Taking care of an elderly parent upon their release from a rehab facility can be a difficult task. Pre-planning can make the transition easier for both the caregiver and the senior adult.
The following checklist offers advise to assist you as you adapt your home to provide the best care and safety for your loved one recently discharged into your care.
Furniture should be positioned to create wide paths that can accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. The minimum clear space for the width of a wheelchair is 36” in all directions. The average distance an adult needs to make a complete circle is estimated to be 60” of clear floor space. Removing rugs, extension cords or clutter will help to ensure a safe route from room to room.
Make sure to allow the appropriate space for any equipment that will be required for the patient’s comfort or safety. If a hospital bed or oxygen tank is needed, be prepared prior to the patient’s discharge. Having night stands or end tables within easy access for important items like glasses, medication or a phone is always helpful.
Grab bars in the shower or bath can create independence for your senior while bathing. Consider a shower bench or chair to use while bathing or grooming, and don’t forget to add a no-slip rubber mat to avoid slipping. Handheld shower attachments or commodes may also be required.
Whether your loved one will be preparing meals or not, it is a good idea to place cookware and serving utensils within easy access. Creating a food prep workspace on a table will allow for wheelchair front approach access when a kitchen counter or sink inhibits movement. Snacks and easy to prepare microwave dishes are also good to have on hand when your new patient comes home.
Having essential supplies readily available will provide a smoother transition from rehab to homecare. Consider your patient’s condition and be ready with adult diapers, face masks, disposable gloves or syringes. Plan how you are going to keep track of medication either with a pillbox or even a dry erase board for scheduling.
Taking care of your loved one after release from a rehab center can be overwhelming. Make sure to have other family members in place should you need to leave, or consider a home care professional. Home Care Assistance can arrange for and advise on how to best be ready for the transition from rehab to homecare…both physically and emotionally for all concerned. We provide home helper services, personal care services, companionship care and other assistance. Since every transitional care situation is different, it helps to be well prepared. For more information, call Home Care Assistance in Fort Worth, or visit www.homecareassistancefortworth.com