Moving can be stressful, especially when Mom is moving from the family home into her new assisted living residence. It can be an emotional time for all of you, so help ease the transition by making Mom as comfortable as possible in her new space.
Try these five things to help Mom decorate her senior living apartment and make her new place feel like home:
1. Decorate with photographs
Putting up pictures of family and friends will quickly help make Mom’s new space feel like home. Try arranging these pictures around her apartment similar to how she had them in her former home. Periodically changing out these photos or adding more will help keep her apartment fresh.
Tip: If Mom has too many photos, offer to digitize them and store on a thumb drive or her computer. If she prefers physical photos, print out the digitized images in a smaller format and arrange them in a photo album for her.
2. Add plants
A simple plant or two will help make Mom’s senior living apartment feel more welcoming and warm. Not only will plants add vibrancy and act as decoration, they can contribute to the air quality in the room. And having plants in Mom’s apartment may heighten her sense of responsibility and caring.
Tip: Is Mom’s family home filled with too many plants? Select a few for her place, and offer to donate the excess to a school, business, or the community itself. You might also take cuttings from her favorite larger plants and repot them as smaller plants.
3. Decorate to scale
It’s likely mom’s new apartment will be smaller than what she had at home, so help her downsize before the move. Overwhelming Mom with an apartment full of clutter could make her anxious or uncomfortable as well as make her new place less safe.
Tip: Don’t know where to start? A professional mover or senior downsizing expert can help you both sort through years’ worth of accumulations and pare things down.
4. Make room for guests
Just like when Mom invited guests to her family home, it will be important for her to feel as though visitors are welcome in her senior living apartment. Make sure to take furniture pieces that will allow her to have others over, such as an extra seat in the living room or a small table with chairs.
Tip: Look for items in her home that could be good conversation starters with guests. Photos of family, artwork that she’s created, hobbies or other items in her apartment can help others get to know her.
5. Consider her age
While Mom may have a favorite chair, does it still “fit” her needs? A chair with deep, soft cushions may be difficult for her to get out of once she sits down. Try adding a chair that looks similar to her favorite one but has firmer cushions or a seat that rises. If her vision is declining, add contrast to her décor using light and dark colors. Remove throw rugs and other tripping hazards. Consider adding sound activated devices for lamps or her car keys to make life easier.
Tip: Don’t just think safety when you’re decorating a senior living apartment: Add age-appropriate touches she’ll also appreciate such as a featherweight throw for the couch or a table near her reading chair that’s sturdy enough to hold a lamp and her coffee cup.
Creating a safe and comfortable place for your mom is important to us, too. Your nearest Life Care Services community can help you find resources to make Mom’s transition a pleasant and easy one for her.