Deciding to move a loved one with dementia into a care home is one of the most significant and emotional decisions a family can face. Concerns about how well they will adapt and settle in a new environment are entirely natural. However, it’s essential to understand that the settling-in process for dementia patients in care homes can vary significantly from person to person. It’s important to understand the factors that influence how dementia patients settle in care homes. When families have insights to navigate this transition with compassion and understanding, it will better equip them for this transition.

Individual Differences Matter
Each person with dementia has a unique set of characteristics, personality traits, and coping mechanisms. Therefore, the settling-in process will differ depending on their individual needs and the stage of their dementia. Some individuals may adjust quickly to the routine and care provided in a care home, while others may take more time to acclimate to the new surroundings and faces.

The Role of Familiarity
Familiarity can play a significant role in helping dementia patients settle into care homes. Bringing along personal belongings, such as photos, treasured items, or familiar furniture, can create a sense of continuity and comfort. Additionally, if the care home environment is designed to resemble a homely setting rather than an institution, it can positively impact the settling-in process. At Livewell Estates, we encourage families to bring familiar items when moving their loved ones into their suites. Most families will bring along photographs, special pieces of furniture, art or trinket boxes. Both of our estates are designed with people living with dementia in mind and are incredibly homely and luxurious.

Compassionate and Trained Staff
The support and care provided by the staff can significantly influence how well dementia patients settle in care homes. Compassionate, patient, and well-trained caregivers who understand the challenges of dementia can foster a nurturing environment that encourages residents to feel safe and secure. Regular, positive interactions with staff members can help build trust and reduce anxiety. Our residents build such special bonds with our caregivers and staff. It’s amazing to see how their relationships develop over time.

Time and Patience
Settling into a new environment can be overwhelming for dementia patients. Families should be prepared to exercise patience during the initial transition period. It’s essential to give the individual enough time to adjust gradually and not to rush or pressure them to conform to the new routine immediately. Providing emotional support and reassurance can make a significant difference in the settling-in process.

Engagement in Activities
Encouraging engagement in meaningful activities can help dementia patients feel more at home in their new surroundings. Care homes that offer a range of therapeutic and recreational activities tailored to individual interests and abilities can enhance the sense of purpose and belonging for residents.At Livewell, we take special care to understand each individual’s history. Each person receives a personalised dementia care therapies programme, prepared by the Occupational Therapist from the original interview process. This memory care activity programme assists with general dementia care therapy and supports the individual by aiming to reduce cognitive decline where possible, including frustration, agitation and more. If there is an activity your loved one used to partake in, but is not mentioned on our list, we take great care to potentially strive to offer it.

Supportive Community
A strong sense of community among residents and staff can create a positive social environment. Activities that encourage social interactions and participation can help dementia patients form new connections and friendships, which are crucial for their overall well-being and sense of belonging.

The settling-in process for dementia patients in care homes is a complex and individualised journey. While some individuals may find comfort and stability relatively quickly, others may require more time and patience to adjust to their new environment. Understanding and supporting the unique needs of each resident is key to fostering a positive settling-in experience. By providing a compassionate, familiar, and engaging environment, families and care homes can work together to ensure the best possible care and quality of life for their loved ones with dementia.

If you are considering a dementia care facility for a loved one, get in touch with our team.