‘Ask Jan’ – Residents’ Bedrooms

“Dear Jan,

Is it appropriate for residents to visit each other in their own bedrooms?

Thanks, Helen”


Dear Nuala,

This is a tricky question, the answer to which is going to depend on many factors. One of the main factors will be your care setting’s policy, and another will be the mental capacity of the residents. Another factor to consider is whether the residents were friends before moving into your care setting, or if it is a new friendship.

I’m assuming that this question has arisen as a result of a developing friendship between residents. Friendship and connection is incredibly beneficial for residents’ wellbeing, so of course it is important that you foster these connections and enable time together. However, there are valid causes for concern when permitting residents to spend time in each others’ bedrooms.

My opinion is that it is ok under controlled situations, with careful handling. Residents should not be allowed to go into each others rooms without prior arrangement. The other resident may be receiving personal care, may be asleep or unwell, or may just simply want some quiet time. Their bedroom should be a safe, private space – a sanctuary away from unwanted intrusions. Therefore, it is very important that bedroom visits are arranged and agreed in advance, and facilitated by a member of care home staff.

It goes without saying that you should ensure that both residents are eager for the visits to take place. It should not be led by just one resident’s wishes. In some cases it would be appropriate to consult the resident’s family members too, to check that they are happy for such visits to take place.

The ideal (and much easier!) solution is to provide a neutral space for the two residents to spend time together in. Of course this won’t be as private, but it would be far easier to manage.

If bedroom visits are agreed, then a suitable time needs to be decided between both residents and staff, and the door should be left open at all times. A staff member should check the residents regularly, and ensure that risk assessments are in place and adhered to.

Best of luck,


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