Redecorating a home to care for a loved one requires diligence, compromise, and long-term planning. For example, furniture needs to be low profile and practical and some modifications require changing themes or color schemes.
You don’t want to make the house look like a hospital, but sometimes necessary equipment makes that hard. This is where creativity kicks in.
If you’re caring for a loved one, try the following ideas to create a safe, beautiful space.
1. Only allow family members to rearrange the home
Nobody wants to come home from the hospital and find their entire house rearranged without their knowledge or consent. However, when a person’s home needs to be rearranged to support their wellbeing, there’s no way to avoid this situation.
In addition to communicating to your loved one to let them know their home will be rearranged, only allow family members to do the rearranging. It’s fine to enlist physical help, but family members should determine where things are placed. Family members will inherently know their loved one’s preferences well enough to make necessary compromises.
For example, when someone prefers to get out of bed only on the left side, they’ll rearrange the bedroom to accommodate this preference.
Family members can get paid to redecorate
Depending on the size of the house, rearranging and redecorating might take a significant amount of time. Family members who opt to become paid caregivers can get paid for that time as part of their caregiving duties. Most U.S. states have programs in place that allow family members to become paid caregivers, which makes life easier for the person who needs help.
About 60% of adult children quit their jobs to take care of family members; a sacrifice that extends beyond lost wages. Family members who quit their jobs often lose 401(k)s, social security benefits, and other financial resources. Recouping some of these costs by getting paid to perform caregiving duties is essential.
2. Put a locking door knob on the bathroom
If your loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, locking rooms is crucial for safety. When someone has a caregiver 24/7, that caregiver can use the key to open the doors when necessary. If your loved one uses a bedside commode, the bathroom can be used solely by the caregivers.
3. Put a mini-fridge next to your loved one’s bed
When mobility is an issue, place a mini-fridge next to the bed so they can grab a snack or cold drink without having to get out of bed. You can use the main refrigerator to store prepared meals in bulk and transfer individual portions to the mini-fridge.
4. Downsize furniture that presents an obstacle
Hopefully your loved one won’t be getting up and wandering around on their own, but if they use a walker or wheelchair to get around, it’s crucial to remove all furniture that might act as an obstacle.
Before you remove all furniture, consider that sometimes furniture can be helpful. For example, placing a tall dresser in the bathroom in front of the toilet can provide a stable surface to lean on while wiping and/or pulling up pants with one hand. Sometimes a stable surface can help people to be more independent.
5. Mount the TV to the wall with a swinging arm
If your loved one has a large bedroom and more than enough room to move around with a walker or wheelchair, you probably don’t need to mount the TV on the wall. However, in a small space, mounting the TV to the wall on a swinging arm will be helpful.
With a swinging arm, you’re not limited to the wall in front of their bed – you can mount the TV on a side wall if needed. This gives you more options for rearranging the furniture in the room.
6. Replace all chairs with heavy, sturdy chairs
The last thing you want is for your loved one to plop down in a chair that can be easily knocked off balance. Make sure all the chairs available for them to sit in are heavy and sturdy enough to remain stable as they sit and stand.
7. Add some real indoor plants
Real plants create a special atmosphere that can’t be matched by fake plants, no matter how real they look. Find some low-maintenance indoor plants like Chinese Evergreen, Fern, Yucca, and African Violet.
Be accommodating whenever possible
Decorating tips aside, strive to be accommodating whenever you can. Your loved one might be resistant to some of the necessary changes, so pick your battles and accommodate their preferences whenever possible.
Article Submitted By Community Writer