Accessibility remodeling: Preparing your home for a loved one’s medical needs

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Caring1BLOGIn our last post in the “Caring for the Caregiver” series, “Top Tips to Relieve Caregiver Stress,” Briita Hall shared her tips for dealing with caregiver stress. In the post, Briita hall mentioned how using the outside resource of a home remodeling company to make her home wheelchair accessible was one step she and her husband, John, took in preparing for the future. In this post, we further explore the idea of accessibility remodeling as a way to reduce caregiver stress.

While working at U-M, Andi McDonnell often heard from patient families concerned about the challenges of caring for their loved ones at home. She decided to work toward a second master’s degree with a focus on interior design / ADA-compliance for residential needs. In the process she found a way to blend her love of patient interaction and interior design into a successful career as manager of “My Home & Office Medical Interior Design,” a program offered by the University of Michigan Health System through its Home Care Services Division.

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Top tips to relieve caregiver stress

Asking questions, being persistent and proactive can lead to peace of mind

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Couples can end up being caregivers for each other at various stages in their lives. Being proactive and persistent can help relieve caregiver stress

John and Briita Hall are no strangers to caregiving. John cared for his first wife, who suffered with terminal cancer for 12 years. He later became Briita’s caregiver when she underwent treatment for breast cancer. On and off, it’s been Briita’s turn to care for John while he’s recovered from a series of surgeries due to significant hip and leg issues, some dating back to his years of service during the Vietnam era.

Through the years, Briita has identified four important tips that have made her a better, more confident caregiver.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to question hospital staff. You need to know who, what and why as you prepare to take care of a loved one at home. And you need to be proactive in getting information from the healthcare team — information that will help you and your loved one at home.

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