Ask Away Blog: Preparing Your Home To Care For Someone Who Is Sick

Preparing Your Home To Care For Someone Who Is Sick

Sunday, December 13, 2020

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Photo by Harlie Raethel on Unsplash


Looking after someone who is sick is a huge responsibility, requiring you to make significant changes to your life. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, over 65 million people acted as caregivers for disabled or ill family members.

Whether you are looking after someone for a short period following an illness or surgery, or the long term care of an elderly relative, you need to make some adjustments to your home to make it easier on you both.

Consider these things when preparing your home:

Source any equipment you will need
It’s likely that the person who is ill will need a certain amount of medical equipment, medications and mobility aids to help them. Ask their doctor what is required. Some of it may be provided by the hospital or doctors office, or you might need to source it yourself. There are specialist companies out there that offer short or long term hospital bed rental or wheelchairs to make travelling easier.
Investigate any financial help you may be entitled to

This very much depends on where you live but you could be entitled to grants in order to make modifications to your home. Perhaps you need an accessible bathroom or wheelchair ramp fitted. These can be a costly renovation project. Look at charities and organisations that might be able to help ease the financial burden on you. 

Rethink the layout of your home
Unless the person you are caring for it confined to a bed, then they will be moving about your home during their usual day to day activities. Making your home as easy to live in for them as possible can make a huge difference to their quality of life. It’s also a good opportunity to give your home a good deep clean too.

Look at your home from their point of view. Are there any trip hazards or large items of furniture in the way? Are the items they need regularly in easy to reach places? Do they need any safety rails fitted in their bedroom or bathroom to help them safely move about? Can they access the internet, phone, front door etc when they need to?

You’ll generally find other changes you can make once you’ve started caring for the person, but try and anticipate as many of them as you can in advance. It will make the transition a lot easier.
 
Fit safety alarms
A good way to give yourself some extra reassurance is to have safety alarms in your home. These can be emergency cords that can be pulled if a person is in difficulty. Or there is a range of personal alarms that can be worn around the neck or as a bracelet. They can be pressed by the person who is ill or can detect a fall. Each alarm is slightly different. Some of them will contact medical help directly, while others can alert carers through alarms or mobile phone alerts. 

Conclusion


Creating the right home environment can really reduce a lot of the stress of looking after someone who is ill, improving their quality of life and your standards of care.




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