As a care home worker or manager, there is always a focus on providing high quality care that meets the needs of residents. Of course this should be the number one priority, but it can sometimes be easy to get swept up in the busy routine of managing a home and forget to ensure nobody starts to lose their own personal identity. Residents in care homes need to remain as people in the eyes of everyone they come into contact with – vulnerable people who need support and reassurance along with good quality medical help and practical care.
A great way of ensuring this happens is to enable personalisation wherever possible. There’s no reason why anyone should have to spend their days in a bland and impersonal environment, and adding a little personal touch could make a world of difference. Engaging both staff and residents in the process of adding personalisation to rooms and communal spaces can be a really positive way to encourage a happier environment.
For example, having plenty of pictures around is really important, especially for people who may be suffering from memory-related illnesses or may be unable to have many family visits for any reason. Not only should residents be able to have their own photos of friends and family around them, it works in many homes to have pictures on each of the residents’ doors. They don’t necessarily have to be of themselves, but instead the pictures could represent their favourite things or a memorable aspect of their personality. This helps create a sense of community and familiarity.
Another common idea that works really well is having personalised notice boards in rooms that can be gradually filled up with memories of someone’s life in the care home, as well as outside it. If your home organises trips and activities regularly, which is highly recommended, photos and other mementos from these days often serve as great comforts to people during more difficult times. Updating these displays is a great activity in itself, which keeps residents busy and engaged with everything that’s going on. Ultimately the goal is to facilitate everyone feeling included, while also having their own unique personal space for when they need it.