No matter their condition, bringing a loved one into your home to receive individualized medical care is a huge decision that usually involves significant preparations to the household and changes in routine for those who currently live there. Staying at home is a comfortable long-term solution to staying in health facilities, group homes, or other institutions. It helps keep families together while nurturing the patient in a loving environment. Whether it’s for the long- or short-term, it doesn’t come without major planning and calculating ahead of time.
Here are some things you’ll need to do to prepare for the arrival of your loved one in your home.
Understand How Much Care is Needed
There are so many conditions that need individualized in-home care that it’s important to discuss with doctors exactly what should be done to care for the patient. Sometimes all you’ll need is a little nudge in the form of help with daily household chores, or the occasional transportation assistance. Others will need specialized medical care around the clock.
A few things that in-home care usually involves is bathing, dressing, eating, moving around the home or from the bed to a wheelchair, bathroom assistance, and exercising activities. Understanding exactly what you’re committing to from the start will give you a better idea of how to proceed with arranging the care.
Bring in the Professionals
Even the most loving and resilient caregivers will eventually feel the strain of constantly caring for their loved one. This is otherwise known as caregiver stress. Recognize this fact and consult in-home care professionals from the start. In the beginning it may seem trivial to have someone there to help with small tasks like dressing and mealtime assistance, but in the long run you’ll be grateful for the help. You see, caregiver stress has a cumulative effect; you probably won’t notice it until it’s a major issue.
Manage the Costs
Depending upon the level of care you’ll need, in-home care costs can vary significantly. The national average for a home health care aide that helps with hygiene and basic medical attention, such as administering medication, is $20 per hour, according to MetLife’s Market Survey of Long-Term Care Costs.
Depending on the condition, Medicare may pay for a portion of the care, including several hours of care from a nurse’s aide and 12 hours of respite care each week. Check with your insurance professional and local resources for exact amounts and financial assistance that’s available.
Even though your loved one requires in-home care, it could be helpful to their recovery to allow and encourage them to be as independent as they can. It’ll strengthen their resolve and yours as you work through this troubling time. One of the many ways to do this is to invest in home automation services. You can find details about this by visiting www.securitycompanies.com.
Home automation services allow users to control features of the home, including lighting, thermostat temperature, and exterior locks, as well as provide information on the overall security of the home. Put these in the hands of capable in-home patients, and they’ll be able to control these home functions from their bed, which offers more independence for them, and peace of mind for you.
Other ways you can promote your loved one’s independence is by communicating with them to find their comfort and ability level. Consult with their doctors and other medical staff for guidance on how to care for your loved one in a caring, nurturing way that’ll help promote their speedy recovery.
Eliminate Booby Traps
As you prepare your home for the arrival of an in-home care patient, take a careful look around your home and nix any and all possible areas of trouble. Some adjustments could be as simple as installing anti-scalding devices on showers and faucets, which can protect older skin that is susceptible to severe burns easily, carbon monoxide detectors, grab bars in the shower and around the toilet.
More in-depth modifications are needed as well. Consider adding ramps to enhance wheelchair access, and invest in portable ramps for use around the interior of the home as well. It’s a good idea to replace carpeting with hard wood or tile floors to help facilitate moving medical equipment including beds, respirators, oxygen tanks, and wheelchairs.
Whether you’re arranging for a long-term care experience, or a few weeks of in-home therapy, readying yourself personally and financially, as well as preparing your home will make the entire process go smoother. Hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction.