Next, think about any alterations you may need to make to your home in time for your return.
- Modifications may be needed to allow you to move about, use the bathroom, prepare meals, etc.
- For unilateral upper or lower limb loss, minimal changes may be needed.
- If you are a bilateral amputee and/or need the use of a wheelchair on a daily basis, home modifications may be more extensive.
- It takes time to modify a home, so start thinking about these possibilities while you’re still in the hospital. Ideally the home will be ready for you when you are released from the hospital.
- Connect with a contractor to discuss modifications. Ramps, lifts (assistance getting up stairs), widening of doors, safety bars in restrooms may be considered.
- The real goal is to have a suitable permanent solution. Before remodeling or making major changes, consider temporary modifications. Your needs may change when you get fitted for a prosthetic.
- Another reason to think ahead: the hospital may not release you unless they know you can safely access your home.
- Transitions between rooms or floor types can be especially tricky to navigate.
- Throw rugs can be hazardous; consider removing them.
“When I walk into a hospital room and talk to somebody who had just suffered an amputation, they’re sitting there wondering ‘What is the rest of my life going to look like?’ Then someone like me or one of the other peer advocates at Wiggle Your Toes can say ‘You know what? I’m playing softball, I’m riding my bike, I’m jogging, I’m golfing, I went back to work: this is how I did it.’ To be able to share a personal story like that with an individual who has recently suffered an amputation is invaluable.”