Avoid these common nursing home decorating mistakes

by Clive
September 9, 2014

Are you responsible for helping a loved one move into a nursing home? Fear not, Senior Service is here to help you make your loved one’s move a pleasant one…


Here are some tips to help you avoid the most common nursing home decorating mistakes

Make the room in the nursing home as inviting and as homelike as you can. Your loved one is going to be spending a lot of time in that room, and you want to make it as comfortable as possible.

It’s not difficult to make a nursing home room look cheerful, but it’s easy to get carried away and make decorating choices that make it hard to live in.

Here are four nursing home decorating mistakes to avoid:

1. Taking big furniture

Dad’s recliner may not look so big in his current house, but when you move it into a small nursing home room, it takes up a lot of space. A recliner needs to be placed away from the wall in order to recline which makes it really unpractical for a nursing home. Keep in mind too that the resident may have other equipment, like a wheelchair or a walker, that will have to be stored in the room.

2. Buying matching curtains

The window decor in many nursing homes is made from specially treated, non-flammable fabrics. These facilities will not allow you to change the curtains or draperies. You see how there is no point in labouring to find curtains that match the bedspread. Why not bring your loved one’s favourite blanket or throw. They’ll feel more at home with it.

3. Placing photos on the dresser or side table

Cherished photographs are important. They remind nursing home patients of happy times and of loved ones who care. But, photographs in nursing homes belong on the walls, not on the side tables or dressers. Space is limited so rather use it for functional items like a tissue box, the telephone, the TV remote, the eyeglasses, etc.

4. Filling the room with flowers

Flowers and plants are cheerful. They bring some sunshine in on the gloomiest of days. But, they also need care. Cut flowers need the water changed daily or they start to smell, not to mention breeding bacteria and fungus. Green plants need regular watering. You can’t rely on the nursing home staff to do these things when they have so many people who need care. If your loved one isn’t capable of caring for plants and flowers, rather buy some lovely synthetic flowers.

There you have the four most common mistakes to avoid when you help a loved one move into a nursing home. They seem logical in hindsight but many people fall into the trap of overcompensating when their loved ones move into a nursing home.

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