As your loved one prepares to return home after time spent in rehab or the hospital, is their home ready for them? Is it set up appropriately to meet their needs? The burden of managing a patient’s care in our complicated healthcare system is felt most often by the spouse of the patient or the children of the patient. This responsibility can be very stressful for both the spouse and adult children who may still be trying to juggle work with caregiving. It can be almost impossible to manage if the spouse has their own medical issues that limit their mobility or have memory issues that make understanding and retaining information difficult. Here are some things to consider:
1) Are they a new cane, walker or wheelchair user? Is the space they will be living in safe for them to access with or without a new device?
2) Is the walkway cleared to allow them to enter into their home safely? Will they face challenges getting in/out of the home from the car to get to appointments?
3) Is the home well lit? Some minor changes can be made to keep an individual safer at night.
4) Do they have the necessary equipment set up in the bathroom? Are you hearing terms thrown around like: DME, tub bench, grab bars and so on? Will your loved one benefit from having these items in place prior to them returning home?
5) Will they be set up to live on the main level or will they have the need to access upper-level floors in the home? Will they be able to do this?
6) Does your family member need to have the fridge stocked for when they arrive home?
7) Is the family local or out of town? Is there the need to have professional help set up the environment? Re-arrange furniture (as minimal as possible so as not to disrupt accustomed routine but enough to allow for safe ambulation). Alleviate some of the caregiver stress and demand?
There are many things to consider when trying to help a person come home from the hospital, rehab hospital or a nursing home. Things that might not be in your wheelhouse. Or they are in your wheelhouse but you live too far away to help.
Home Mobility VT is prepared to help meet this need. I am an Occupational Therapist. I can evaluate the living space, make recommendations and follow through with helping your loved one through this important process.