Care Seeker Resources

A collection of resources to help you navigate the care continuum.

By: Stephanie Jackson  |  Type: Article  |  On: December 01, 2016

Financial assistance for making your home wheelchair-accessible

If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.

Many seniors want to live their lives as independently as possible, and home modifications are an excellent way to help them do just that. If you need financial assistance for home modifications to make your house wheelchair-accessible, there are several resources that may be able to help you get started.

Common home modifications
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are a few common alterations that many people seek out once they rely on a wheelchair for day-to-day activities. Some of these may include:

  • Push-button access to doors that replace traditional door handles.
  • A walk-in shower.
  • Handrail installation on staircases, both outdoors and indoors.
  • Altering kitchen counters so that they are lower and easier to reach.
  • Wheelchair ramps that help you get inside and outside more easily.

Whether you are seeking resources for one or all of these alterations, it's important to speak first with your physical or occupational therapist to see what might work best for you and your home.

 

There are several resources that can help you make your home wheelchair-accessible.

There are several resources that can help you make your home wheelchair-accessible.

Get educated about home modifications
Getting yourself informed about making your home wheelchair-accessible is the first step, and there are plenty of resources and organizations that can help. The HHS also explained that repairs and alterations can cost seniors anywhere from $150 to $2,000, depending on the type of renovation you are seeking. A contractor will be the best person to explain to you what is needed in your home, how much it will cost and what kinds of reduced rates or fees might apply.

However, it's important to know that these modifications and their respective expenses are provided by the Older Americans Act, and then dispensed through the Area Agencies on Aging, according to the HHS. You can find out where your local AAA chapter is by visiting the Alzheimer's Association's Community Resource Finder (www.communityresourcefinder.org)  and then clicking on the "Community Services" tab.

Resources and organizations
In addition to your local AAA, there are several other resources and organizations that might be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to financial assistance. The HHS recommends Rebuilding Together, Inc., which operates with local affiliates and volunteers to help low-income seniors find the resources they need. You might also be able to find rebates with the U.S. Department of Energy's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, though those discounts may vary state by state.

It's also worthwhile to contact organizations in your area, as many cities and towns offer grant funds through community development centers and local departments. Local banks and lenders might advise you to look into home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages to cover additional costs for renovations as well.

If you're a senior looking to make your home wheelchair-accessible, there are many ways you can get the assistance you need, both from private and public sources. Be sure to ask family and friends about their own experiences with these types of renovations as well so that you gain more insight into the right contractors to hire for this important task.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Article  |  On: August 10, 2016

Home safety checklist for seniors

Your home is your safe haven, but for seniors, a house can all too easily turn into a maze of hazards. Fall-proof the space with these tips.

Your home is your safe haven, but for seniors, a house can too easily turn into a maze of hazards. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, 60 percent of falls occur at home, but these incidents may be preventable. If you're caring for an aging parent, there are steps you can take to create a sound living environment for your loved one. Use this checklist as your guide for making modifications for a happier, healthier home:

Ensure home has adequate lighting
No matter how good your eyesight is, maneuvering in the dark is next to impossible. Keep the senior safe by equipping the home with adequate lighting. Go around the house and check for burned-out bulbs and replace them as necessary.

Additionally, consider the overall lighting structure. Walk through the house at night with the lights on, and see where the home could use some brightness. Perhaps one hallways is particularly dark, or you have to walk upstairs before being able to turn on the second-level light. In this case, you might benefit from bringing in an electrician who can install light fixtures in these spaces.

 

Hand holding onto bathtub grab bar.

Install grab bars to promote safety at home.

Fall-proof the bathroom
The bathroom is one of the most common places for falls due to activities like climbing in and out of a tub and stepping on wet surfaces. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the older someone is when they slip in this room, the greater their risk for injury.

It only takes a few modifications to make the bathroom a little safer. Consumer Affairs advised installing grab bars near the tub and toilet. Remember, towel racks are not a replacement for grab bars, as they are not as sturdy and could easily dislodge from the wall under a person's weight.

To prevent falls in the shower itself, use non-slip bath mats or considering placing a shower chair in the tub. The latter option is especially beneficial for seniors who have trouble balancing.

Clean up
This simple task holds a lot of importance. Straightening up a home by clearing clutter, tucking away electrical cords and bringing stools back next to the table they belong to can go a long way in reducing the risk of tripping. The National Safety Council also advised wiping up spills as soon as they occur to prevent the senior from slipping on a wet surface.

Throw rugs are also a common cause for falls, as seniors may trip over their raised edges. Make sure rugs stay flat to the ground, or get rid of them altogether. You can certainly make someone feel accepted in your home without a welcome mat!

Some seniors may need assistance with daily living tasks to stay safe at home, even with these modifications. In this case, considering hiring a home health aide who can assist with bathing, dressing, eating and other duties.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type:  |  On: July 13, 2016

3 summer safety tips for seniors

For older adults and their caretakers, safety should be top-of-mind during summer.

Summer is here, which means it's time for fun in the sun and some much-needed relaxation. For older adults and their caretakers, safety should be top-of-mind as well. After all, depending on where you live, you could see temperatures skyrocket to well over 100 degrees!

According to the National Institutes of Health, seniors are especially prone to hyperthermia, which occurs when the body can't adequately respond to increases in temperature. This can result in conditions like heat exhaustion, fatigue and stroke. To ensure the season is enjoyable for folks of all ages, stay cool with these following tips:

1. Dress up in cool clothes
Many home health providers have to help their senior clients with getting dressed each day - an especially important task in the summer months. After all, an older adult who is not prepared to perform this daily task may end up in a sweater and coat when it's sweltering outside.

While tanks and capris are great for cooling off, they won't protect the senior from the sun. Ensure the individual is wearing sunscreen when you head outdoors, and consider having him or her wear a hat. The head wear will create a little bit of shade to help shield the body from harmful UV rays. Also, if it's cool in the morning, opt for layers so the senior can remove them throughout the day.

Senior woman wearing sun hat.A hat can help protect the senior's skin from the sun.

2. Take water everywhere
Always have a cold bottle of water on hand, and keep track of how much fluid the senior consumes and with what frequency. This will help stave off dehydration, which can lead to anything from a minor headache to decreased blood pressure. The latter symptom should be considered a medical emergency, according to the Mayo Clinic, and it's best to avoid getting to that point altogether.

If the older adult is reluctant to sip on plain water, flavor the beverage with pieces of fruit. Just be sure to avoid alcoholic beverages, as this can increase the risk for dehydration.

3. Find fun indoor activities
The best way to beat the heat is to not go out at all. While caretakers should still spend time outdoors with the seniors during summer, indoor activities might be better on especially hot days. For example, check out the latest movie at the theater for a morning matinee. Otherwise, arrange a day to scrapbook and look through old pictures!

As a home health provider, it is important to keep your senior clients safe this summer. With these tips, you can help the client avoid heat-related illness while still enjoying the season.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: March 30, 2016

Walking Aids and More

Caregivers, are you noticing that the person in your care isn’t quite so steady on their feet? It may be time to look into what devices you should purchase and adjustments you can make to help the person in your care prevent falls.

Canes

A cane is usually the first equipment that the person in your care will need to help maintain balance. It’s important to select the correct size and one that will fit his or her needs – is a three-pronged cane the best choice? You and the person in your care should consult with a physical therapist when selecting a cane. Or, if you don’t have a physical therapist you can go direct to a medical equipment supplier to select a cane. You can easily search for medical equipment suppliers in your area through Carelike here.

Walkers

Like canes, walkers come in different shapes and sizes and some have more “whistles and bells” than others. In fact, you might want to consider having two different types of walkers – a smaller, scaled down one for navigating around the house, and a larger walker with a seat and wheels on it for longer treks outside, at the mall, or any other errands. It is equally important to consult with a physical therapist or medical equipment supplier when you’re shopping for the right type and size walkers.

Wheelchairs

It’s possible that if you’re looking to purchase a walker for the person in your care, he or she might eventually need a wheelchair. Bring up the subject of needing a wheelchair with your doctor at the time you are talking about a walker. Medicare may not pay for a walker and a wheelchair if they are ordered by your doctor within a few months of each other. You might want to purchase the walker and have Medicare pay for the wheelchair. If you plan to purchase a used wheelchair or walker online or at a supply store, make sure the walker is adjustable and consult with a physical therapist to set the correct height of the walker. You also need to make sure that any used equipment you buy is guaranteed by the seller.

Bathroom safety

Like walkers and wheelchairs, tub and shower seats come in all shapes and sizes and serve different purposes. Some are benches, and others come with backs and/or arms on them. If you have a tub, the seat should not be lower than the tub wall. If the person in your care cannot pivot alone, you should purchase a tub transfer bench that is connected to the seat and straddles the tub wall. The transfer bench will enable your loved one to slide over the tub wall while transferring in and out of the tub. Tub and shower grab bars will provide extra support. Strategic placement and installation is vital – you don’t want the person in your care to grab a bar and have it come off the wall, bringing the tiles with it. Hire with a certified aging in place specialist to inspect for loose tiles and to properly install the grab bars. Before you turn on the water the first time you start using a tub/shower seat and grab bars, conduct a “dry run” (pun intended!) with the person in your care so that both of you know when to stand, grab and pivot.

The practice will help you further prevent a slip and fall.

A handheld showerhead that reaches around your loved one’s body will make showering a lot easier for you and for the person in your care. Select a model that turns on and off at the touch of your finger so you can easily control the water flow. These can be found at a variety of home & bath shops, including large-chain retailers. Non-slip bath mats or safety strips will ensure more solid footing for the person in your care, even if you’re using a bath seat. There will be moments when your loved one will be standing, so it’s important to have something on the tub/shower floor that will reduce the chance of slipping. Keep these items clean so they stay in their non-slip condition. Toilet seat risers come in handy for wobbly legs. If you have enough room in your bathroom, install a seat riser that has arms on it for added assistance.

Bannisters

While the certified aging in place specialist is in your home, ask him or her to inspect your bannisters and reinforce them if necessary.

Ramps

If the person in your care can only use a wheelchair to get around, you should also hire a certified aging in place specialist to design and install a ramp.

De-Clutter

Read our blog about relevant safety in your home for the person in your care who may require any of these devices or equipment. Take a moment to review these tips and then de-clutter stairs, hallways and pathways in the home to make navigation easier and safer. Take these steps and take Mr. Franklin’s advice to heart. Prevent injuries to the person in your care.

Read in 4 minutes
By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: March 24, 2016

Medical Alert Systems - What you need to know

If you think it’s time to add another layer of safety for the person in your care, get started now – don’t wait for an emergency or crisis to force you into a rushed decision.

Caregivers, here are the cold-hard facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about falls:

  • One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury
  • Each year, 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries
  • Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture
  • Each year at least 250,000 older people are hospitalized for hip fractures
  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling, usually by falling sideways
  • Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Adjusted for inflation, the direct medical costs for fall injuries are $34 billion annually. Hospital costs account for two-thirds of the total.

Perhaps it’s time to consider purchasing a Medical Alert System for the person in your care. Before you choose a plan, create a strategy to make sure you and the person in your care will find the best device and that it will be used.

Your loved one may be resistant to wearing an alert system.

Many of us desire to hold onto our independence for as long as possible, and a medical alert system could be perceived as another in a long list of admissions that the person in your care needs help.

  • When discussing the need with the person in your care, be sure to listen carefully and acknowledge his or her feelings.
  • Share your feelings, too. It’s important to explain the many different ways an alert system can help the person in your care stay more independent and safe.
  • Gently point out some scenarios of what could happen when you are not in the same room – simply being on two different floors of the home could prevent you from hearing a call out for help, or if you’re outside getting the mail, letting the dog out, running errands or at work, you’ll need to know that a fall has occurred.

Conduct research to ensure you select the best plan.

Plans as well as devices come in all shapes and sizes. Doing your “homework” will help you make a better decision. The Consumer Affairs website lists manufacturers/plan providers in one place – a good starting point.

Before you begin your research, ask yourself some critical questions.

  • How easy is the device to use?
  • Who gets notified when there is an emergency?
  • How is the notification received (phone call, text, email)?
  • Is the device waterproof?
  • Does the device/software provide a communication option?
  • Is fall detection available?
  • What is the monthly cost?
  • Is the contract long-term or month-to-month?
  • What are the termination and return policies?

If you think it’s time to add another layer of safety for the person in your care, get started now – don’t wait for an emergency or crisis to force you into a rushed decision.

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: October 28, 2015

Stroke Prevention - You can help the person in your care avoid a stroke

October 29, 2015 has been designated as World Stroke Day by the American Stroke Association. Read here to learn the signs of a stroke.

Tomorrow, October 29, 2015, has been designated as World Stroke Day by the American Stroke Association. The statistics are staggering:

  • Stroke kills almost 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths.
  • On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.
  • Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke.
  • About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.
  • About 185,000 strokes—nearly one of four—are in people who have had a previous stroke.  Centers for Disease Control/stroke/facts
  • Has the person in your care had a stroke or several strokes? Is he or she at risk of having their first or second stroke? You can help the person in your care avoid a stroke.

Contributing Health Issues

The usual culprits that can lead to stroke are:

  • Poor diet 
  • Lack of exercise
  • Low potassium
  • High sodium
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine
  • Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • and of course, stress.

Signs of Stroke

If you observe any of these changes in the person in your care, call 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Numbness in face
  • Confusion in speech and understanding
  • Difficulty seeing
  • Dizziness, loss of balance, uncoordinated walking
  • Severe headache

First Things First

  • Schedule an annual physical for the person in your care, and work with his or her doctor to ensure appropriate medications are prescribed.
  • Review your medications list with your pharmacist to establish a plan for administering all medications at different times of day to keep the person in your care on an even keel and avoid spikes and drops in blood pressure, insulin, sodium and potassium levels.
  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption.
  • Monitor blood pressure throughout the day.
  • If possible, go outside for 20 minutes a day. If mobility is a problem, position the chair or bed that the person in your care uses next to a window that lets in a lot of sunlight. It will not be the same as going outside, but the natural light will help brighten their general mood.

Take Time Every Day

Joyce Simard has developed Namaste Care™, a program she designed for people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, but the program benefits home bound people who do not have dementia and who are not at the end of their lives.

Among other things, Simard recommends taking time out every day to spend quality time together while stimulating the senses. Seasonal aroma therapy and soft music set the scene to help decrease stress. Hydration (popsicles in summer; warm tea in winter) is an important component of the program.

Incorporated in the Namaste Care™ program is the use of touch therapy (massage). You don’t need a massage table and you don’t have to be a certified masseuse to help the person in your care lower their stress. The mere act of touching them is enough.

Take Care of Yourself 

As a caregiver, you may feel stressed as well. Performing The Namaste Care™ program every day for the person in your care will also help you relax and reduce your own stress levels.

What other changes can you make in your routine to help yourself and the person in your care avoid strokes?

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: July 22, 2015

7 Tips for Staying Cool - Preventing Hyperthermia

Caregivers, the person in your care may be susceptible to hyperthermia during the hot and humid days of summer.

Caregivers, the person in your care may be susceptible to hyperthermia during the hot and humid days of summer.

According to the National Institutes of Health, hyperthermia occurs when a person’s body temperature climbs above 104°F.

If the person in your care is elderly or takes certain medications such as beta blockers, diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers or high blood pressure pills, they may be at great risk of developing symptoms that can lead to confusion, fainting, heart stress, seizures and even brain damage. Power outages or a broken A/C during dangerously hot days can quickly contribute to an increased body temperature.

Here are seven tips to help you prepare ahead of time should you need to take the person in your care and yourself out of harm’s way:

1.       Keep your heating and air conditioning repair contract current.

It’s a good idea to be prepared for when your air conditioner breaks down by contracting with a reputable company. Many heating and air conditioning repair companies will respond quickly when you let them know the person in your care is homebound or whose mobility is limited. Look for a company that demonstrates this type of compassion. And be sure to schedule an annual equipment checkup before the hot weather arrives.

2.  Keep your gas tank full.

You may need to drive for miles to get to an air-conditioned location during a major power outage, and sometimes gas pumps don’t work during power failures. Your car may also be the only place where you and the person in your care can get quick relief from the heat by driving around in its air-conditioned comfort.

3.  Keep cash on hand.

Like gas pumps, ATMs and cash registers can also be disabled during power interruptions, and you may need to purchase items with cash.

4.  Keep your power company’s phone number handy.

Call your power company immediately when the lights (and air conditioning!) switch off to find out when the company expects power to be restored. You’ll want to know whether you need to find temporary or long-term relief.

5.  Keep cool.

If the outage is expected to last more than a day, call 2-1-1 or go on line at 211.org to find a nearby cooling center. Official cooling places are designated by your local government and are required to be open during extreme heat emergencies.

Have a list of hotel phone numbers handy in case you need one for an extended period of time.

If power is expected to be restored within a few hours, go to a mall, see a movie or visit the library and stay in an air-conditioned environment.

6.  Keep hydrated.

This goes without saying – especially during hot weather spells. Be sure to pack plenty of water for your trip, no matter how short. Keep some extra ice in your freezer ready to pop into a cooler.

7.  Keep alert.

Pay close attention to the person in your care. If you notice changes in behavior, especially confusion, staggering, flushed skin, fainting or cramping of stomach, arms and legs, call for help immediately. Elevate the feet, and apply cool compresses to the forehead and wrists while you wait for the EMTs to arrive.                                                              

What’s your plan for staying cool and preventing hyperthermia?

Read in 3 minutes
By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: June 13, 2015

Summertime Hydration

We have some more facts to share with you about the dos and don’ts of keeping yourself and the person in your care hydrated during the summer.

Caregivers, we’ve talked about the importance of staying hydrated in winter, and everyone knows during summer dehydration can occur very quickly and be a serious concern. We have some more facts to share with you about the dos and don’ts of keeping yourself and the person in your care hydrated during the summer.

DON’T:

Let the person in your care tell you he or she isn’t thirsty. We are all always thirsty – none of us can survive very long without fluids. It’s only when we haven’t consumed a lot of liquid over a period of time that we feel parched which causes us to say we’re thirsty.

DO:

Make an agreement with the person in your care that a certain amount of fluids will be consumed each day. A pitcher of water is a convenient visual goal that can assist you in keeping track. If the level hasn’t gone down enough by midday, you’ll need to do a lot more coaxing to empty the pitcher by the end of the day. While you’re at it, keep your own pitcher at the ready, too.

DON’T:

Reach for sweetened sports drinks, iced tea or sodas. Sugar wreaks havoc with kidney function by causing more urination to flush out the sugar. Excessive urination leads to dehydration.

DO:

Add fresh or frozen fruit to a glass of water, instead, to give it a sweeter taste. Make ice cubes from naturally sweetened juice and plop one in a glass every time you serve it.

DON’T:

Encourage drinking by serving salty foods, including chips, processed meats or canned foods. Sodium is as much a no-no as sugar for maintaining proper kidney function.

DO:

Keep to your schedule of one pitcher per day – for each of you.

DON’T:

Serve other fluids that contribute to dehydration (caffeine, soda/pop or alcohol).

DO:

Find other ways to add water to a daily diet by serving fruits and water-intense vegetables.

DON’T:

Ignore dehydrating culprits like medicines (both OTC and prescription).

DO:

Check with your pharmacist to see which meds, if any, contribute to dehydration so you can be sure to compensate for them.

DON’T:

Make it a war of wills.

DO:

Make it fun. Toast each other. Chill champagne glasses, add a sprig of mint, a funny straw – anything to distract from the fact that it’s just a glass of water.

DON’T:

Ignore the warning signs or symptoms of dehydration, i.e., confusion, weakness, dizziness, palpitations or decreased urine output.

DO:

Note that you can usually reverse mild dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration requires immediate medical treatment. Get medical help when you or the person in your care needs it.

Here’s to you, the best caregiver for the person in your care!

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: June 03, 2015

Who Knows Best? Understanding What Your Discharged Patient Needs

When you meet with the discharge nurse, they’ll be armed with Discharge Orders to go over with you. Make the meeting a two-way conversation by having your own list of items to discus, check off the questions s/he has addressed, and then ask the others.

Caregivers, we’ve already talked about why a hospital stay for the person in your care is no vacation for you. Among the reasons we pointed out were the fact that you need to communicate with the hospital or rehab center so that they can treat the entire patient and understand what that entails. This time around, we want to tell you about why the hospital/rehab should communicate to you about tending to the person in your care when they return home.

AARP has developed the Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable (CARE) Act (not to be confused with The Affordable Care Act) to help caregivers avoid a rebound visit to the hospital. It’s an important part of caregiving.

  • CARE is hoping to make aging in place/living at home a more attainable goal by requiring hospitals and rehab centers to comply with following:
  • The name of the family caregiver is recorded when a loved one is admitted into a hospital or rehabilitation facility.
  • The family caregiver is notified if the loved one is to be discharged to another facility or back home.
  • The hospital or rehabilitation facility must provide an explanation and live instruction of the medical tasks – such as medication management, injections, wound care and transfers – that the family caregiver will perform at home.

 – Caregiver Advise, Record Enable (CARE) Act

So far only a handful of states have adopted the legislation.

Whether you live in one of those states doesn’t necessarily matter since it’s up to you as caregiver to make sure you understand the new and different needs of the person in your care.

When you meet with the discharge nurse, they’ll be armed with Discharge Orders to go over with you. Make the meeting a two-way conversation by having your own list of items to discus, check off the questions s/he has addressed, and then ask the others.

  • If new meds are prescribed, ask about side effects and whether they are replacing existing meds.
  • If wound care is expected, ask whether a visiting nurse is available to come in and change the dressing.
  • If the person in your care needs assistance transferring in and out of a wheelchair, ask to be shown the proper and best way to do that without causing harm to yourself or the person in your care.

Don’t leave before you are comfortable knowing that you can accurately resume at-home care.

What are some questions you need to ask?

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By: Carelike Team  |  Type: Blog  |  On: April 22, 2015

Caregivers, How Safe is Your Home?

Whether the person in your care walks without aid, uses a cane, a walker or a wheelchair, mimic the way he or she gets around. Do everything the person in your care does when roaming about the home and take this simple test.

Caregivers, in keeping with our spring cleaning theme for the month of May, we want you to take a short test (two tests, actually) to make sure that your home is safe for you and for the person in your care.

The internet is full of lists that point to hazards in our homes. But have you actually put yourself in the shoes (or wheelchair) of the person in your care to make sure you’ve got everything you need in place, out of reach or out of the way to ensure safety for both of you?

Take this simple test during the day

AND

in the evening when it’s dark

Whether the person in your care walks without aid, uses a cane, a walker or a wheelchair, mimic the way he or she gets around. Pick up the cane (if it’s the left leg that doesn’t work well, disable yours while you take this test), grab the walker or have a seat in the wheelchair. Do everything the person in your care does when roaming about the home.

  • Go up and down the stairs.
  • Visit each room of the house (including the garage if you have one), and walk or ride around it.
  • Sit on the sofa and in chairs.
  • Sit on the edge of the bed. Lie down on the bed.
  • Reach for the light switch in every room.
  • Climb in and out of the tub/shower.
  • Turn the water on and off.
  • Open and close the sliding door.
  • Lock and unlock doors.

Make notes of everything you encounter that could be making navigation difficult and answer these questions:

  • Did the cane wedge itself between night table and bed (or chair and end table), making it difficult to grasp?
  • Is the bed too high?
  • Are items that should be out of reach easy to grab and vice versa?
  • Are the springs on the sofa or chairs making it difficult to pull yourself up
  • Are the light switches too high or too low?
  • Is the lighting adequate?
  • Is the hot water temp too hot?
  • Do doors unlock easily?
  • Are the stair railings wobbling?
  • Are area rugs or raised doorway thresholds causing unnecessary changes in the terrain under your feet or under the wheels?
  • Are there handrails in the tub (and if so, are they jiggling about)?
  • Is the toilet too high or too low?
  • Does the sliding glass door move smoothly in its tracks? Should the glass be marked with decals to alert the person in your care that they may be smashing into the glass?
  • Are extension cords gnarling up traffic?

Fix these problems to make navigation easier for the person in your care. Now you’re ready for your next short test:

Take this simple test during the day

AND

in the evening when it’s dark

Repeat everything you did by yourself, but this time, take a stroll/ride around the home with the person in your care. You may find that there are things you overlooked or that need more finessing.

Let us know what you’ve discovered on your visit to your home.

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