Preparing Your Home for Hospice Care - What to Expect
Posted on May 17, 2023
When a loved one is facing a difficult diagnosis, the thought of transitioning to hospice care can be overwhelming. When families are about to receive hospice services at home, they often ask us, “how can we get ready?” Preparing your home for hospice care involves gathering necessary items and making sure all safety measures are in place. While every situation is different, by planning ahead, you can ensure that your home environment is comfortable and peaceful. Taking care of the initial set up also allows you to focus on making the most out of your remaining time together. Here are Nurse Clinical Liaison Emily W.'s top tips for preparing your home to receive care from the Islands Hospice team.
Remove Safety and Trip Hazards
First, ensure your home is safe for both your loved one and caregivers by removing any tripping hazards from paths of travel. Make sure there are no cords or other items that could cause a fall. Removing unnecessary furniture and clutter from the room where your loved one will be spending the most time can help prevent falls and allow our staff to more easily assist with care. By installing grab bars, handrails, and ramps, you can help improve your loved one’s mobility and prevent falls. Adding nightlights in key areas such as the bathroom and hallways can also help illuminate their path and reduce the risk of accidents.
Create a comfortable space with room for medical essentials
Second, you’ll need to make sure that your home has the space for necessary items for care. Have bedding and fresh linen, preferably dark colors, on hand and ensure that the room is well ventilated to help keep the patient comfortable. Also ensure that personal care items like water and medication are easily accessible. You may want to also consider setting up a chair for family or visitors to use when visiting your loved one.
Arrange for medical equipment
Work with our team to ensure that all necessary equipment such as hospital bed, oxygen tank or wheelchair are ordered. We can also help to make sure proper medications are ordered and will have it delivered to your loved one’s residence.
Organize a Care Book
Organizing a care book is essential when a loved one is in hospice care. It helps to have all medical information in one place, including medical records, list of medications, doctors, and emergency contact information. Having an Advance Directive and POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) readily available can also help ensure that your loved one’s wishes are respected and followed.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Finally, it’s essential to take care of yourself during this time so that you can help your loved one. Seek out support from friends and family members who can be there for you during this time, and don’t hesitate to contact our team for further advice instructions on how to best prepare your home. We can provide additional tips and resources based on the specific needs of your loved one. Our team can also do a home visit prior to services to offer recommendations and answer any questions you or your loved one may have.