Care homes should be comfortable and welcoming environments that cater to the various needs of their different residents. When it comes to caring for people with specific medical needs, such as people living with dementia or low mobility, having the right furniture and other tools in place, such as stand aids, is crucial.
As well as creating a space that is warm, welcoming and of course, homely, it is also important to take hygiene and infection control into account. Anywhere that a large group of people live is going to be a hotbed for bacteria, which is why selecting the furniture that is in place wisely, is so important.
When it comes to choosing furniture for your care home, it is important to realise that there is a range of guidelines that you should take into account and take note of. To help to make the process of choosing furniture for your care home that little bit easier and less stressful, we have put together the below guide. For everything that you need to know about selecting care home furniture, read on.
Creating a homely space
One of the most crucial factors to consider when it comes to how a care home should look and feel is how welcoming and homely it is. The fact is that for your residents, your care home will become their home, which means that it is important that you are able to create the right environment.
Creating a care home that offers a comfortable and supportive environment is a key part of catering to the well-being of the people living in your care home. Studies have shown that being surrounded by welcoming and familiar surroundings can help to make people feel calmer and more in control. When selecting furniture that looks and feels welcoming, make sure to remember to take the practicalities of care home life into account, to ensure that you select pieces that are suitable.
Getting room layout spot on
It is important to realise that when it comes to furnishing any space, care homes included, it is not just about choosing the right furniture, but also about being selective in regards to where you place it. Think about how much space wheelchair users will need to get around, as well as how hoists can be used, and also, walking aids.
By implementing a perfect room layout that is designed with your residents’ needs in mind, you can give them that little bit of independence that they crave. If you create a space where your residents can get around on their own, you can help to improve their quality of life. The more accessible the spaces are that you create in your care home, the better, as this will ensure that your residents are able to get around more easily.
Consider individual needs
Although your care home offers a group living environment, it is also important to take the time to cater to the individual needs of each resident living within the environment that you are creating. When it comes to choosing the furnishings for any area within your care home, it is vital that you take the time to consider the individual needs of your residents.
For example, if you have non-mobile residents who spend the majority of their time in bed, being able to offer specialist beds made to prevent pressure sores is important. Or, for people who have dementia, providing them with clear cupboards and storage spaces could help to stop them constantly opening doors to see what is inside. Adding stickers to doors and other items to explain where things are could also prove useful. For people with low mobility who are prone to slips and falls, consider having additional support like grab rails and hoists installed around their rooms, to make life easier for them (and your team).
The fact is that choosing to offer specialist furnishings for residents with special needs, can help to increase the quality of life that your care home is able to offer people. By doing this, you can make life better for your residents and put your care home on the map as a care facility that listens to its residents’ needs and acts upon them.
Taking safety seriously
A vital part of running any care facility is, of course, safety. With this in mind, it is important to understand that when it comes to choosing furniture for your care home, safety is a factor that should be taken into account. By choosing to purchase your care home furniture from specialist suppliers who offer furniture that has been adapted to meet the needs of people with a range of medical conditions, from low mobility to dementia, you can ensure that you keep your residents safe while in your care.
Furniture that is made especially for seniors comes with a wide range of adaptations, from non-slip feet to rounded table corners to reduce the risk of injury. To further reduce the risk of injury, many care facilities add additional padding to any areas used by residents with mobility issues. Whenever you select a piece of furniture for your care home, it is a good idea to take the time to assess it, to ensure that it is as safe as it could possibly be.
Thinking about hygiene
In care home environments, hygiene is a crucial aspect that must be taken into account when choosing furniture, as infection control in care homes is a crucial part of providing quality care and is something taken seriously by the Care Quality Commission. To ensure that high levels of hygiene are upheld, all furniture in care homes needs to be easy to clean.
If furniture cannot be wiped clean, then it is not safe in terms of infection control. Being able to regularly clean furniture in care home environments is crucial for the health of residents and staff, so choosing specially designed furniture that is easy to wash and keep clean is vital. For soft furnishings, removable covers that are washable is crucial, as if soft furnishings are not washed, they can allow bacteria and infections to spread. For washing soft furnishings, using antibacterial detergent is vital, as this ensures that all bacteria are killed in the wash, and materials are completely germ free.
How to maximise value for money
Almost every care home is on a budget, which is why when it comes to purchasing new furniture for your care home, it helps to makesure you are maximising value for money. Don’t be tempted to purchase cheap furniture to save money, as this will not stand the test of time. Instead, invest in high-quality pieces of furniture that can withstand rigorous wear and tear and will stand the test of time.
Of course, furniture does need to be replaced on a regular basis - perhaps around every two to three years - but it shouldn’t need to be replaced any more often than that. If it does, you may not be investing in furniture that is of a high enough quality.
When it comes to your care home furnishing needs, you can find everything that you need on the CLH website! We even have a dedicated customer support line which you can call to discuss your care home’s furniture needs!