In-home care services can help someone who is recovering from a medical setback or is managing chronic health issues. It also helps those with special needs or someone who is aging and needs assistance to live independently. Caregivers and family must have home supplies, depending on a person’s needs.

For taking care of a larger individual, for example, you’ll probably need a bigger hospital bed, also known as a bariatric bed. It is wider than a standard hospital bed and is engineered to provide stability, convenience, and comfort for users as well as caretakers.

Continue reading to find more about the necessary items you must have for proper home care.

Appropriate bed

Apart from making adaptations to your home for safety’s sake, you should also think about using an appropriate bed depending on the person’s needs. Each person has unique needs for a restful sleep. Those that suffer from neck and back pain, sleep apnea, congestion, etc., will probably need adjustable beds to reduce the symptoms. A custom-made mattress for adjustable bed is a must-have item for people who are prone to staying in bed for a long time.

Make sure to choose a carefully crafted mattress that meets your expectations and values your budget. These beds offer comfort and convenience not only for the person using them but for their caretaker as well. Usually, caretakers need to raise or lower the bed to provide bedside care at a comfortable and safe working height. You’ll be able to adjust the height to make the transfer easier and safer.

First aid kit and sanitary personal protective equipment

Caring for a chronically ill or aging individual can mean performing some basic medical tasks and keeping track of their medications. Make sure you create and maintain an updated medication list, and set up home health services. Think about the risk for falls, injuries, and skin tears, so always keep your first aid kit on hand. Note that the first aid kit items should be regularly checked for expiration dates.

Additionally, sanitary personal protective equipment will not only protect the patient but also the caregiver. These include gloves, facial masks, and gowns/aprons to protect clothes. Facial masks are essential, as you have to protect yourself as well as the patient from an easily transmitted airborne infection. Gloves are needed in case of providing personal care like toilet or bathing help to the patient.

Emergency essentials

An emergency essential kit will keep you prepared for any in-home emergencies like injuries, or supplies for getting through disasters such as blizzards or power outages. In case there’s a power outage, make sure you have a flashlight and extra batteries on hand. You might also want to consider a few small battery-powered lanterns so you’ll have light in some key locations around the house.

You can keep fire extinguishers in particular places around the house, and you might want to consider a carbon monoxide detector. The detector will alert you if the gas is present and help you get to safety immediately. In addition, don’t forget emergency blankets, instant heat, and cold packs. Consider placing a whistle handy on each floor so the members of the family can blow them if they spot anything strange like a fire breaking out or a wild animal breaking in.

Transfer/Gait belts

Keep in mind that improper transfers can lead to injuries for both patient and caregiver. Gait or transfer belts provide extra support for the caregiver to easily and safely transfer the patient. If you have to lift someone daily, you must consider purchasing a gait belt. It’s an assistive device that is used to help safely transfer someone from a bed to a wheelchair. It also assists with standing, sitting, and walking around.

By securing it around the waist, it allows the caregiver to grasp the belt to help in lifting or moving a person. Proper use can reduce the struggles involved with this task and lower the risk of further injuries. Just remember, do not overexert yourself, and ask for help if needed. The belt is usually made out of canvas, leather, or nylon with a buckle at one end. You can purchase it at large pharmacies, medical supply stores, online, or even stores like Walmart.

Overbed table and skin barriers

Another very useful item, especially for patients who have limited mobility is an adjustable overbed table, preferably with wheels. You can serve food to make mealtime easier and more effective. These tables are also useful in administering medication and promoting independence when the patient is bed-bound.  

Skin barriers, such as skin creams, protect the patient’s skin. Skin breakdown is a common problem with elderly people, and it becomes a concern especially when they have limited mobility. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers usually occur with limited mobility. Caregivers can apply the appropriate skin cream to areas that are most affected and prone to pressure ulcers. Typically, the heels, bottom area, the back of the head, and elbows.

Final thoughts

Home care is the key to achieving the highest quality of life. It enables security, and safety, and increases independence. It also helps with managing an ongoing medical condition and helps avoid unnecessary hospitalization. Knowing the needs of the individual makes it easier to equip your home with the necessary items for safe and comfortable care.