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Support moving into a care home

Moving into a care home can be a difficult change. We’ve got some tips on what you can do to make it easier.

How will I settle in to the care home?

It’s not always easy getting used to new places, new faces and new routines. So here are a few tips to help you make yourself at home.

Bring in home comforts

Your photos, your music, even your cushions – bring them with you. You may even be able to bring your favourite pieces of furniture and – if it’s not a nursing home – your bed.

Finding your way around

It can take a while to get your bearings, so ask for help to find where things are until you feel more confident in walking around alone.

Talk to staff

Tell staff what you like to do and when. If you prefer to have lunch in your room or like a lie-in at weekends, staff should be able to help.

Keep your relatives involved

Encourage your relatives to attend relatives and residents meetings. Many care homes offer these sessions to talk about any issues affecting residents. They may also have a relatives or a regular newsletter.

Stay connected

Staying in touch is really important. It may be possible to install a phone line in your room or you can use a mobile phone to call friends and family.

What can I take into a care home?

Most care homes allow you to take in belongings that help you feel at home.

Photos, soft furnishings and your favourite music and books will all help your room feel more familiar.

Some care homes will allow you to bring in furniture, a television and even your own bed. Speak to the care home manager about your options.

Take the toiletries and clothes you need. It's a good idea to label your clothes so they don't get muddled up in the laundry.

What if I'm struggling to settle in?

You shouldn’t be surprised if it takes some time to adjust to your surroundings. But sometimes even after the best preparation and efforts to settle in, you may be unhappy and want to move.

Tell the local council if they’re funding your place. If you're planning to move to a new area, let that area local council know too and ask for a list of care homes. Keep the current home updated so they know what’s happening.

Remember that the care home is your new home and should offer a welcoming, safe and positive place to live. If you're unhappy because the care home isn’t offering a good standard of care, then see our information on making a complaint about a care home.

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.

Heart icon Please help us be there for older people in need

By donating today, you could help us answer more calls to our advice line, campaign harder for older people’s rights and fair treatment and provide regular friendship calls to people who are desperately lonely.

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Last updated: Apr 28 2022

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