How to Make Long Term Care Feel as Comfortable as Home

After being settled in one place for many years, the time may come that long-term care is necessary. Moving to a long-term care community, however, can come with difficult-to-process emotions and reluctance to change. Although moving can be overwhelming and cause anxiety or depression, it doesn’t always have to. One of the main reasons for all of these negative emotions is fear of the fact that they will not feel comfortable in their new long-term care community. However, from personalizing and decorating to making new friends and participating in activities, there are many ways that long-term care can quickly come to feel like home.

According to Edward Toy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Voorhees, New Jersey, the transition to long-term care is rarely an easy one. “We know how hard it can be to move away from a home you may have spent your whole life in, and we understand the hardships that can come along with it,” Ed says. “From not feeling comfortable and knowing no one at first to slowly settling in and trying to find their place, our new residents are supported by friendly and helpful team members that are here to make this transition as easy as it can be. It is our mission to make them feel as at-home and as much a part of our family as possible.”

In order to make the transition to long-term care more comfortable for yourself or a loved one, be sure to visit the community as many times as you can. Each time, talk to the residents and attempt to make some new friends beforehand. Be sure to know where everything is in the community and see if it’s possible to participate in activities ahead of time; doing these things can help you or a loved one become more comfortable prior to moving in. Try some of the following tips to make a long-term care community feel more like home.


In a new and unfamiliar place, one of the first things people look for is something that makes them feel like they are at home. Fortunately, this can be done simply and with many items you or your loved one already own. If it’s possible, set up the room before you or a loved one officially move in. Not only will this take some of the stress out of moving day, but it can also help you or your loved one settle in easier and feel more comfortable. While it may take some getting used to at first, many find that their long-term care community begins to feel like home in no time. Try incorporating some of the following items to make your room feel more comfortable instantly.

  • Furniture. If at all possible, measure the room beforehand to get a feel of if any of your furniture will be able to be brought along. It may be possible that you or your loved one is emotionally attached to a specific chair as it was “theirs”. If it will fit, take it along.
  • Bedspreads, pillows and curtains. Make sure that you bring bedspreads and pillows from home, as you or a loved one may be accustomed to them. If there are certain blankets or quilts that you or a loved one prefer to use, take them along. It can also help a room to feel homier if the curtains and rugs are the same as or similar to what was in the previous home.
  • Robes and comfy clothes. If you or a loved one like to lounge in your robe or comfortable pajamas and slippers, be sure to pack those along and place them in a prominent spot so that there is easy access to them. This may be one of the smallest comforts, but it is certainly significant in make long-term care feel like home.
  • Decorations and pictures to hang. Do you or your loved one like a particular theme for a home or collect anything? If you or a loved one’s home had a particular theme to it, try to incorporate it as much as possible. If the walls had photographs hung all over them, hang some up. If there was artwork on the walls, bring it along to hang up as well.
  • Photo albums. If there is a time you or a loved one miss home, it can help to bring out some old photo albums. This can be especially helpful in making you or a loved one feel happy and can also fill up any downtime.


What makes a place feel like home isn’t always the material things. It’s possible that home is a feeling, where your friends and family are. While friends and family may visit often, living in a long-term care community affords you or your loved one the opportunity to make new friends and build new relationships.

  • Chat with the staff! As some of the first people you or your loved one will meet in the long-term care community, get to know the team and let them get to know you. As these are the people who will be taking care of you or your loved one, it’s important to build a trusting and open relationship.  It will pave the way for a higher quality level of care.
  • Get to know other residents. Talk to neighboring residents and leave the door open. This shows that you or a loved one want to talk and are happy to have some company. Making friends decreases the chances of becoming socially isolated, which also then decreases the likelihood of depression and the health problems that can follow it. Once you make some close friends, you may then find yourself or a loved one participating in more activities and happier to be in a long-term care community.
  • Get involved in activities. Even if you or a loved one have not yet made many friends, check out the events calendar. If you find that the long-term care community offers activities and programs that you or a loved one may be interested in, go. This is one of the best ways to help others get to know you and easily one of the best ways to make some friends. Soon, home begins to be the place where you are involved in things you love with people you love.

“Whenever our residents go for lunch with their family or have some time away, it makes us proud to hear them tell us that they are glad to be home,” says Ed. “It’s humbling to know that our residents left their home to come here, somewhere that was completely new, when they may have been reluctant to do so at first. The fact that they now regard it as home gives us so much pride in what we do and the care we provide. When our residents call Lions Gate home, it’s a sign that they regard our team members as friends or family. It means we must be doing something right.”


At Lions Gate, we offer top-rated care that is widely trusted and well-known. Named One of the Best Nursing Homes in the Country by the U.S. News & World Report and rated Five-Star by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Centers, Lions Gate is known for offering top-quality skilled nursing and long-term care services. With 24/7 care from licensed nurses and nursing assistants, pharmacy services and life enrichment activities and outings, you can be confident that your loved one is in good hands. We invite you to call or visit us today.


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