In addition to the lack of mobility that comes with age, strength in the hips and upper body starts to fade. For these reasons, a lift chair is a great idea to help your loved one get in and out of the chair. Although a lift chair looks like a simple recliner, it has the mechanized capacity to lift you comfortably to a standing position and also gently back down, instead of plopping back onto your chair. These chairs have a variety of settings, from two to three position lifts to an infinite number of positions. When considering a lift chair, design and number of lift positions should be considered. Other considerations include the availability of a power cord and enough room surrounding the chair so that it can extend to all of its positions without hitting any walls or other furniture.
Consider the bed for your loved one. They need to be able to sit comfortably with knees bent in order for it to be at the right height. A hospital bed might be preferred, as mobility declines. Bed rails are also a great idea for added safety.
Balance is a key issue for the elderly. If they grab onto a towel rack or a tablethat is not sturdy enough, they could end up falling and getting seriously hurt.
Depending on the size of your space that you have allotted, and whether you have a kitchenette, safety bars will need to be installed in various places throughout the elder care room. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year, ¨3 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. Over 800,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or hip fracture.¨ Safety bars in the kitchen area, living area, and bathroom are a must. A hutch or dedicated table for nursing supplies such as band-aids, medicines, crossword puzzle books, remote control, water cup, and other essentials should be within easy reach. This table can be purchased or re-purposed from another part of the house, but will be invaluable in helping your loved one have what they need.
If illness progresses, you may need a commode chair. Sometimes a person’s mobility is so compromised that they cannot even walk a short way to the bathroom. But pride is an issue faced by many elderly, and they don’t really feel inclined to wear diapers. A commode chair is a good compromise.
By considering the careful planning and the steps outlined above, your elder care room can make your parent feel safe and secure and comfortable for a short term medical emergency or on a more permanent basis. And no matter what design you choose or what specialty items you add for safety, the most important thing about the room will be your love and care for your parent!