Up to 50% of hospice patients choose to receive care at home. This can better nurture important time with loved ones, lend a feeling of familiarity and comfort, and reinforce purpose and joy during this important final phase of life. However, families are often unprepared for the work that at-home hospice care calls for.
Here at Wings of Hope, we help patients and their families better prepare for home hospice care so that they have all the tools and resources necessary to provide optimum care and help this process go smoothly. When you sign up for home hospice care, we’ll come into your home to help you build a plan and make any necessary changes. This plan will be customized to your needs, and the specific condition of your loved one. However, here are a few general things that we may recommend and plan for.
Decide Where to Place the Bed
Patients in hospice care often spend the majority of their time in bed. If needed, a hospital bed which allows for better accessibility and maneuverability will be provided. When choosing a location for a bed, keep these factors in mind:
- Leave plenty of room for the bed itself, and for attendant medical equipment, such as a bedside commode, oxygen tank, feeding equipment, etc.
- It’s best to have a room where you’re able to control the lighting and the sound. Talk with your loved one about their preferences, as they may find the noise of daily living comforting. That being said, it’s often useful to have blackout curtains and a white noise machine in order to allow for naps throughout the day.
- Some families choose to place the bed in a living room instead of a bedroom. Whatever you choose, we’ll help you plan and prepare it.
Prepare the Bathroom
The bathroom is the most common site of falls, but it must be easily accessed at all hours of the day by the patient. Incorporating handicap accessibility in the bathroom can be a thorough task, so it’s usually the first thing we start with. Bathrooms are best equipped with non-slip mats, removable shower heads, grab bars, and shower stools.
Clean and De-clutter the Bedroom
Medical equipment and a new hospital bed can take up a lot of room. In addition, your loved one will need plenty of room to easily maneuver, whether they’re using a walker, a wheelchair, or relying on the help of others. Our homes get cluttered easily, and so it’s important to clear room that will be needed to provide effective care.
In addition, it’s important to provide an environment that’s clean in order to better support the health and comfort of your loved one. Many families opt for a professional cleaning service to come prepare the room.
Ensure Better Mobility throughout the House
There are a few small items that we don’t think about until we have someone with limited mobility in our home. Something as simple as removing throw rugs can prevent your loved one from tripping. It’s also wise to install night lights and hall lighting that will allow for better safety at any hour. Make sure all pathways through your household are wide and clear for larger equipment.
Stay Organized and Track Expenses
One of the biggest challenges during this stressful time can be simply keeping track of everything. You have bills to take care of, schedules to stay on top of, contact information to juggle, and legal considerations to see through. It’s important to keep track of any expenses incurred in the process listed above, as hospice care and insurance will often cover it.
Here at Wings of Hope Hospice, we provide the help you need to manage all aspects of your case. In addition to our compassionate hospice nurses, we also provide counseling services, legal and financial planning, and experience that guides you smoothly through this period of time.