How to Prepare Your Home for a Home Healthcare Patient

Preparing Your Home for Home Healthcare: A Checklist for Caregivers

6/2/20233 min read

If you have a loved one coming home from the hospital with a need for ongoing medical care, home healthcare can be a great option. Home healthcare allows patients to receive skilled nursing care, physical or occupational therapy, or other services in the comfort of their own home. However, there are some important steps you'll need to take as a caregiver to ensure your home is properly equipped for home healthcare.

  1. Assess for Safety Risks and Make Necessary Modifications

    Walk through your home with a critical eye for any potential safety hazards. Look for tripping risks like loose rugs or cords, install grab bars in the bathroom, add railings to stairs, and improve lighting throughout the home. You may also want to set up a temporary ramp for wheelchair access or invest in a stair lift. Making these modifications before your loved one comes home will give you peace of mind and allow them to navigate more easily.

  2. Stock Up on Medical and Personal Supplies

    Meet with your home healthcare agency to determine what medical equipment and supplies will be needed. This may include things like a hospital bed, oxygen tanks, wound care supplies, incontinence products, and more. Don't forget personal items like comfortable and loose-fitting clothing, slippers, lotions, toothbrush, and other toiletries. Keep extras of important supplies on hand in case of emergencies.

  3. Prepare for Meals and Medications

    If your loved one requires assistance with meals or managing medications, implement a plan for how you will provide support. Designate a space in the kitchen for their special dietary needs and keep a written medication schedule in an easy-to-access spot. Work with their home healthcare team to understand any special instructions for medications or meals.

  4. Make Space for Medical Equipment

    You'll want to determine the best place to set up any large medical equipment that is needed, such as a hospital bed. Choose a spot that is easy to access for both the patient and their home healthcare staff. Make sure there are electrical outlets nearby and enough space for the equipment as well as for the staff to maneuver.

Caring for a home healthcare patient requires adjustments, but with the proper preparations you can create a safe environment for your loved one to receive quality care in the comfort of home. By following this checklist and working closely with your home healthcare agency, you'll be ready to provide the support your loved one needs. Don't hesitate to ask questions of the agency staff - they're there to help you through this transition.

As your loved one settles into their new routine at home, pay attention to how they're adjusting and coping. Ask for their honest feedback on what's working well and what could be improved. Home healthcare is meant to enhance quality of life, so be willing to make changes or adjustments as needed.

Be sure to take care of yourself as well during this time. Reach out to family and friends for support, hire extra help if you need it, and don't neglect your own health and wellbeing. Caring for a loved one is a team effort, so utilize all the resources available to you.

With preparation, patience and a willingness to adapt, you can provide the best home healthcare possible for your loved one. Remember to start with the basics: make the home safe, stock up on supplies, plan for meals and meds, and set up spaces for medical equipment. Then listen closely to your loved one and partner with their care team to make ongoing improvements.

By following this step-by-step guide and drawing on the support of others, you'll be able to welcome your loved one home from the hospital feeling confident and prepared. With a safe, comfortable environment ready and a care plan in place, you'll be able to focus your energy on the most important part - being there for your loved one with warmth, compassion and unconditional support.