How to Modify Your Home for Senior Care
Adapting the home for a person who is partially or fully disabled can be a difficult process or a simple process. In general, the more adaptations (changes) that can be made early on -- with a view toward future needs-- the easier life will be for everyone concerned. Few caregivers can afford to remodel a home totally. Yet, it is important for readers to be aware of the "ideal" as they plan the changes that make sense for their situations.
The ideal home for the care of elderly or disabled persons is on one level (ground floor). Having more than one floor is all right as long as there is an elevator or other approved lift device. The ideal care home is laid out so that the caregiver and the person in care can see each other from other rooms.
Whether care will take place in your home or in the home of the person who needs care, the following factors must be considered:
- Is there enough room for both the person and items such as a wheelchair or walker?
- How accessible is the home if walkers or wheelchairs are used?
- Is a doctor, nurse, or specialist available to supervise care when needed?
- Is there a hospital emergency unit close by?
- Is the home environment safe and supportive and does it allow for some independence?
- Is money available to hire additional help?
- Is the person in question willing to have a caregiver in the home?
- Can the caregiver manage this role along with other family and personal responsibilities?
NOTE. For a safer home setting for the person with a respiratory condition such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic bronchitis, avoid:
- pleated lampshades
- belt-type humidifiers
- dirty heat ducts and air filters
- overstuffed furniture
- books and bookshelves
- tobacco smoke
- pets and stuffed toys
- wool blankets and clothing