How to prepare the home so it is accessible for senior citizens and their caregivers
Preparing your elderly parent’s home for in-home care is important. If your parent or elderly loved one is in need of in-home care or in-home nursing services, it is a good idea to prepare and arrange the house. The patient will need certain accommodations to maneuver effectively. It is a good idea to ensure there is adequate space for medical equipment and that it is installed before caregivers arrive.
Here we’ll cover a couple of essential considerations to prepare your home for an in-home nurse or companion. We’ll examine preparations to simplify the process for patients and in-home nurses.
It is important to provide and prepare a private space for a live-in nurse, too. The caregiver will need space to live comfortably. We’ll cover this in a subsequent article.
Start by considering some of the following questions:
- Is the space safe and spacious enough for your elderly parent and their equipment?
- What types of support does your elderly parent need?
- Can the home accommodate medical equipment?
Spatial accommodations for your elderly parent
Your elderly or sick parent likely requires certain spatial accommodations throughout the house. If they have limited mobility or motor skills and use equipment like wheelchairs or walkers, you may want to take a look at the arrangement and types of furniture.
Oxygen tanks or other devices that a patient needs to keep nearby, should also be considered. Concentrate on creating alleyways to allow easy movement across the home.
Arranging the furniture
Try to prepare the space so it’s accessible for large medical equipment.
In-home nurses can help maneuver patients through the furniture arrangements if there is allocated space to do so.
Create wide gaps between couches, tables and other furniture items so walkers and wheelchairs can easily slide through. Check out the ADA guidelines for accessibility to support your efforts. Although your home does not have to comply with these requirements, they create a good starting point for how to accommodate.
It can also be helpful to consider the style and type of furniture in the home. Low and soft furniture may be difficult to get in and out of. Opt for furniture that is sturdy and has support beams or backing. Elderly people can easily sink into, and get stuck in soft chairs or low sofas. This may pose a difficult situation for nurses to help them get up.
Simplify and support your parent’s mobility by arranging sturdy furniture in the home with accessible pathways.
Bathrooms and kitchens
Bathrooms and kitchens pose challenges for elderly people and thus for in-home nurses to facilitate use of.
Bathrooms are typically small. The tight spaces can be hard for elderly people to stay mobile.
If fixtures like sinks and toilets are cramped, you can implement accessibility devices to make the spaces more supportive. Toilet seat raisers and shower handle bars can be easily installed to facilitate a more functional bathroom space for your senior parent. Here’s a thorough checklist from the CDC for senior safety in the home.
Walk-in showers with tile floors that are flush with bathroom floors make a smooth entry for wheelchair accessibility. If that is not possible, you can also opt for a stool or chair in the shower or tub. The in-home nurse can help a patient in and out of the tub using these support equipment items.
Kitchens can be similarly challenging to navigate. Try to make space in kitchen areas so either patients or nurses (or both) can use the space easily. Remove excess furniture and place it somewhere more easily accessible. Ensure that it is navigable, even with equipment like oxygen machines, wheelchairs, and walkers.
Making your home senior-friendly
In-home nursing care is a great way to accommodate and support your elderly parent. The above considerations are meant to help you think about the available space in your home, and how to make it more accessible for your loved one.
Our specialists and caregivers can help you to create an accessible and navigable space that is supportive for your parents needs. Call today to learn more about effectively preparing your home for senior loved ones and medical equipment.