When you move into a care home, it’s important to know what extras are and aren’t included, not only in order to be able to budget, but also to work out what to take with you. At easyStorage, it’s a common reason for booking storage, and we’ve been on this journey many times with customers and their families.
So what have we learned along the way?
You should always visit the care home a few times before you move in, getting used to what’s there, who’s there, whether you can continue with any hobbies, the food and how things work – including where your room is likely to be, what furniture you can bring with you, decoration schemes etc. Your favourite things, personal touches from photos to furniture, are going to make the transition to a care home much easier.
And whilst you may have provided the care home with details of your former life in advance, the staff will get to know you better if they can see some of your former life in the forms of photos and belongings.
Moving into a care home can be emotionally tough. Make sure those around you know the reason for the move, and that that you still want to see them (assuming this is the case, of course!)
One of the hardest decisions will be what to bring with you, and what to leave. If, as suggested above, you’ve spent time in the care home, you stand a better chance of getting it right from the outset. However, practical space is one thing. Emotional attachment is another. Until we start living our new lives, we don’t know which things we’ll miss, which we’ll hate looking at in our new surroundings, and which we’ll simply have misjudged, whether for size or for importance.
Deciding what to take/leave is emotional as well as a physical process – it can help to have a close friend help you decide, especially when the decision to move into a care home has been made in a rush.
Prioritise clothes. Clothing is an essential, but also a big part of our identities. Whether we’re ‘rocking’ Bett Lynch (the ‘brassy’ barmaid in Coronation Street), or channelling our inner Jackie Onassis, whether we dress like Fred Flintstone of Fred Astaire, our clothes and accessories help us keep our own identity. All items should be labelled, and we need things for any activities we’ll be doing, be that swimming or painting, gardening or outings.
Similarly, it’s important to bring familiar toiletries and perfumes/aftershaves to the care home. And bedding if you have personal preferences. (Make sure that what you bring can be laundered by the care home.)
Electronics and social media may sometimes feel like the scourge of the modern age, but they’re a great way to stay connected – and whilst some care homes provide a TV or Wi-Fi, in others they won’t, or you’ll need to pay extra. Don’t forget to ask, and, moreover, don’t forget that you’ll need remote controls, cords, and chargers for many items if you’re bringing your own. Don’t be surprised if the home insists that any electrical items are tested for safety – it’s health and safety regulations and those rules, whilst they sometimes seem onerous, are there to keep everyone safe.
(Similarly, if you are allowed to bring your own furniture, they may insist on checking that it’s fire retardant.)
It’s inevitable that everything in your home won’t fit into a room in a care home, but deciding what, and what not to take, can be stressful. You can give yourself some space by thinking about some temporary storage. This will give you the chance to try out whatever items you’ve chosen to take without burning your bridges by giving away or selling all of your other things. Emotionally, too, it can give you time to consider what you are prepared to part with rather than the stark reality of parting with everything in one go.
The price of storage has come down considerably, with newer services like easyStorage are changing old models of self storage for cheaper options that additionally both collect and deliver back. You can get a no-obligation quote, any time, day or night and it almost certainly costs a lot less than you imagine: Storage quote.
Be gentle with yourself. Moving into a care home comes with a lot of prejudice, internal and from others, so go gently. Go at your own pace, and with the love and understanding of people around you, it can be a really smooth transition towards a new, happier phase in life.
We at easyStorage hope you’ll find every happiness in your new home, and are here to help with your storage needs in any way that we can.
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