Watching your mom’s health change can put you on an emotional rollercoaster. You can see her getting weaker. You can see failings start to occur.
Yet how can you pull her away from the house she loves? She’s been there for years – decades – how do you pull her away now?
You might not have to. Too many assume the only path is assisted living and skilled nursing care. Yet in home care is a viable option that many don’t consider, often because they don’t know it exists.
To choose this route, a home has to have easy access, easy functionality. Once that’s in place, in home care can be the solution for “what to do with mom.”
Stairs, Entryways, and Hallways
As your mom’s health changes, one of the first things you’ll face is how she gets around. She may require the use of a walker. She may need a wheelchair. She may need the extra support of grab bars and handrails.
While it may once have been easy to climb stairs and navigate long walkways, you look differently at it through a new set of eyes.
Start from the sidewalk and take a tour. Do you need ramps to get in from the outside? Would a stair lift work to move from one floor to another? Is there a way to make all living space on one level?
You should also look at doorways and hallways and consider the spacing. A doorway needs to be at least 32 inches wide to maneuver a wheelchair through the space. Hallways need at least 36 inches for a comfortable amount of room.
Try navigating your mom’s current kitchen from a sitting position.
How about cabinets and shelves? Did your mom always have a step stool to reach high places? That now puts her in danger if she tries. And with a lot of her kitchen supplies that far out of reach, trying to do things on her own is out of the question.
Aging in place remodeling takes all of this into consideration. Cabinets are brought down to a comfortable level. Pull out drawers and lazy susans are added to make shelving more functional. No longer do you have to climb in a cabinet to get what’s in the back.
Bathrooms are considered one of the most dangerous places in the home. Grab bars should be added for balance and support. Ideally, you’ll want them near the toilet, the shower, the tub.
Also, be aware that different types of flooring can make tripping and falling easier. Hard tile may be beautiful, but it can pack a punch if you fall down. Softer vinyl may be the way to go. And while rugs might be necessary for keeping flooring dry, they are also easy tripping hazards. Consider small rugs that can be added and tucked away as needed.
Need additional tips to help keep your mom happy and safe with in home caregiving?