New to an Assisted Living Community? Decorate & Design Your Home to Fit Your Style

How décor can make your new place feel like home

Moving into an Assisted Living Community, while its worthwhile, can take plenty of planning and time. Moving often means downsizing (at Thrive, we call this “right-sizing”), and it might be challenging to figure out what to bring and what to donate vs. what’s no longer needed. While your mind might be on seemingly more practical matters, whether you’re making the move or if you’re helping a parent or loved one… don’t forget about the importance of decorating! How you decorate, design, and lay out your new home can affect its functionality and feel. 

Making a space feel like home can be more easily achieved with the right touches. Decorations aren’t frivolous! They can boost emotional outlook and assist with making the transition to new surroundings easier. So, if you haven’t given very much thought to décor and to decorating your new home at Thrive, here are some pointers and guidelines to consider:

Make it a team effort

Thrive’s team members want to ensure that residents’ living spaces are more than just places to live. Our communities truly feel like home and not just cookie-cutter buildings and rooms. We’re more than happy to assist with the needs and desires of our new residents and to help them and their families make the best choices about their living arrangements. While our spaces are designed to be functional and welcoming, we love to see how residents and their families make a space their own.

If you’re helping a parent or loved one move in, don’t forget to include them in the decorating and decision process. While it may seem the most helpful to just fully prepare a living space for a loved one before they move in, taking the time to share details and plan out the suite can help new residents know what to expect and have a voice in the design and decoration. 

New residents will likely desire to find a way to incorporate keepsake items – so, making sure they are involved with even the smaller decisions and details about a new space can go a long way to helping them feel welcome and included. Plus, it will help residents enjoy a sense of pride and ownership in their new home.

Perfect personal touches

Adding personal touches to any space will instantly make it feel more “you”, and that’s key when moving into a new place. Personal touches can vary from person-to-person, but they might include items that have long been part of someone’s home or that carry sentimental value. Old photographs, decorative throw pillows, family heirlooms on display, artwork, awards and plaques — all of these could be examples of things that provide personal touches.

Personal touches do more than just provide feelings of comfort… they can also help to jog memories. Reminiscing and reflecting on the good ol’ days will help active older adults stay connected to their past. It can even improve their mood, get them thinking, and even spark new stories to share!

What should be saved?

Moving into an Assisted Living Community usually means right-sizing – and while it can be a great time to donate or get rid of old items and clutter, sometimes it can be difficult to decide what to keep. Be mindful of making the most of the space and taking items that bring the most joy. Décor items that have been stored up in an attic or in a basement box probably aren’t worth making the move, like that trophy from the 5th grade track meet… time to go! 

No one should have to make the move alone; residents and their families should work together in deciding what stays and goes. But don’t forget to consider passing down family heirlooms that children or grandchildren can make use of and cherish for years to come!

Designing for convenience

Designing and planning spaces that allow for easy day-to-day functioning is always best. While Thrive plans its living spaces to be accessible and navigable for residents with limited mobility, eyesight, or memory, keeping convenience in mind throughout the move-in and decorating process is essential.

Decorations, after all, can really enhance a living space, but they shouldn’t occupy space needed for basic and everyday items, which should be kept within reach and easily accessible. If it feels that belongings are taking up valuable space, it’s probably best to reduce the number of these items in your new home and save space where needed.

Entertainment essentials

Even though your Thrive community will offer plenty of communal spaces, don’t forget to incorporate a small space for entertaining in your new home. Some residents prefer to host guests within their home rather than using community spaces, and that’s no problem! Keeping an extra seat or small table is perfect for guests… and this space can also be great for displaying family photos and other mementos that can easily spark conversation!

Not sure where to start?

The best approach is to start with a plan – make sure to not only include details about the move itself, but also what to do with belongings and designing your new space to ensure it feels like home from the start.

We’re here to help no matter what stage of the planning process you are in – whether you need help with selecting the perfect suite or lending a helping hand moving in, you can count on us every step of the way. If you have questions about making the move, about the types of items or décor to include, or anything in between – we’re glad to share some pointers and tips that could help. Contact a Thrive Senior Living community near you today. With all the decisions that need to be made about making the move to a new community, let us help with some choices both big and small.

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