There are several reasons why a loved one may seek the help and support of hospice care, like Alzheimer’s, cancer, or congestive heart failure. No matter the reasons, they are bound to feel more comfortable while receiving care from their home than in a hospital. However, your home may need to undergo some changes for clients to feel truly comfortable and safe.
One priority in preparing a home for hospice care is ensuring that the client has a suitable place to rest. Many clients feel most comfortable in a hospital bed due to its adjustability, however, these beds are a bit bulkier than typical mattresses. In some cases, the bed has to be brought into a larger room where the client will have space to be cared for by hospice staff while leaving room for any medical equipment, oxygen, or support bars. When setting up sleeping arrangements, if you need to use an open area, be sure to use curtains or partitions to give the client privacy.
Removing Hazardous Obstacles
Though homes are more comfortable than hospitals, they aren’t always as safe. In many homes, there are hazardous obstacles such as rugs or stairs that increase the risk of falling. Bathrooms especially are an area of concern. As you prepare your home for a loved one, consider customizing the bathroom to their needs. It is wise to install safety bars, raised toilet seats, non slip bath mats, and shower chairs to prevent falls.
When moving is limited, elements such as temperature and lighting can make clients feel restless. It is important that clients feel a sense of independence, so give them access to ways of controlling the temperature or lighting in the rooms they frequent. Having fans, heaters, lamps, and access to the blinds/curtains can help them feel more comfortable and in control.
Perhaps one of the most important ways to prepare for hospice care is by cleaning. Cleaning makes it easier for new caregivers to navigate the home and keep things organized. Keeping a tidy home also keeps clients from feeling anxious about clutter. However, the biggest reason a home should be clean for a client is to prevent them from getting sick. Before your loved one comes home from the hospital, make sure the area is dusted, sanitized, and organized.
Keep Comfort Items
While you might be tempted to keep things extra clean and clutter-free, that doesn’t mean you need to change everything. What makes the home so relaxing for clients is its familiarity. Having their comfort items there, like blankets, photos, memorabilia, and even snacks, helps them feel cozy and at home.
The final way to prepare your home for hospice care is by using a care folder that caregivers can use as a resource. OneSource Home Health and Hospice provides a care folder for all clients on our service. This care folder includes important information pertaining to their medical needs such as medications, allergies, emergency contacts, pain and symptom management, fall prevention, and other resources. The care folder is also used as a communication tool to document visits. New caregivers can rely on the information given and can add content to the folder when needed.
Preparing a home for hospice makes it easier for clients to adjust to receiving care from our team. It also helps increase the safety of the home and the level of relaxation the client will feel. We hope you use this list as a resource to help your loved ones feel comfortable in their home.