.
Bring a Piece of the Old Home into the New One
Space is often somewhat limited in an aged care home environment -- your mum is likely to have a room rather than an entire home to decorate. This means that you'll have to be creative when it comes to merging the old and new homes. Work with your mum to select a few key pieces, things that she loves or things that evoke a feeling of comfort for her.
Perhaps this means things like a favourite rocking chair, a cherished set of china, and the quilts that her own mum created long ago. As you incorporate these items into the new home, be sure to ask mum's opinion. Make sure that she feels you've placed them properly, and try to ensure that she'll always have these treasures in her line of sight.
Use Precious Photos to Connect the Past and the Present
Photographs are always a great way to keep special memories close, and they can also be a good way to create new memories. Select mum's most prized photographs for framing, including images of everyone closest to her. Whilst it's important to have the old family photos on full display in the aged care home, it can be equally important to have some newer images on display.
As soon as you're able, take a few photos of mum -- including family if possible -- in the setting of the aged care home. Displaying these photos in addition to the older one lends a real sense of continuity, and can make mum feel that the new place is genuinely a home.
Make Contact Fast and Easy
If your mum's able to operate a mobile phone on her own, make sure that she's got a simple and easy-to-operate one available to her at all times. Place the charger close to mum's bed or in another convenient place that she can reach without straining. If she's got the ability to call family and friends at any time, it can help her feel connected rather than out of the loop.
Many aged care homes also offer analogue landline phones for an additional monthly fee. This might be a good option if mum's not able or willing to use a mobile phone. Another bonus is that landlines can work well for the hearing impaired, a common issue with age.
Facing mum's big transition into the aged care home soon? Mum might just adjust more easily than you'd ever imagined thanks to the combination of your loving support and the information above.