Planning ahead and preparing for a safe return home from the hospital or a rehab facility can mean the difference between readmission and a full recovery for your loved one. You’ll have a lot to do when they get home; doing as much preparation for their arrival beforehand is much easier and less stressful for everyone.
Courtesy of the U.S National Library of Medicine and Medline Plus, here are some excellent ideas on how your loved one can remain safe and healthy at home.
Make It Easy For Them
Make sure everything they need is easy to get to and on the same floor where they will spend most of their time.
- Set up their bed on the first floor (or the entry floor) if you can.
- Have a bathroom or a portable commode on the same floor where they will spend most of their day.
- Stock up on canned or frozen food, toilet paper, shampoo, and other personal items.
- Either buy or make single meals that can be frozen and reheated.
- Make sure they can reach everything they need without getting on their tiptoes or bending down.
- Put food and other supplies in a cupboard that is between their waist and shoulder level.
- Place glasses, silverware, and other items they use often on the kitchen counter.
- Make sure they can get to their phone. A cell phone or wireless phone can be helpful.
Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms they will use. This way, they can sit when they do their daily tasks.
If your loved one will be using a walker, attach a small basket to hold their phone, a notepad, a pen, and other things they will need to have close by. They can also wear a fanny pack.
Raising the toilet seat height may make things easier for your loved one. You can do this by adding an elevated seat to their toilet. They can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.
You may need to have safety bars, or grab bars, in their bathroom:
- Grab bars should be secured vertically or horizontally to the wall, not diagonally.
- Install grab bars to help them get in and out of the tub.
- Install grab bars to help them sit down and get up from the toilet.
- Do not use towel racks as grab bars. They cannot support their weight.
You can make several changes to protect your loved ones when they take a bath or shower:
- Put non-slip suction mats or rubber silicone decals in the tub to prevent falls.
- Use a non-skid bath mat outside the tub for firm footing.
- Keep the floor outside the tub or shower dry.
- Place soap and shampoo where they do not need to stand up, reach, or twist to get it.
Have them sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:
- Make sure it has non-skid rubber tips on the legs.
- Buy a seat without arms if it is placed in a bathtub.
If your loved one lives in the state of Virginia, AmeriCare Plus is here to help. Our post-operative care is part of our “Service By Design” options that will help you have confidence and peace of mind knowing a trained, professional caregiver is helping your loved one successfully recover and avoid readmission.
AmeriCare Plus has ten offices throughout Virginia to serve you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and competitive rates.