From the Hospital to Your Home
From the Hospital to Your Home
(ARA)- Ahh...home sweet home. There's nothing more comforting than recovering in your own home after a hospital stay. But your humble abode can pose its own set of problems--even extending your recovery time--if it's not properly prepared.
Everyday household items--from kitchen counter tops to oven doors--can present new problems for people with limited mobility. Entering doorways and moving through narrow halls can prove to be difficult with a walker or wheelchair, and stairs can be tricky when relying on crutches for support and balance.
"And don't forget about bathrooms," says Kevin Jones, senior product/brand manager for the Home Care by Moen line of bath safety items. "The slick surfaces and hard edges can make these small rooms the most dangerous spots in your house while recuperating."
The first few days of recovery are the most critical, and it is always recommended to have someone help you. But if that's not an option, here are some helpful tips to make your return home as safe, enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
1. Create a Comfort Zone
Prior to your hospital visit, set up a "comfort zone" on one floor of your home--preferably near a bathroom, with a temporary bed, and make sure a telephone is within reach. Other items including bottled water, food, TV remote, movies, magazines--even your favorite pillow--should be pre-stocked and nearby.
2. Enter and Exit with Ease
You're finally home and all you want to do is relax, but when you get to the stairs you realize they're much harder to handle than before. Since most houses require the use of stairs to enter and exit, it's important to ensure the handrails are secure and can withstand pressure. If necessary, consider purchasing a ramp to accommodate a wheelchair or walker. Ramps are available through medical supply stores, or you can do-it-yourself by purchasing lumber from a local home improvement center.
Corridors in the majority of newer homes are large enough to accommodate crutches, a walker or a wheelchair, but older homes may have narrow passageways and stairs. To move safely from one room to another, ensure that the space is clutter-free and remove all loose wires, carpets and rugs.
3. Make the Commode Accommodating
It's a fact of life--the bathroom is the one room you can't avoid while on your way to recovery, and it has the potential to be the most dangerous. Many people find the toilet seat is too low to accommodate their limited mobility and puts unnecessary stress on the legs, knees and back. An elevated toilet seat increases comfort and safety levels, and locks sturdily into place with brackets.
Home Care by Moen offers a Locking Elevated Toilet Seat that subtly complements the decor of any bathroom, and sits securely and naturally on the toilet rim.
3. Shower Safely
If standing in the shower is not an option, an adjustable tub and shower chair will allow you to take a seat and bathe comfortably. Look for a chair with adjustable legs and a "no wobble" design with rubber feet, which provides additional stability.
In addition, consider purchasing a hand-held shower to more easily control the water flow. Choose an oversized, yet lightweight hand-held shower with several comfort spray settings and an anti-slip handle. Home Care by Moen recently introduced a Pause Control Handheld Shower that is designed for safe and easy showering, and it allows you to reduce the water flow to a trickle with the push of a button.
5. Dining Dilemmas
Hungry? Before you venture into the kitchen, make sure your kitchen is safe for your limited mobility. If standing at counter tops for lengthy periods is difficult, consider purchasing a portable/rolling kitchen table that will allow you to sit while preparing food. Or a stool will allow you to sit at the counter. Keep areas surrounding counter tops well lit and uncluttered.
Those hard-to-reach items in your overhead cabinets may prove to be more of a challenge than before. Move frequently used items to counter tops or drawers below your cabinets. Have ready-made items--granola bars, yogurt, cut vegetables, cheese and crackers--easily accessible.
The best advice? Relax and take it easy. With a few, minor modifications, your home will be a safe haven for recuperating and you'll be well on your way to a full recovery.
For more information on Creative Specialties International and the Home Care by Moen line of bath safety products, visit www.homecare.moen.com or call toll free (800) 882-0116.
All items from the Home Care by Moen line of bath safety products are available nationwide at Lowe's and at select home health and medical suppliers.
Courtesy of ARA Content