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Overview

Healthcare is moving beyond the walls of the hospital. This is partially due to a growing population of patients who require medical care but are stable enough to be treated at home (including older adults with acute and chronic conditions). Caring for these populations in their own home is more convenient and cost effective than providing that same care in a traditional medical setting. Home environments that support medical care can reduce unnecessary hospitalization, influence health and wellbeing, and help to maintain a person's independence.

  • Landscaping

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden.
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Low-maintenance shrubs and plants. citation
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Patient satisfaction and comfort
    Design Strategies
    • Low-maintenance shrubs and plants. citation
  • Pathways

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden.
    • Ramp to front or side entrance (if needed). citation
    • Handrail on both sides of steps. National Association of Home Builders, 2016
    • Level, smooth pathway surfaces with minimal variations allowing for freedom of movement, especially when navigating with medical equipment. citation
    • Minimize thresholds.
    • Direct access to mail delivery (including packages) if patient is homebound/unable to access traditional mailbox.
    • Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces no more than ½ in. below interior floor level. citation
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Minimize strain during recovery
    Design Strategies
    • Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces no more than ½ in. below interior floor level. citation
    • Ramp to front or side entrance (if needed). citation
    • Handrail on both sides of steps. citation
    • Direct access to mail delivery (including packages) if patient is homebound/unable to access traditional mailbox.
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Level, smooth pathway surfaces with minimal variations allowing for freedom of movement, especially when navigating with medical equipment. citation
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden.
    • Minimize thresholds.
  • Doors

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • At least one exterior double door to facilitate option to bring in large medical equipment (if needed). citation
    • Easy-to-open doors (consider handle grip, mechanics, and weight).
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Dog door (and fenced-in yard) for patients with dogs.
  • Electrical

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Safety; risk mitigation
    Design Strategies
    • Easily accessible fuse box and master electrical breaker for emergency shut-off. citation
    • Power generators to support necessary medical equipment during power outage.
  • Lighting

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Flashing porch light or 911 switch. citation
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Caregiver safety
    Design Strategies
    Flashing porch light or 911 switch. citation
  • Patient Handling/Movement Equipment

    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate garage space for two people to assist patient if using lift/hoist to transfer in and out of vehicle. citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts at main entrance, side entrance, or garage entrance. citation
    Desirable Outcome(s)
    • Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate garage space for two people to assist patient if using lift/hoist to transfer in and out of vehicle. Beer et al., 2014
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts at main entrance, side entrance, or garage entrance. National Research Council, 2011