A New Diagnosis Can Be a Major Adjustment for the Family

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A NEW DIAGNOSIS IS A BIG ADJUSTMENT

Any new medical diagnosis or condition comes with many challenges for both the individual and their caregivers. When our parents are acclimating to a new medical reality, decisions regarding their care are often difficult to make. While some individuals require a nursing care facility, depending on each medical situation, many can live in their own homes with assistance from adaptive devices, furniture, and outpatient medical care.

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Concerns & Facts

Injuries among aging adults with mobility changes, unfortunately, can be common without proper intervention. These injuries occur most often in bedrooms (30%), living areas (19%), and kitchens (15%). Individuals with mobility issues or changes often fall when they lose their balance due to muscle weakness, vision impairment, or home hazards, which cause them to trip or stumble.

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LIVING & FAMILY AREA ADJUSTMENTS

  • Take time to widen spaces between objects so that there is plenty of room to navigate.
  • A common hazard is wiring like extension, USB, and TV cords. Plug appliances into the nearest outlets and tape cords to the molding along the walls to keep them off the floor.
  • Provide chairs with firm backs and raised seat cushions to add height and support to make the sitting down and rising process easier.
  • Some parents may have a hard time controlling fine motor skills, making turning on lamps and small switches difficult. Consider voice-activated lights with LED bulbs or a Hue system.
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FALL CONCERNS & PREVENTING COMMON INJURIES

  • Beds located too far from the bathroom
  • Cluttered floor space requiring turns and maneuvering to get where the person is going  
  • Narrow entrances to rooms and bathrooms 
  • Inadequate lighting 
  • Beds being too high from floor 
  • Uneven floor surfaces, carpets, or rugs that can be tripped over
  • Uneven floor surfaces 
  • Lack of handles or assistive devices to help a person turn or sit down 
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WASHROOM ADJUSTMENTS & BATHROOM HACKS

  • Just like the chairs, invest in a raised toilet seat and safety rails. Someone avoiding a fall will reach for whatever is nearby, so those items need to be sturdy enough to prevent a fall.
  • Remove or modify items that require fine motor skills. Consider adding a long handle faucet extension to the sink.   
  • Water makes everything more slippery!  Put down a non-skid bath mat, add grab bars, a transfer bench, or a shower chair. 
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THE KITCHEN & KEEPING FOOD PREP SAFE

If a loved one has a harder time with balances or longer stretches of standing, considering making the kitchen an even safer place. A few smart choices will also allow a parent to utilize the kitchen more safely: 

  • Lowered countertops or strategically places tables enable them to work more comfortably.
  • Some small ease-of-use products that can make a BIG difference are electric can openers, bottle and lid openers, or a basic food processor for cutting up veggies.  
  • A spike board can make chopping and cutting easier without a food processor. 

More Recommended Products for Home Adjustments

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Medical Changes can be Overwhelming

Changes to a loved one’s medical state or mobility can be overwhelming. Still, fortunately, we offer many products and solutions to assist a parent and keep them safe so they can maintain their independence at home as long as possible. An Occupational Therapist can provide a list of recommended modifications and assistive devices, which we can review. We will contact you within 48 hours with a customized action item list specific to your unique needs and situation. Let us help your loved ones age gracefully at home by contacting us now.

Loved Ones WITH Mobility Changes CAN REMAIN INDEPENDENT

As our loved ones’ bodies change, it can be overwhelming to adjust to a home. However, we offer many products and solutions to assist you and your parent to keep them safe so they can maintain their independence at home as long as possible. 

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