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Preparing Your Home for Hospice

Your loved one has entered the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and you’ve decided that you would like your loved one to be in as much comfort as possible in a familiar surrounding. Home hospice care is a viable option these days.

Arranging your home or your loved one’s home for his or her hospice stay takes some thought and preparation. Obviously, you don’t want the place to look like a hospital, but you need to have all of the necessary equipment your older adult requires.

Your loved one will need to have a bedroom on the ground floor. Either a spare bedroom or a converted room will suffice. Move all unnecessary furniture out of the room. The extra space will be needed for medical equipment and for the healthcare team to do their work.

Consider buying a hospital bed. These beds are adjustable for comfort and medical purposes (for example, you can keep your loved one’s head raised at 45 degrees to stop aspiration). The multiple positions you can have your loved one rest in can help keep bed sores from occurring. These beds can also be useful for helping your loved one in or out of bed. Hospital beds can come with side rails, but be forewarned that while they help keep your loved one from getting out of bed, they can be a cause of entanglement, too. Use them judiciously.

Eliminate clutter. The nursing staff will want to have a central place for a notebook to record your loved one’s vitals.Try to arrange all of the equipment, such as oxygen or blood pressure gauges, in such a way so they can be used for your loved one while keeping them out of the way of your loved one, family members or loved ones.

At the same time, make your loved one’s area as comfortable as possible. This is his or her bedroom as much as it is their point of care. Decorate the room with warm, vibrant hues, and plants. A nice view out a window is also desirable. Put up several framed pictures of your loved one with family members. Have a comfortable chair to be inviting for visitors. Arrange it so your loved one can easily see their visitor.

Avoid having a television in the area. One reason is that having a TV on could become distracting for visitors. Your loved one’s time is valuable now, so you want any visitors to really focus on your family member. Another reason to avoid the TV is that a person with late stage dementia may become confused and frightened by a television program.

Whatever you decide, make sure the environment is conducive to health care and loving care.