Preparing To Become A Caregiver For A Physically Disabled Relative

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Having a loved one become disabled can be devastating for the whole family. If you are going to be taking on the role of caregiver, there are some things you'll need to do so you can be prepared for this new role. Use this short checklist to begin to prepare your home and yourself for the important job of caregiver.

Adapt Your Home To Be Accessible

Depending on the physical disability, you'll need to invest in handicapped equipment and supplies to make your home accessible for your loved one. You may need to build a wheelchair ramp leading to your home's entrance, and your doors may need to be widened to allow a wheelchair to pass through. Contact a home remodeling contractor for these changes to your house. Other ways to make your home accessible can be installed on your own. Some of the handicapped equipment you can purchase include:

  • Grab bars near the toilet and bathtub
  • Power lift reclining chairs
  • Touch or voice-activated lights
  • An intercom system

Arrange For Meal Delivery

Between working, caring for your family and caring for your disabled loved one, you may find that there is little time to prepare healthy meals for everyone in your home. Consider hiring a meal delivery service that can deliver frozen meals that can be warmed up in the oven or microwave before serving. You can arrange to have special meals made for your disabled loved one if he or she has difficulty with chewing or self-feeding. Ask about soft food options and other menus designed for people with disabilities.

Schedule Respite Care

There may be days that being a caregiver is just too much to handle physically and emotionally. A respite care service can provide a companion to assist your loved one with daily tasks and friendly conversation while you get a much-deserved break. Use this time to take a nap, read a book or just get out of the house. Remember that you'll be better able to care for your relative if you are taking care of yourself too.

Create A Comfortable Sanctuary For Your Relative

Giving your loved one a bedroom that is filled with comfortable furniture and bedding can be a great comfort. If you have the available funds, consider doing some remodeling work to the room. This will give you the chance to make some handicap-accessible changes, such as widening the door and installing an intercom system. Replace the existing bed with an adjustable bed that makes it easy for your loved one to elevate his or her feet and sit up in bed without your help. Design the room to be both beautiful and functional to make your relative feel more welcome in your home.

Becoming a caregiver for a disabled relative is not easy, but there are lots of things you can do to lessen the burden and keep your household running smoothly. Use these ideas as inspiration, and talk to your loved one's medical team for more ideas on how to make the transition to the caregiver role easier on everyone involved.

To learn more, contact a company like Alaska Mobility

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