Chapter 5: Getting prepared: Safety and risks


I thought I was ready, but then I had to reorganize things. I put a chair by the door so Rasha could sit when she came in; I removed a mat because she might trip; I asked her brother to not smoke in the house when he visited…

Providing care in the home means looking at the home and home situation in a different way. In addition to all of the functions the home currently has, it is now a place where care is being provided to someone who is seriously ill. You may also want to consider some lifestyle changes that might make you and the person feel more comfortable. These might reduce stressful encounters or situations.

This chapter explores aspects for you to assess (within your living space and your lifestyle) to help you identify if you need to change anything to make caregiving safer and more comfortable.

And then what?

When you identify a potential risk or opportunity for a modification, either to enhance comfort or ease your stress or workload, you will probably want to take action. It’s a good idea to discuss changes with a healthcare provider first, especially changes that require an assessment for safety risk or anything involving patient care. This is especially important if you think you might need to make any changes to the home.