At some point, climbing the stairs to the bedroom on the second floor will become too difficult for your loved one. And using the stairs increases fall risk, especially in the mid to later stages. If you want to help the person continue to live at home, consider converting a den, living room, or and even a dining room into a bedroom. Choose a room that’s not drafty and close to where the action is so the person doesn’t become isolated and can be easily checked on. When moving the person, use the same furniture, if possible, and arrange the room similarly to the person’s previous bedroom. The person may become disoriented and upset by the change so consider sleeping nearby for the first few nights (on a cot or other sleeping option) to help orient the person when waking up in the middle of the night.
Depending on your situation, you may need to enlarge a half bath into full bath with a walk-in wheel-in shower. A wheelchair-friendly bathroom makes taking care of a person’s hygiene needs so much easier. But if it’s not feasible to remodel, here are a couple of ideas to consider, depending on your situation:
- Get a bedside commode with removable side arms if the person is sliding onto it from the bed or wheelchair.
- Learn how to give a bed bath.
It’s not easy making these changes. But in the long run, you may be able to keep the person living safer, and more comfortably, at home. That’s a goal worth working towards.