How to support your loved one when they move into a care home

Categories: Blog

Moving into a care home can be an apprehensive time for a new resident – and that’s something that’s entirely understandable.

At any stage in life, new surroundings can be a daunting prospect to embrace, but this sense only heightens as we get older.

When looking to support your loved one during this time, you need to be aware of their sensitivities and what an overwhelming prospect it might be for them, so it’s important to do what you can to encourage and assist.

Establish the level of personalisation

A core element of overcoming the trepidation of moving into a care home is adding personal touches. The sights and smells of home evoke the feelings of home after all, so try to bring in items that serve to do this.

Care homes vary in the level of personalisation they permit residents. Some allow residents and their family to go as far as decorating their own room, while others only allow for the inclusion of comparatively few personal belongings. When searching for a prospective care home, it’s important to establish where you stand with this, as it can help you to gain insight into a care home’s wider approach.

At Goatacre, we actively encourage personalisation, allowing our residents to do what they feel necessary to create the ambience and environment that’s right for them. Our core ethos centres on creating a sense of home, so putting the appropriate finishing touches in place is key.

This can take many forms – ornaments, artwork, photographs or even the inclusion of items of furniture, such as a favourite chair or foot stool.

A welcome meal

A nice touch for new residents is the preparation of a favourite meal once the initial moving in process has been completed. The chefs at Goatacre deliver excellent quality food, and are always delighted to accommodate our residents’ needs and tastes – especially during that all important settling in period. Sitting and enjoying a meal with your loved one on their first day can really help them to feel at home.


After the initial moving day, it can sometimes be difficult to work out what’s best when it comes to the appropriate level of visiting.

The suitability of a visit can change dependent on the type of care. Dementia focused care homes, for example, may advise not visiting for the first week to give the resident time to settle in, as this helps to avoid the risk of any confusion and subsequent upset.

With Goatacre’s level of care being 24-hour nursing, residential and respite, we’re happy to leave it to personal preference and personal intuition as to when is best to visit. More independent minded residents may welcome a little space to begin with, whilst others may appreciate frequent visits in the initial bedding in period, as you help them get to know their new home.

It’s also important to note though, that visiting provides you and other family members the opportunity to bond with your loved one’s new carers, which can help to form beneficial relationships for all involved. You can make the carer aware of individual preferences, while also gaining an understanding of their approach to care.

The staff at Goatacre enjoy interacting with both residents and their families, so we’d be happy to discuss visiting arrangements, helping you to determine what works best for you and your loved one.