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The power of familiarity: why personal touches matter in Senior Care

The power of familiarity: why personal touches matter in Senior Care

At Valerie Manor, we understand that transitioning to a new environment can be challenging, especially for older adults. As a family-run care home, we prioritise creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere where residents feel comfortable and secure.  One key aspect of achieving this is by encouraging residents and their families to personalise their living spaces with familiar belongings.

Why familiarity matters

As we age, our sense of identity and security can become increasingly tied to our memories and experiences. Familiar objects act as anchors, providing comfort and a sense of continuity in a time of change. Here’s how familiar items can benefit seniors:

  • Reduced Anxiety and Stress

Surroundings filled with cherished possessions can create a calming and predictable environment. This is particularly important for residents with cognitive decline like dementia, who may struggle with new information and surroundings. Familiar objects can offer a sense of control and a connection to their past, reducing anxiety and promoting emotional well-being.

  • Enhanced Memory and Cognition

Certain objects can trigger positive memories and evoke a sense of self. Looking at a photo album filled with family pictures can spark conversations and reminiscing, stimulating cognitive function and providing enjoyment.

  • Increased Independence and Self-Esteem

Having personal belongings allows residents to personalise their space, fostering a sense of ownership and control. They can arrange cherished items in a way that’s meaningful to them, promoting feelings of independence and self-esteem.

Examples of familiar items

Here are some suggestions for items you can bring to personalise a resident’s space at Valerie Manor:

  • Photos and keepsakes: Family photos, wedding pictures, or framed awards can spark joyful memories and create conversation starters.
  • Comforters and blankets: Familiar textures and scents from a favourite blanket or well-worn cushion can provide a sense of security and comfort.
  • Clothing and personal items: Allowing residents to choose outfits they feel comfortable and stylish in can boost self-esteem and independence. Favourite jewellery or a watch can also be meaningful additions.
  • Religious items: For residents who derive comfort from their faith, a religious text, small statue, or picture can be a source of strength and peace.
  • Hobbies and collections: Encouraging residents to pursue long-held interests can be enriching. A chessboard, knitting needles, or a small music box can provide a sense of purpose and enjoyment.

What you should be aware of

While we encourage personal items, there are a few things families should keep in mind:

  • Safety first: All items brought in should be safe for the resident. Avoid bringing anything with sharp edges, small parts, or electrical components that could pose a tripping hazard.
  • Labelling: For residents experiencing memory loss, labelling items with their name can be helpful in reducing confusion and promoting a sense of ownership.
  • Space considerations: While personalisation is important, ensure the room doesn’t become cluttered. Discuss appropriate storage solutions with the care staff to maximise comfort and safety.

Working together for a smooth transition

At Valerie Manor, our staff is sensitive to the individual needs of each resident. We actively work with families to create a personalised living space. By working together, we can create a warm, familiar environment that allows residents to feel at home, promoting their overall well-being and happiness. 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us.