Preparing Your Home for Caregiving
Of course, every situation is different. There are always going to be factors that you will not see beforehand, and thus you should be flexible and patient with yourself in setting up the best environment. Here are some general things to consider when preparing your home for caregiving.
Entrance and Exit
Ensure that the living area is free from clutter and unnecessary furniture. Check that the locks are working as intended and if the emergency exit is clear and easily reached.
Keep towels, curtains, and other flammable material away from the stove. Prevent accidents by being aware of potentially dangerous situations your older adult can be put in doing what you may consider simple tasks such as food preparation.
Secure electrical cords so that your older adult can not trip on them, out of walkways with tape. It can also be helpful to have the telephone’s speed dial to be pre-programmed with emergency contact numbers.
Is your older adult able to get in and out of bed safely? Can they turn the light on and off from the bed? Is there a clear path to the bathroom? In case of an emergency, make sure that there is no clutter and that most things are within reach of the bed.
Remember that many home accidents occur in the bathroom. Put in a nightlight and be aware of the hazards that the older adult may face during basic sanitary practices. In particular, it is helpful to have a large rug that covers most of the floor to prevent slipping.