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My father had been suffering from several chronic health issues for quite some time. The last time I visited the doctor for a consultation, he informed me that my father needed intensive, full-time home care and I might need to do some changes to my home and lifestyle.

At first, I was scared. The image of a dreary room with my father stuck to a bed suddenly flashed in front of my eyes. I know how elderly care ecosystem is still not mature in India.

Most often, even professional medical attendants are not aware of how to set up an ideal home care environment. My doctor assured me that it is still a better alternative to shifting my father to a nursing home where I cannot be present to provide emotional support.

So, with the positive motivation of my doctor, I began the process of researching about installing home care setup inside my home. My research concluded with several insights and here is what I did to transform my father’s room and the entire house into a lively home care facility. Here is what I did:

Process of Installing Home Care Setup

Touching Base with the local elderly care organization

Someone suggested me a group my locality that comprised of medical professionals, elderly care specialists, therapists and geriatric care managers. I contacted the group and shared my concerns and asked for help. The group helped me understand how I can build a home care system and suggested me to find the problems in my existing home that can be fatal for my father.

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Conducting a safety audit of my house

As recommended by the group, I began evaluating my home for any red flags that can get my father injured due to his negligence or any medical conditions. They told me how common it is for an elderly to fall and get injured at their own home. So, I began rearranging furniture, putting carpets on my slippery floors and doing small changes to the furnishings to eliminate any chances of an injury.

Making changes to the structure and following safety measures

This was the hardest part of all. I had to look at my house like an elder person and make amends in bedrooms, toilets, living room and other spaces to make it safe for my father. I made the following changes to my home:

  • Marked the edge of every step on stairs with glow-in-the-dark tape
  • Repaired cracked floors and uneven walking area around the house
  • Cleared the open garden and removed clutter due to ropes, pipes, etc. spread everywhere.
  • Painted the walls with pale colors and re-floored my father’s room with contrasting tiles
  • Removed unnecessary wall mirrors that can cause mental confusion
  • Removed slippery rugs and straightened curled up edges on the carpet
  • Removed locks from bathroom doors to prevent my father from getting locked in
  • Replaced slippery bathroom ties with anti-skid bathmats instead
  • Installed grab bars and safety handle inside the bathroom
  • Installed a raised toilet seat and a shower chair in the bathroom
  • Installed audio monitor in my father’s room
  • Unplugged and protected kitchen appliances and dangerous electronics which were not needed at all times
  • Stored dangerous items like step stools, chairs or ladders at a safe place out of the reach of my father
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After I made all these changes, I invited my doctor at my home to inspect if everything is fine for my father. Once he gave a green nod, I started finding a professionally trained nurse with experience of taking care of an old patient. I was fortunate to find a kind lady who was available for 24-hours to provide effective elderly care. This way I transformed my home into a safe sanctuary for my old father.

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