In the UK today, the majority of care homes provide a safe, caring, and homely environment for their residents and staff. However, in every home, there are improvements that can be made, and there are always new ways to enhance the atmosphere and environment of a home.
Here are 3 simple ways and ideas that we think will help the care environment you live, manage or work in, a much more pleasant and inviting place to be.
1. Create a welcoming entrance hall
You’ll have heard it all before, but first impressions really are key. The entrance hall to a care home is a huge influencer in a potential customer’s perception of the care your home can offer. Warm, cosy, well-lit halls are inviting and often a place where residents will gather. Make this your hub, and visitors to the care home will be impressed. There is little more disenchanting than a cold, bare, empty entrance area where you have to ring a bell and wait five minutes before human life is discovered. Here are some easily implementable ideas for you to ponder:
- Create a socialising area for residents right next to the doorway
- Ensure there is a member of staff in the hallway at all times
- Keep the hallway nice and warm
- If large enough, set up activities and games in the hall
- Keep the place smelling fresh with air fresheners and, if safe, scented candles
- Ensure there is plenty of seating
- Keep the area clean and fresh with a lick of paint every one or two years
- Have complimentary chocolates or sweets on the reception desk
2. When investing in new equipment, make design a deciding factor
It is not every day that new equipment is bought for the home, making it a decision worth putting some thought into. It is all too easy in the busy role of managing a care home to opt for the cheapest, most functional option. However, ugly hospital-like equipment can really dampen the environment of a care home. Think more about the appearance new equipment has, and look for equipment that will blend in with the home's existing or proposed interiors.
The bedroom is a great place to start. Buy beds that look appealing, and if possible, choose a wood colour for the bed that will match the bedroom furniture. For the bedside chair, choose a supplier that can offer a wide range of fabrics, and really let your creative flair express itself. Have a colour theme for the room that is expressed through the cushions, bed throws, curtains and maybe even a painted wall.
Here are 3 examples of design-led care equipment and furniture-
3. Encourage an open, visitor-friendly atmosphere
Atmosphere is key to a good care home. Creating an environment where residents are happy and occupied, increases well-being and reduces health and injury related problems within the care home. Although physically limited, elderly people tend to have active minds, making them frustrated when they can’t move around and keep themselves occupied. Having a constant flow of visitors through the home is a great way to keep residents happy.
Most elderly people love to talk and meet new people, and open days present an excellent chance for your residents to do just that. Events and activities also help to prevent boredom, particularly team games and activities that involve interaction. By stimulating your residents’ minds, you’re sure to improve the health and well-being of your residents too. Happy and healthy residents equals a happy and healthy care home, a sure way to attract new business and create a pleasant caring environment.
Here are two activities/initiatives you could have in your care home which have proven to improve the welfare of residents:
- A care home library with regular shared reading groups (Click to learn more)
- Hen-keeping through a project such as HenPower (Click to learn more)
I hope the tips above prove useful for you and your care home. Please share your ideas, thoughts and personal experiences in the comments section below.