The coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of questioning amongst families, particularly wondering whether it’s a good idea to have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or other type of shared care facility. The worry lies not only in keeping their loved one safe from the virus, but also extends to their mental well-being. Visitation is halted and older adults would be social distancing in their rooms, oftentimes alone.
Whether you are having discussions about keeping your aging parents or grandparents in their own home or are considering removing them from their current care facility, there are many points to weigh and decisions to make.
Age in place or in a nursing home/care facility?
If you are leaning in the direction of having them age in place in their own home, you’re probably wondering if that’s even possible.
Are they able to live independently or will they need assistance?
For safety purposes, will their home require modifications?
Because their safety and care is of highest concern, along with their housing situation and the suitability of it, these are just a couple of the questions that may be asked during these family discussions.
If your family is facing this complex dilemma, please know that EZ-ACCESS is here to help. We understand that they may have physical limitations that either prevent them from doing certain activities or put them at a higher risk of injury from things such as falls. We specialize in making homes more accessible and offer a variety of solutions to assist both you and your loved one.
In the first of this two-part blog series, we have put together a list of key items, as well as areas that are particularly troublesome when it comes to navigation throughout the home, especially for those with limited mobility. These particular solutions are meant to make areas of their home easier to access and will aid in the function of daily activities.
Moving About the Home/Fall Prevention
Care facilities are usually built to eliminate barriers such as stairs, falling or trip hazards, and more. They have elevators, non-slip flooring, etc. built into the facility. With almost two-thirds of slips and falls each year occurring in the home, it only makes sense to ensure that their home has preventative measures in place.
A few things you can have installed in their home are:
- Grab bars: These can be installed almost anywhere they need extra assistance and stability. They come in a variety of different styles and configurations to meet a variety of needs.
- Threshold ramps or mats: Raised thresholds are usually present at primary or secondary home entrances and often look inconspicuous, but can be a cause of serious trips, tumbles, and falls. Threshold ramps and mats are small, simple to put in place, and can remove uneven surfaces for smoother transitions.
- Ramps and vertical platform lifts: Depending on the number of stairs and the height of the elevated entryway, each of these can be installed to help eliminate the hazards and inconvenience these hurdles can present. We have a variety of ramps and vertical platform lift models available to accommodate a variety of stairs and elevated entryways:
- Portable ramps – for few stairs or on-the-go access.
- Semi-permanent ramps – for few stairs and can provide additional stability with handrails.
- Modular ramp systems – can be configured to accommodate high entrances, porches, etc.
- Vertical platform lifts – great for reaching second level entrances or when space is limited and need a small footprint to reach a significant vertical height (can reach heights up to 14’).
- Stair Lifts: Can be used for indoor or outdoor staircases to take your loved one from one level to the next without the hazard or strain of walking up and down a flight of stairs.
If they are able to safely navigate stairs, there are a few things you can do to make them safer:
- Fix and maintain any loose steps or handrails.
- If possible, add lighting to the stairway with a switch at both the top and bottom.
A few things that you can do to help prevent falls:
- Make sure they have clear accessible paths to common rooms and move furniture if you need to.
- Store rugs away or secure them to the floor.
- Remove all clutter from the floors such as shoes and pet toys.
- Bundle all cords from appliances, electronics, and phones.
If they use a mobility device, getting around the home may be a little trickier; read through our blog on overcoming indoor barriers for a few considerations.
In specific rooms, such as the bathroom, there can be even more dangers due to the nature of the room. With surfaces that can become slippery, tight spaces to maneuver in, and activities that need to be performed that require a lot of mobility, this kind of space needs some extra attention.
Getting around in the bathroom and performing necessary tasks such as toileting, bathing, etc. may not be very easy, depending on their level of mobility. To help make the bathroom a safer place and to make performing these everyday tasks easier, we have a suite of bathing products that are incredibly simple to set up and use.
If hair washing is made complicated due to mobility restrictions, we have a few items that can help make this a comfortable and convenient endeavor:
Our EZ-SHAMPOO Hair Washing Basin inflates around your loved one’s head allowing for a refreshing shampoo in the comfort of their bed.
Our EZ-SHOWER is a bedside shower that can be paired with the EZ-SHAMPOO Hair Washing Basin to provide a steady stream of water while your loved one has their hair washed.
If bathing is too risky due to maneuvering in and out of the tub and the slick surfaces that can cause potential slips, or if your loved one is bound to their mobility device and you do not have a roll in shower and maneuvering them into a tub isn’t an easy task, we have an inflatable bath tub that can sit atop the bed, can be inflated around them, and allows for an in bed bathing experience.
When it comes to toileting, getting on and off the commode can be difficult for some folks. Our Toilet Incline Lift simply lifts and lowers individuals on and off the toilet to provide assistance with that movement. This is considerably helpful in maintaining their independence and dignity, allowing for them to potentially not need any help.
We pride ourselves on making products that enrich lives by providing access to life beyond barriers and we want to be of assistance in any way that we can. Our team is here to support you with your questions and we have a nationwide network of knowledgeable dealers that offer home evaluations, product recommendations, and more to make this process as smooth as possible for you and your family.
Contact us today and get connect with a dealer in your local area!