Caring for an Ill Family Member

by Luis Reyes P.A. 10/06/2019

Illness or an accident may strike a family member at any time. Or, they may require surgery or other care. And when they need in-home care during recovery, you may find yourself woefully unprepared.

Prepare your home

Caring for an invalid or person recovering from an illness reveals many areas in a house that do not work well with wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches. These include stairs, narrow doorways, and halls without rails. Turning radius requirements for wheelchairs notably, sadly are lacking in most homes.

Additionally, most baths and shower enclosures do not have grab bars, and something as simple as a faucet may be too complicated to manipulate if your family member's illness causes weakness or lack of feeling.

If your parents are aging and ill, or if you have a child or teen with ambulatory limitations, here are a few suggestions of things to do to make your home invalid-friendly and reduce some of the stress:

  • Replace door and cabinet knobs with levers. A lever-style handle is operable with just one hand giving a gentle push.
  • Add grab bars to any place where water might make it slippery, including inside and outside of bath and shower enclosures, and near the toilet.
  • Switch out knob-style faucets for lever-style.
  • Add railings to outdoor steps, and any interior steps, even if only one or two stairs.
  • If possible, replace all interior room doors with 36-inch doors, the best width to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Add rails to long hallways.
  • Make sure seating for meals is at wheelchair height if necessary.
  • Keep clutter and extra furniture out of the way to remove hazards and barriers.

Prepare yourself

No matter how ill your family member is, you are of no help to them if you don't take care of yourself. Arrange for periodic relief. Sometimes you only need a breather, and other times you may need to get away for a couple of hours. Reach out to other family members or to friends or hire a care-giving service for those times you need to get away to refresh yourself. You can not give to your loved one if you have nothing to offer.

Prepare your family

Children in the home need preparation, information, and instructions regarding the ill family member. A child that used to run directly into grandma's arms might be confused about what to do when grandma uses a walker or wheelchair. Of, if Uncle Charles typically gets down on the floor to play with them, but has a broken leg and can't do that right now, your children may not understand. Preparing your children for what to expect in a gentle and non-fearful way helps them adjust to any temporary inconvenience your love one is subject to during recovery. 

If you expect to care for a loved one in the future, make plans to include ADA compliant options as part of your homebuyer checklist.

About the Author
Author

Luis Reyes P.A.

My Client Testimonials

To whom it may concern: Luis Reyes is like a good family member, the one that comes to your house, seats at your table and talks you directly in the eye, honestly and to the point. He has good knowledge of the market, as well as expertise on the whole process of selling and buying. I have little patience with things, and Luis knew how to work with me being courteous, helpful and reliable. He was always on time at showings. He is very polite with house owners and realtors. He was always looking after my interests first and gave me excellent pieces of advice when these were in jeopardy. I am looking forward to working with him again. (letter of recommendation regarding the purchase of 6864)

Sincerely, Mike

Hi Luis, hope you can show this letter to other customers so they can see what great experience I had. Working with Luis Reyes has been a wonderful experience. As a first buyer you always have a lot of questions, doubts and expectations that grow every day as the house hunting and buying takes place. Luis responsiveness and availability made a huge difference in this process. Weekends and free time have a different meaning for him. Like a doctor, always willing to do what it takes for his patients, he would answer our calls days and nights and would show houses at anytime of the week. He is very professional with buyers, sellers and realtors; even on occasions when any human being would have lost his nerves, he remained calm and smiling. He has a great sense of ethics. I would recommend him with friends and family and I would definitely trust him in the purchase of a future property. (letter of recommendation regarding purchase of the condo located at 14211)

Best regards , Yanet

My Experience

  • Specialties: Buyer's Agent, Listing Agent, Relocation, Foreclosure, Short Sales.
  • I am fully committed to providing you with a noticeably higher level of service that will make your real estate experience as easy and as stress-free as possible. 
  • You can expect from me: Personal and knowledgeable service that is genuinely responsive to your needs. 
  • A "Neighborhood Specialist's" for over 12 years. Familiarity with local communities, home values, and price trends.
  • Top professional skills, advice and guidance throughout the entire buying or selling process.  
  • I can save you valuable time and effort in securing home financing, insurance, and home connections. 
  • Feel free to contact me anytime, whether it's to get started on helping you realize your goals and dreams, or just to ask a question. 
  • I would welcome the opportunity to make a difference for you.

My Credentials and Memberships

  • National Association of Realtors; NAR
  • Florida Realtor Association
  • Miami Association of Realtors
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist ®; SRES ® 
  • Military Relocation Professional Certification; MRP