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When problems arise, my organizer brain immediately takes in the situation and starts looking for ways to improve the physical environment in order to make it more functional. Such has been the case recently. I have just returned from two and a half weeks of assisting my mom who is recovering from a broken hip.
Long term illnesses or injuries, such as my mom's, can make it difficult for a person to function comfortably within his or her normal surroundings. The more that can be done to accommodate the recovering person's needs and abilities, the more comfortable that person will be physically, mentally, and emotionally. Often a few simple changes can make a big difference in a person's ability to comfortably do for themselves as much as possible.
In this post, I would like to share some suggestions for things you can do to make the physical environment more user-friendly for someone who is recovering from a serious illness or injury.
One of the first things I did after arriving at my mom's house was to remove the throw rugs from her bathroom floor. They may serve a useful purpose, but in her current situation they are more of a hazard than a help. I washed them and set them aside to be replaced later when she is stronger and better able to get around.
A person suffering from a serious illness is often in a weakened state. This can also be true of someone who has been injured seriously. Anything you can do to help them get around more easily is desirable. This may mean moving furniture around temporarily to create a more direct path from point A to point B. Look around the environment with new eyes searching for anything that could be a tripping hazard, sharp corner, obstacle, or other potential danger and find a way to minimize the risk.
Make Things Accessible
A person who is seriously injured or ill is likely to have limited mobility. They may be bed-ridden or just camped out on the sofa for a time. Their ability to reach things and do simple tasks is probably reduced. This can be tremendously trying. Finding ways to make things easier to access will help them retain a degree of independence and greatly reduce their level of frustration. Some of my favorite solutions include:
We are fortunate to live in a world where energy saving, work reducing devices abound. What's more, many of these gadgets are specifically designed for people with limited mobility, strength, energy, and/or dexterity. Here are some examples of tools designed to make doing basic household tasks easier.
Often a person recovering from serious illness or injury spends a good deal of their time either in bed or lounging on a sofa. It can be frustrating to be confined to a small space, but there are a variety of products available to help make the experience more comfortable, and possibly even more productive. Here are a few of my favorites:
Bathroom safety is often a concern for someone who is recovering from illness or injury. In our family we have found the following items to be particularly helpful in providing needed support and comfort.
While working at the kitchen store, I discovered some really great kitchen gadgets designed to make accomplishing basic tasks simple and pain free for people with strength and dexterity challenges. Here are some of my favorites.
As you can see, organizing for injury or illness is not complicated, but it does take some thought. The key is to identify specific needs and work from there to find the best solution. Anything you can do to make a recovering person more comfortable and better able to enjoy some independence is highly desirable!