03/01/20 Filed in: Caregiving
A friend recently broke her knee cap and needed to have emergency surgery. After spending some time in a rehabilitation facility she was sent home to to continue with her physical therapy. When she returned to her home she realized how items in the apartment made it a difficult to get around with a walker or wheelchair. When I visited her I pointed out some of the hazards in her home. Looking at the various rooms it brought back memories of walking around my house looking and making sure there were no hazards for my dad and mom. That was a routine I did constantly for over 20 years.
Before you even get in your home there are usually major obstacles, the steps outside the door mat and the door threshold. Some people go up the steps by using the large wheels of the wheelchair and others use the rails to hold and climb up the stairs. Others have ramps installed to overcome this problem. It all depends on the condition and ability of your parent.
Inside there can be all kinds of obstacles and hazards. Loose throw rugs and carpeting on the floor can cause someone to slide to disaster. Furniture placed too close together can prevent a wheelchair or walker from moving freely. Protruding cabinets, bookcases and tables can cause clothes to snag and prevent movement of a walker or wheelchair.
Some homes, especially older ones, have narrow halls and doorways. Some room doors are only 28 inches wide and the bathroom door can be only 24 inches wide. Too narrow for some walkers and wheelchairs. Narrow paths between bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets can be an obstacle. Oven, dishwasher and refrigerator doors can prevent easy movement in the kitchen. Large beds and bedroom furniture make rooms a lot smaller to maneuver. Glass tables can protrude and be deadly if someone stumbles and falls on them. Light weighted chairs can move when you try to brace yourself for stability. The list of hazards and obstacles can be quite long.
Hazard and obstacle checking your home is a task that is ongoing and lasts as long as you are a caregiver. It needs to be completed constantly because your home environment changes, sometimes daily. Don’t become lax in this task because that’s when an accident will happen.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Author-“You Got To Do What You Got To Do”
www.takingcareofaparent.comJames Colozzo is not a medical expert or professional and has no formal training or education on this subject. He is an average person that was given a challenge and had to deal with the situation. His experience comes from the over 20 years that he actually did all the work to care for his elderly parents and their medical conditions. Since every person, condition and situation is different, what Mr. Colozzo did to care for his parents might not be suitable for others. You need to partner with your physician to find what type of care is best for your situation.
Copyright © 2020 James Colozzo
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