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Home Health Care

Preparing your home for the care of an ill loved one

When someone you love is suffering an illness requiring long term health care, it often seems logical to bring them to your own home so you can spend time with them and provide that care. This is a big change for everyone, though, so it's important to make sure your home is ready for its new resident but also remains a living space that you enjoy.

Some major considerations in preparing your home for the care of an ill loved one are:

Medical Equipment

A visit from a nurse or other medical professional who is familiar with your loved one's situation can help you determine if you have what you need. If your loved one has respiratory problems, for example, you will need to make sure his or her oxygen tank is replenished on a regular basis. (You will need to make an appointment for this.

Organization

You want your new resident to be comfortable, but at the same time, you still have a house and a life to maintain. Find a comfortable spot, perhaps in a TV or living room, where your loved one can settle in while you do other chores. Make sure this is not in your way but is still in an area you pass by frequently.

Similarly, it's important to keep medication and other important items where everyone knows where they are and can easily access them. This way, if you are ever away, your loved one or another member of the family will know where everything is and will not be scrambling in search of a pill. Good home health care practices also require that emergency numbers be posted in a clear and visible area so anyone can find them.

Exclusive Areas

While you are providing home health care, your loved one also deserves the privacy he or she is used to. It is only fair to provide your patient with a private room or area where he or she can go to sleep and be alone. Make sure this area is easily accessible (not up or down stairs, if possible) and near to where you sleep so you can hear any problems, should they arise.

Efficiency and Comfort

You may want to consider adding a ramp for a wheelchair or installing a raised toilet seat, which is easier for people with disabilities to use. You can make your bathroom even more user-friendly by installing bathroom grab bars and nonslip grips in the shower. Make sure nothing your loved one will be reaching for is high and out of reach. If you have rugs and carpets, consider removing these to avoid slips and trips. Proper health care management also requires good hygiene, so keep an eye on your loved one and make sure he or she has good hand-washing habits to keep him or herself, as well as the rest of your family, safe.

Health Care Insurance

Insurance rates may change and vary depending on where your loved one is receiving care. Consult your insurance company for a health care insurance quote and adapt your plan as necessary. To avoid any unnecessary accidents, make sure your loved one is fitted with proper shoes and comfortable clothes.

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