Planning for Recovery at Home
Courtesy Holladay Brothers Construction, Inc., Colorado Springs LIVING WELL Magazine
Recovery from a fall, a stroke or major surgery can be a lengthy process. For many people, recovery begins with formal rehabilitation and continues with learning to live with reduced mobility or inability to perform daily functions unaided.
The transition can be made less stressful if a few home modifications are installed prior to release from the hospital. It is not always possible to plan ahead, but custom fitting and testing new modifications prior to hospitalization can be very helpful to a patient’s recovery.
The following checklist can help you determine your home’s accessibility challenges:
1. Does your home have stairs?
2. Do you have trouble getting through halls and doorways?
3. Can you get in or out of your tub safely?
4. Can you get up easily from the commode?
5. Can you use your tub/shower safely?
6. Do you have enough lighting?
7. Can you open your windows and doors easily?
Some home modifications require a permit and installation by a licensed contractor. If a respirator or other machines are required the home’s electrical wiring may need to be upgraded to handle the extra load and a back-up generator installed. Some patients cannot be released from the hospital until modifications are in place, and will incur additional fees in the meantime. Contractors make every effort to expedite the construction of medically necessary modifications, but scheduling can become tricky and unforeseeable problems during retrofitting of older homes may delay the process.
Home modifications have come a long way from hospital sterile. Grab bars are made to look and function like decorative towel bars. Beautiful and safe walk-in showers replace slippery bathtubs. Stair lifts provide access to upper and lower levels, and efficiency laundry rooms reduce or eliminate the need for climbing stairs. A reputable contractor with a CAPS (Certified Aging in Place Specialist) designation can help you choose modifications that will suit your mobility, your home and your budget.
Be sure to check with your hospital discharge planner or care manager to see if home modifications may be necessary for you or a loved one, and plan ahead if possible!
If you would like more information about improving your living space and preparing for future needs, please feel free to call and we will be happy to provide you with a no obligation consultation. 719-596-7161.