Whether you are transitioning to home care after a serious illness or injury, or you are assisting a loved one as his or her home care needs change, a home health aide can provide the assistance you need to maintain daily living skills an independence. Before this new care plan begins, there are a few things to do to prepare the home. Use this list to help as you prepare for home health care assistance.
Assign A Medication Cabinet
Having medication and medical equipment in a centralized location can help both you and the home health aid with daily needs. Consider clearing out a cabinet in the kitchen so it can be reserved only for medications and equipment. Have one shelf for daily prescriptions, and assign another one for over-the-counter relief medications. If you or your loved one uses a nebulizer syringes or other medical equipment, these items should go on their own shelf. Label each shelf clearly so items can be restocked in their proper place as needed.
Rearrange The Bedroom
If you or your loved one will have mobility issues, think about rearranging the bedroom. Move furniture so that there is a wide, clear bath from the door to the bed, and situate nightstands, so they are easily reachable. In some cases, a hospital-style adjustable bed may be needed in the room. To make room, clear space near an electrical outlet so the bed can be plugged into the wall without the need for extension cords. If a hospital bed is not needed, but mobility is still an issue, switch from a tradition bed to a platform model. Platform beds typically do not require a box spring, which places the mattress lower to the floor. This will help to make it easier to get in and out of bed every day. Be sure that there is enough room on either side of the bed for your home health aide to assist with dressing, bathing, or other personal needs.
Create Space For The Health Aids
Your home health aid may need room for coats, bags, and personal items while in the home. Clear out space in a hall closet, so your aids have a place for their items. You may also want to set up a small desk area in the kitchen or den for each worker to fill out reports and take care of other paperwork. Consider having a spare set of house and car keys made if the home health care workers will be letting themselves in or acting as a driver for medical appointments.
If you are the one in need of home health care, ask a friend or relative to help you make these changes to the home. When caring for a loved one, be sure to discuss the changes you are making to the home and why they are necessary. With a bit of planning, you can make the home a convenient place to recover while also still enjoying the comfort of home.