Getting your home ready - after the hospital
Getting your home ready after you have been in the hospital often requires much preparation.
Set up your home to make your life easier and safer when you return. Ask your doctor, nurses, or physical therapist about getting your home ready for your return.
If your hospital stay is planned, prepare your home in advance. If your hospital stay was unplanned, have family or friends prepare your home for you. You may not need all of the changes listed below. But read carefully for some good ideas on how you can remain safe and healthy in your home.
Make It Easy for Yourself
Make sure everything you need is easy to get to and on the same floor where you will spend most of your time.
Place a chair with a firm back in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and other rooms you will use. This way, you can sit when you do your daily tasks.
If you will be using a walker, attach a small basket to hold your phone, a notepad, a pen, and other things you will need to have close by. You can also wear fanny pack.
Get Some Help
You may need help with bathing, using the toilet, cooking, running errands, shopping, going to the doctor, and exercising.
If you do not have someone to help you at home for the first 1 or 2 weeks after your hospital stay, ask your health care provider about having a trained caregiver come to your home to help you. This person can also check the safety of your home and help you with your daily activities.
Some items that may be helpful include:
Raising the toilet seat height may make things easier for you. You can do this by adding an elevated seat to your toilet. You can also use a commode chair instead of a toilet.
You may need to have safety bars, or grab bars, in your bathroom:
You can make several changes to protect yourself when you take a bath or shower:
Sit on a bath or shower chair when taking a shower:
Keep tripping hazards out of your home.
Pets that are small or move around your walk space may cause you to trip. For the first few weeks you are home, consider having your pet stay elsewhere, such as with a friend, in a kennel, or in the yard.
DO NOT carry anything when you are walking around. You need your hands to help you balance.
Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair while:
Studenski S, Van Swearingen JV. Falls. In: Fillit HM, Rockwood K, Young J, eds. Brocklehurst's Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 103.
Review Date: 5/8/2019
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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