How to Set Up Your Home for Hospice and Palliative Care

How to Set Up Your Home for Hospice and Palliative Care

There’s no doubt that learning that a loved one is suffering from a terminal illness is a highly stressful time in life.

Setting up their home for hospice and palliative care is easier than you might, think, however.

In reality, somebody at this stage of life is usually of limited mobility and won’t need too much time out of the bedroom.

So, the real key is to prepare the bathroom and bedroom first and then make any other adjustments later.

Primary Items That Can Help With Your Set-Up

Only you can know what the senior needs or doesn’t need depending on their circumstances but most of those receiving home hospice treatment will need most of the following items.

Hospital Bed or Adjustable Bed

It may be that the best solution for your loved one is to use a hospital bed in the bedroom.

But if that’s not needed a good adjustable bed, instead of a hospital bed, and a great mattress can be the best way to ensure that someone with limited mobility can get into bed and out of bed comfortably.

These beds can be adjusted for seniors without needing much assistance from family members and it’s important to feel comfortable because it’s where much of the person’s experience will be from now on.

Memory Foam Pillows

If there’s no need for a bed for your hospice and palliative care then you might want to invest in a memory foam pillow for your loved one – these can help them get comfortable in the room without anywhere near as much expense.

Bed Rails (or Alternatives)

Bed rails are a great way to help a loved one get into or out of their sleeping position without needing any help.

However, if they won’t work in the room or your senior isn’t suited to working with bed rails, you can use any of these alternatives instead.

Trays And A Side Table

Someone’s life can be made much more comfortable just by adding a tray to their bed which lets them eat meals in bed or read a book with it supported in front of them.

Another one of the important items for seniors stuck in the home is a side table. Family members can then help them store cell phones, medicine (such as cancer treatments), etc. within reach so that they can easily get what they need.

Wireless Pager (for Caregivers)

If they cannot access full-time hospice care then the person should be offered a pager so that in the event of an emergency they can call for help.

My own father fell out of bed once when he was very ill and the ability to call the hospice for help was probably essential for his survival that day.

You can’t rely on a visit coming at the point when you need help.

Pill Organizers

If someone needs a lot of medication as they prepare for the end, it can be much easier to have that medication well-organized.

Pill organizers are cheap and they really improve the experience of taking a ton of pills every day.

Access To Entertainment

It can also help to have a lot of entertainment options to hand to help take their mind off things or to exercise their mind.

We recommend brain games, a TV, some books, etc. should all be available.

TV, in particular, is something many patients prefer to keep their brains active as it requires so little effort on their part.

Essential Items For Your Palliative Care Setup

While you may not need some of the items on the list above, we strongly recommend that you invest in the following. Caring for someone becomes much more complex in the bathroom.

Toilet Safety Rail

Every hospice will tell you, that people really don’t want to lose their dignity and a toilet safety rail is one of those items which helps people retain their privacy.

This rail adjusts and moves to allow a senior easy access to the toilet and then to get up from the toilet after they’ve been.

Lift Chair For The Bathroom (Or A Walk-In Bath/Shower)

Perhaps, the most dangerous moment in any terminally ill person’s life is trying to get clean.

Without the right support to get in and out of a washing facility – they can slip and seriously hurt or even kill themselves.

Now, we love the use of a bathtub/shower lift chair if you don’t have any time to modify the bathroom as it makes the existing premises safer for the person.

However, we strongly recommend using a walk-in bathtub or shower if you can afford the expense of installation as these allow easy entry and exit to washing facilities without any complex contraptions getting in the way.

You may also find it useful to add bath and shower handles to give the person extra grip if they need it.

Anti-Slip Mats For The Bathroom

Making a washing area safe means helping the individual avoid slips throughout the area.

Anti-slip mats are super cheap (well, when compared to many of the devices on this list) and very easy to install too (you just drop them on the floor that might turn slippery).

And yet, they could prevent a very serious and distressing fall. Caring for your loved ones means paying attention to these small needs as well as the bigger aspects of hospice care.

Mobility Devices

This can include anything from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair, whatever they need to get around more easily is going to make life safer and more comfortable.

However, sometimes, the device needed is impractical such as an elevator to reach a higher floor – in that case, consider moving the room down a floor (e.g. put the bedroom in the living room).

Final Thoughts On Home Setup For Hospice And Palliative Care

Taking care of your loved one’s needs can be a relatively easy thing to do, though, of course, it won’t compensate for the emotional trauma of their final days.

Use our guide and the place where your loved one spends their final days can be comfy and usable for them.

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