First day in a care home

The first day somewhere new is always daunting but what's it like to be the newest person in a care home?

Doing anything for the first time can always be a little scary, especially when it's as big a change as moving home. It is a lot to adapt to and get used to; a new environment, a new bed, new neighbours and leaving the home at whatever age is always a daunting idea, and moving into a care home in particular can make some quite nervous on what to expect.

At Barchester, our care home teams do all they can to make you feel welcome and at home as soon as you arrive.

First impressions make a big difference to feeling comfortable in a care home, whether you’re a resident or a guest. Each experience differs depending on the individual and their circumstances but our team of nurses and carers greet everyone with a warm welcome as they introduce themselves.

Already briefed on the new resident’s arrival, a new resident will meet their main carer as they arrive, who will help them up to their room and take their luggage.

Moving In

When a resident first moves in, many Barchester homes will have fresh flowers and a mini welcome pack in the room which can be filled with soaps, loofahs and chocolates. There are always fresh towels and a jug of water set up in the room, and as the resident enters and gets comfortable, the team can make any adaptations to their bedroom and en-suite bathroom that may be required, such as getting a longer bed, or an adapted toilet seat.

Residents are welcome to bring in their own furniture, such as a favourite chair, which the maintenance team will place in their room, and can hang any pictures the resident wants around the room to make the residents feel at home as soon as possible. Our maintenance team will also PAT test any electric equipment a resident may bring, whether it is medical or personal, and make sure their television in their room is all set up and ready to watch.

The head nurse will usually go through paperwork with the resident and their family on the residents first day to ensure any necessary medications are ready, and discuss how and when they're best administered. Residents will also be shown where their personal alarm is within in their room. Help is available 24/7, and nothing is ever too big an ask.

Over the next couple of days, the hospitality team will introduce themselves to the new resident, and take their clothes to the laundry, where clothes can be labelled so they don’t get misplaced.

Dining on your First Day

A resident's first meal is an important way of making them feel at home, so our hospitality team will make sure their lunch is ready, accounting for any special dietary requirements or preferences they may have.

Relatives who join their loved ones on the first day are welcome to stay for tea, where they can sit on their own table or sit with other residents to get to know their new neighbours. Some residents prefer to stay in their own room to rest after a busy day and the team will bring their lunch to their bedroom.

During their first week at the home, the hospitality team will go through the menus with the new resident and discuss what they would like, providing alternative options and dishes to accommodate for all tastes.

Getting your Bearings

Within the first day or two, depending on the health of the resident, it would be important to spend the time looking around the home. Residents are encouraged to get their bearings, and to explore the day lounge, the dining rooms, the additional bathrooms, the garden area and the in-house hairdressers. Many new residents will have a tour with their newly appointed carer so they can get better acquainted.

During the first few days, the new resident will also have a chance to meet the activities team. In the room the resident will get the list of the activities for the week or month within their welcome pack, ranging from more relaxing events, such as evenings accommodated by music, or more active events such as day trips out.

Every resident and their relatives will also meet the General Manager and the senior nursing team again, who would have done the care assessment before the resident moved in. The teams at the home work together to provide the best care for your loved ones, but the General Manager is always around to answer any questions you may have.

To find out more about the care available at you nearest care home, click here.

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