When you have a loved one with a long-term condition, injury or short-term illness, you may be considering taking them into your home to care for them. This is a nice gesture, as it avoids them having to go into an elder care home or hospice care; however, it will no doubt be hard work for you.
One way you can prepare for their stay, especially if they’re about to come out of the hospital, is to get the house ready, so here are some things to sort out.
Assess their needs
If your loved one is coming out of the hospital or moving out of their current home, then you’ll need to think about their mobility needs and whether they can get around your property. They may need a bedroom on the ground floor, as well as access to a bathroom, so you may have to consider converting a room like a den or another space into a room for them. You can sometimes install a simple downstairs bathroom quickly and easily, and there are many other modifications to make your home more disability friendly.
Have a deep clean
A long-term health condition may affect your loved one’s immune system, so it’s important that your home is clean. While it doesn’t have to be clinical, you should look out for things like:
- Dust – this can aggravate lung conditions
- Clutter – if someone has mobility issues, there is greater risk of falling over
- Kitchens – people with illnesses often have digestive issues, so it’s important to practice high standards of cleanliness
It’s also important to consider the impact of any pets. While you love your dogs, cats or other animals, they may be bothersome to those who are ill, so you may want to ask friends to rehome them. If you have pests anywhere near your home, you should also ensure they’re removed by specialists such as Moxie Pest Control, as their droppings can be dangerous to those with a compromised immune system.
Sort out a schedule with care professionals
Even if you’re very close to your loved one, nobody can care for another person 24/7, so it’s worth either looking for a home help assistant or similar or bringing in some other relatives to give you some time off. When caring for relatives, it often falls to one person to pick up the slack, so make a care calendar to plan things like meals, medication and other needs. Doing this ensures day to day needs are met, without you getting exhausted and burnt-out.
Think very carefully about taking on this commitment
While it may seem natural for you to jump in and offer to help with care, having someone live in your home is a big commitment. Not only will it affect you personally, but it can put a strain on your relationships, career, and children. It’s important to think about what will happen if the person’s condition deteriorates, and whether they’ll want to go back to hospital or a home once they’ve stayed with you. Think these things through and make sure your family is on board before you offer this generous gift.