How to make your home safe and functional for your loved one 

When you're bringing your loved one home from the hospital, or rehabilitation facility,  your loved one may have some limited mobility or decreased strength and endurance. You need to keep in mind that what works for you may not work for your loved one. There are many items to be aware of when you bring your loved one home. Here we discuss preparing for caring for your loved one upon discharge from the hospital or rehabilitation,  reducing trip and fall hazards and functional transfers, transfers that include the following; toilet transfers, tub or shower transfers, transfers in and out of bed, on and off furniture, into/ out of home, and in/out of the car. 


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To future proof your home, you should think about it from the perspective that the lowest level a person would be at is from a wheelchair level if they can get out of bed. I find that the contractors who build homes for whatever reason have made bathroom doorways very narrow and a very tight fit for a wheelchair to enter and exit. Sometimes even a walker can present a challenge in older homes as there is no room to negotiate. A doorway width that can accommodate a wheelchair should be at least 32 inches depending on the width of the wheelchair seat itself, plus allowing for the wheels and the rims to pass through and hopefully not pinching hands as it passes through the doorway. Any bathroom modifications need to ensure that a wheelchair can easily roll in and out. If a person in a wheelchair can maneuver in a bathroom, you can be sure that a person ambulating with a walker can also use the same space. A great accessible idea is a zero-entry type of shower area. Zero entry means only a rubberized lip pops back up to keep the water from coming out of the shower area when you roll over or step on it. The floor is pretty even with the existing bathroom.