Moving to a care home can be a very stressful time for older people and their families. It’s a big change and it can take time to adjust to the new surroundings. To help make the transition of moving into a care home easier, Independent Age, the older people’s charity, has launched a new, free advice guide called Settling into a care home.
There are currently more than 400,000 people living in care homes in the UK, but many new residents don’t know what to expect when they get there, or how to plan ahead for their move. Care homes, of course, offer a lot of support for new residents and help them settle in, and the guide is designed to complement that support and make the move smoother and less stressful. GPs and other healthcare professionals may also find it a useful support tool for patients who are about to move into a care home.
Settling into a care home, which was written with advice from care home staff, residents and family members, offers advice on planning ahead to help the move go smoothly. The guide includes topics such as thinking about what to take, questions to ask before you get there, and tips on what to expect when you arrive, as well as advice for friends and family about helping someone else settle into a care home.
Lucy Harmer, Director of Services at Independent Age, says, “It’s natural to be worried about moving into a care home. Even at the best care homes, moving home and having a change of lifestyle can be very difficult for older people and their families to get used to. Care homes themselves, as well as health and care professionals, are best placed to support new residents and our new, free Settling into a care home guide will help older people and their families through this process and make it a little bit easier.”
Independent Age has also launched a free, online checklist for moving home to accompany the new guide, which can be accessed via: independentage.org/moving-home-checklist.
Settling into a care home is free to order and download from independentage.org/settling-into-a-care-home or can be ordered for free by calling 0800 319 6789. Health and care professionals can order the guide in bulk. Professionals, patients, and their families who need additional support or advice can call the charity’s Helpline on 0800 319 6789 to arrange to speak to an adviser.