If your family decides to care for a terminally ill loved one at home who suffers from respiratory problems, you may wonder how you can make the indoor environment cleaner, safer and more comfortable for them. Although most patients receive palliative care in a hospice facility, clinic or nursing home, some families take on the responsibility of caring for their ill loved ones. But if your home isn't clean and safe enough to provide care, it may not be the best option for your loved one. There are things you can do to obtain and maintain a comfortable indoor environment, including these below.
Clean the Carpets
You may not know it right now, but your home's carpets harbor harmful bacteria and other contaminants that can potentially irritate your family member's delicate respiratory system. The contaminants come from a number of things, including the outdoors. Family, friends, doctors, hospice nurses, and other visitors can inadvertently pick up the contaminants on the bottoms of their footwear as they walk on sidewalks, grass and other surfaces. The contaminants stick to the fibers of your carpets as your visitors walk on them.
Some of the carpets' pathogens become airborne once you turn on your air conditioning or heating system, including dust mites, pet dander and mold. If your loved one inhales the items, they may sneeze, cough, or even develop infections of the lungs that fill the lungs with fluids. If your loved one suffers from an advanced lung disease, the inability to breathe clearly can be frightening or discouraging.
Protect your loved one by vacuuming your carpets three times a week. If possible, use a steam cleaner to remove stuck-on contaminants from the carpets, or you can have your home professionally cleaned to ensure that it stays safe and comfortable for your loved one. You may also want to order non-toxic cleaning supplies and stock up on vacuum bags from a hospice equipment and supply contractor to help you control the problems in your carpets. A contractor may help you select products that work best for your loved one.
Another step you can take to make your family member life easier is to clean the air in the house.
Clean the Air
The indoor environment in your home may contain odors that may not bother you, but they cause problems for your family member. Certain odors, such as garlic, grease and even coffee, may be unpleasant for some experiencing respiratory problems. The odors may also create chemical reactions in the air that burn or irritate your loved one's throat and nasal passages. Some people may even experience headaches and nausea. Cleaning the air may help ward off these issues.
One of the things you might do is contact a medical equipment supplier and request information about air cleaners. The cleaners essentially remove odors and other pollutants from the air using special filtration systems made of activated charcoal or ionic technology. While both types of systems work well, some products may be noisier than others and may not work well for your loved one if they have sensitive ears. A contractor may feature a list of items and their features to help you decide on the best option to take.
In addition to using an air cleaner, consider ordering face and nasal masks for your family member. The items protect your loved one's respiratory system when they become particularly sensitive to the indoor environment. This is just one additional step you can take that may work well during your palliative care duties.
For more information about keeping your home clean and safe for your loved one, contact a hospice equipment supplier today or visit http://cornermedical.com/.