Setting up for Home Care
Many of the people we care for are returning home from a hospital stay but aren’t quite well enough to manage the stairs, or navigate through their homes the way they could before their hospitalization. Others have simply found that as their health has changed, they are no longer able to do things at home without some level of assistance, especially when their Amazing home health aide is not with them. If that sounds like you, you may want to talk with us about setting up your home for efficient home care. We can provide helpful advice based on years of experience in thousands of homes. And if you need equipment delivered to your home, such as a hospital bed or commode, Centers Health Care can make those arrangements for you.
A good place to start is to speak with your doctor or therapist. They know your condition and capabilities best and can be an excellent source of advice. The goal is to make your life as easy as possible in every room.
There are three rooms you’ll want to put at the top of your list when setting up your home for receiving home care — the bedroom, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Most people think about the bedroom and the bathroom, but don’t neglect the kitchen!
Because the kitchen is mostly cabinets and appliances, people often fail to see how challenging that room can be until they find themselves struggling. It’s very helpful to have a firm, straight-back chair in the kitchen. Work in this room is tiring and a safe, secure place to rest that is right at hand is important. Organize your cabinets so that foodstuffs, cookware, dishes and other items you use most frequently are positioned between your shoulders and knees. And you should keep a small safety step stool in the event you must get to something above shoulder height.
Make sure that the cords throughout your house, along with small furnishings, appliances and other items are kept well out of the path of travel to prevent tripping. If your mobility is sufficient that you are able to move about with a walker, attach a small basket so that items you need carry, such as eyeglasses or your phone, can go with you while allowing you both hands free for proper balance with your cane or walker.
Set up your bedroom on the main floor if possible. If this is a temporary set-up, consider renting any special equipment you might need. In some cases, you may need to have a portable commode brought in to your bedroom to limit longer walks to the bathroom. An adjustable over-bed table will make it easier to take meals, even occasionally, in your room and they can be used if you are in bed or seated in a nearby chair. An electric lift-chair in the bedroom or living room can be very helpful and will encourage you get up and move around, even if it’s just a short walk from the bed to the chair.
This is a room where you are likely to have a mix of permanent and temporary fixtures. Grab bars for the shower for instance, are recommended for everyone, not just the elderly or infirm. Last year, nearly 250,000 injuries from falls in the bathroom among adults over age 15 were reported. Grab bars should be permanently installed by a professional to ensure reliable and performance, and bars near the toilet can be added at the same time. Never use a “convenient” towel rack as a grab bar. They are not made to support the weight of even the smallest adult and can easily break, causing a fall and potentially traumatic injury.
Shower chairs as well as seats and safety frames for use with your existing toilet are both easy and very helpful additions. These are simple and inexpensive ways to ensure your safety in the bathroom on a temporary or even permanent basis.