How to prevent your loved one from feeling lonely in a care home

Moving a loved one into a residential care home can be a necessary step in the safety and comfort of them, but it’s one that comes with adjustments required.

For a loved one, it can be a challenging period of time that often leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation. That’s not through the fault of the caregivers in the home, but rather a natural reaction to being moved out of a home that they’ve potentially lived in for generations.

Whether you’re looking at residential care homes for elderly relatives, or potentially need help with a disability or condition, there are many steps you can take to ensure they don’t feel like they are isolated from the rest of the family, including:

Regular Visits and Quality Time

Of course, the obvious answer is to make frequent visits, which will essentially reinforce the fact that they are still part of the family group and dynamic. Even if you can only visit for a short period of time, that facetime makes all the difference.

It provides comfort, companionship and a sense of belonging to your loved one and will significantly improve their emotional wellbeing.

Encourage Participation in Social Activities

Naturally, you can’t be there 24/7. If you could, you may have taken on the caregiving yourself. However, encouraging getting involved with the various activities a residential care home will provide can help decrease loneliness while you aren’t there as they engage with other residents and enjoy activities they love.

The likes of exercise classes, music therapy, arts and crafts, days out and so much more is available in many homes across Wales, allowing loved ones to be active and forge new friendships and support groups with other residents in the home.

Personalise Their Living Space

Adding extra comfort to a loved one’s living space will also help them feel closer to loved ones. Personalising with photographs, artwork, books and other trinkets and items from home will help provide an air of familiarity as well as continuity and security. When they are perhaps feeling lonely, they can evoke the positive memories that photos and certain items will provide, and use it as a coping mechanism.

Stay Connected Through Technology

Today, you’ll also find that you can speak to a loved one whenever you wish. Encourage your loved one to use smartphones and tablets, while most care homes today have secure wi-fi connections so you can dial in and speak to them whenever you wish.

It helps maintain meaningful connections during periods where you perhaps can’t physically visit.

Involve Them in Decision-Making

Finally, if possible, it can be useful to ensure that they are still in control. Involving them in decision making, whether it be about their care or general family matters will increase their self-worth and preserve their dignity.

Within a care home, it can be as simple as choosing meals and making decisions on their daily routines. It provides that sense of respect and that they are being prioritised, which can have a real knock-on effect in reducing loneliness and isolation.