How to Prepare the Home for a Loved One's Return After Rehab

The long process of healing and recuperating after a fall or the breaking of a bone is excruciating. Many times, it involves a hospital visit and an extended stay for therapy or rehab of the affected area. The rehab/therapy process can be very beneficial, but also painful. It can help one to regain the strength that is needed to return home and begin living independently. BUT, returning to a home that isn't prepared properly can be very dangerous and lead to another fall. 

Here are several tips for preparing your home for your return or the return of a loved one.

1. Remove any and all rugs or other items that might create a tripping hazard. Cord running across the floor, rolled up carpet, or clutter in the floor are good examples. After breaking a bone or recovering from a fall, one might shuffle their feet in the beginning. Creating a clean and safe path around the home that is free of tripping hazard is an excellent start. 

2. Improve the lighting in high use areas, such as bathrooms and kitchens. Improved lighting can make it easier to see items that might be in the way.

3. Declutter the home and reorganize based on current needs. Swapping around the most commonly used items in the cabinets so that they are easier to reach is a huge benefit. Preventing leaning down to dig through a cabinet, or reaching up on one's toes is a great way to avoid falls. Rearrange cabinets and pantries so that items are safely within reach. 

4. If walking is not an option right away, a temporary shower might be ideal. Temporary showers can be rented and are setup in a convenient area for the homeowner. They open from the side so that it is easier to step into and close the doors. 

5. Install grab bars. Grab bars are metal bars that attach to the wall where additional support might be needed. Common areas for this are around the toilet area, inside the shower, or on the wall where there might be a small set of stars inside the home. Grab bars are a great addition,

6. Installing a stairlift or elevator for easy access to the entire home. When mobility is an issue, accessing the upper level of a home can feel impossible! Imagine living in a home where you can only reach half of it! How is that fair? Thankfully, stairlifts and elevators not only make this a possibility, they make it a reality! A stairlift can be purchased or rented and is customized for your set of stairs. They feature many safety features and are a tremendous benefit when stairs are a problem. Elevators can be used by all members of the family and add a luxury factor to any home on top of being an extremely useful tool for those returning home. Certain models can accommodate a wheelchair and allow for 2 or more people.

7. If mobility issues are going to be permanent, home modifications may need to be done for safety purposes. Remodeling the bathroom and the kitchen are two great places to start. Widening door ways to accomodate a walker or wheelchair is also high on the list. There are many things that can be done to make the home safer and more practical for those living with mobility issues.

Our Accessibility Consultants are experts at identifying areas that could be unsafe and making recommendations that can be helpful. Please give us a call today to schedule your free in-home assessment.

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