When your loved one starts hospice care at home, it can initially seem frightening and stressful because it’s such a big change. Hospice care shifts the focus from curative care to palliative care. This means that the goal of hospice is comfort during your loved one’s final months.
You can create the most peaceful living space for your loved one while they’re in hospice care in many ways, so read on to learn how you can prepare your home for hospice.
Hospice Bedroom Prep
Many hospice patients spend the majority of their time in their bedroom, which means a highly functional and comfortable bed is essential. If your loved one is growing weak or is increasingly immobile, they might benefit from an adjustable bed.
Adjustable beds can elevate your loved one’s head, feet, or entire body as needed to help them sit up in bed, get in bed, or get out of bed. Depending on the situation, you might also consider adding guardrails, which help prevent falls.
Place an easy-to-reach table next to the bed, where your loved one has access to anything they use regularly such as television remote, phone, and eyeglasses. If your loved one has a freestanding (not worn on their body) emergency assistance device, make sure that it’s on the bedside table as well.
Hospice Bathroom Prep
In the bathroom your loved one will be using, install any safety equipment they need. Many hospice patients use equipment such as:
- Grab bars
- Bathtub lift
- Shower chair
- Sitz bath
- Elevated toilet seat
- Transfer bench
With the right bathroom equipment in place, your loved one can be comfortable, retain their dignity, and stay safe while they’re in hospice care. If you’re not sure which bathroom equipment your loved one needs, your hospice coordinator and medical supply provider can assess your loved one’s needs and your home layout to help you make the right choices.
Hospice Floor Prep
Your loved one may experience a significant decrease in mobility while in hospice care, so it’s important to prepare any areas where they’ll be moving around. If they currently use a wheelchair or are expected to need one, measure any and all areas where they’ll be moving to ensure there is enough space to move the chair forward and turn it around.
Whether your loved one is walking or is entirely wheelchair bound, you and any hospice care providers must regularly scan the floor to check for potential obstacles like electrical cords.
Most common floor surfaces, including hard wood and tile, are far too slippery for someone in fragile health. Choose sturdy non-slip floor mats for all areas that the patient will travel regularly, including the bed to bathroom route.
Hospice Assistive Device Prep
You should choose assistive devices that allow your loved one to be as mobile as they would like to be. Many hospice patients benefit from specialized wheelchairs like Broda chairs, which prevent sliding, slumping, or tumbling out of the chair.
This type of wheelchair also has adjustable arm, leg, and seating areas for maximum comfort. Additionally, a specialized wheelchair can redistribute body weight in a way that prevents pressure sores from forming or worsening.
If your loved one still walks, make sure you choose the sturdiest and most comfortable walkers, rollators, crutches, canes, or other assistive devices to help them do so safely. When patients find assistive devices hard to use or uncomfortable, they’re far less likely to use them faithfully, so proper equipment is a worthwhile investment.
Transitioning your loved one into hospice care in your home can be easier than you think. By preparing your home with the tips above, you’ll have peace of mind so you can truly treasure every moment with your loved one.
At Corner Home Medical, we understand your needs because we specialize in the best quality home medical equipment available today. Reach out online or by phone to get help preparing your home for hospice care now.