Health needs change as we get older, which means we may need medical equipment in our homes. Learn how to incorporate this equipment into yours.
In many ways, aging is a gift. Spending so much time with the people we love and seeing the world change in amazing ways is a gift that only the elderly can enjoy. However, with those wonderful gifts come challenges, especially to our health. We often must change our lifestyles and homes to accommodate these health challenges and new health needs.
While changing our homes is its own challenge in many ways, there are ways to make it easier. For example, bringing medical equipment such as a hospital bed into your home is a big change from the bed you’ve enjoyed for the past decade. But knowing how to incorporate this equipment into your home so it looks and feels natural can help ease that transition, and we provide some incorporation tips below.
Changes to Communal Spaces
Our homes have private spaces, such as bedrooms, and communal spaces, such as kitchens and living rooms. Depending on the type of medical equipment you’re bringing into your home, you may have to change all these spaces or just some of them. Wheelchairs are one of the most common pieces of medical equipment that will affect your communal spaces.
To make room for a wheelchair user in your living room, pull your furniture farther apart. Make pathways between sofas and coffee tables larger so the person in the wheelchair can easily transition from their chair to the sofa. In the kitchen, find a storage space for one of your dining chairs so you can move it out of the way whenever the person in the wheelchair uses the table.
Changes to Private Spaces
Private bedrooms see more personal pieces of medical equipment, such as hospital beds. Incorporating this type of large device often feels difficult because it stands out from the bedrooms we’ve designed to fit our styles.
Before you can incorporate a hospital bed into your bedroom, you must choose a hospital bed. Base your choice on how you’d like to adjust the bed and other factors, such as the mobility of the user. While all hospital beds tend to look the same and may mess up your bedroom design, you can place pillows and blankets on the bed that help it look more natural in your home.
Many of us love to enjoy our front porches and gardens. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to accommodate medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators in these outdoor spaces. Many people have portable oxygen concentrators for outside, but it can feel wasteful to use your portable concentrator around your own home.
Check the availability of outdoor electrical sockets. If you have one on your front porch or around the sides of your home near gardening spaces, you can move the home oxygen concentrator to accommodate the user. If you don’t have many or any outdoor electrical sockets, contact an electrician and ask them about installing some.
Knowing how to incorporate medical equipment into the communal, private, and outdoor areas of your home is challenging, but not impossible. It’s just another challenge we face as we embrace the gift of aging.