There may come a time when it is necessary to bring an elderly parent or loved one into your home for an extended stay following an illness. When planning on doing this, there are some preparations that you should take into consideration. The main goal is to make the home as comfortable and as accessible as possible. These tips should help you identify problem areas in which to address.
Take a walk through the home to find trouble spots. You want to look for places that contain obstacles where someone can trip, open places of egress that are wide enough for a wheelchair or a walker, and access to all necessary living areas on one level.
One of the most important rooms of the home will be where your parent will sleep. This should be on the main floor and should have a bathroom either connected to the room or very near by. Access to lights should be next to the entry to the room so that there will be no stumbling in the dark. There should also be a light and a nightstand near the bed so that any medication and additional light is close at hand. The bed should be high enough so that standing up is not difficult.
The bathroom door should be wide enough to allow a wheelchair to enter easily. Decorative items, such as knick knacks, non-skid rugs, and unanchored shelf units should also be removed. These can cause accidents. Can you add grab bars near the toilet and the shower? Place a stool in the shower to allow your parent to sit while bathing and make sure the floor of the shower has a non-skid surface. Also, place a night light in the bathroom to avoid stumbling at night.
Your loved ones will want to have access to watch television and talk to people. Have easy access into the room and a solid chair that’s firm enough to stand, yet comfortable enough to sit in. All throw rugs must be taped down or removed. Windows and doors should be easy to open.
This list is far from complete, but it gives you a good place to start when preparing your home for an elder loved one. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact the Kabb Law Firm at 216.991.KABB (5222).