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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.

The majority of design strategies in the Healthcare at Home diagrams apply to Universal Design U, Aging in Place A, and Healthcare at Home H. Strategies associated with only one or two of these approaches are indicated as such with icons.

Click on one of the dots or the thumbnails below to learn more

  • Landscaping

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
    • Use low-maintenance shrubs and plants and avoid poisonous vegetation or vegetation that is irritating to the touch as well as plants that tend to attract stinging insects citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
    Desirable Outcome
    Patient satisfaction and comfort
    Design Strategies
    • Use low-maintenance shrubs and plants and avoid poisonous vegetation or vegetation that is irritating to the touch as well as plants that tend to attract stinging insects citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
  • Pathways

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Smooth, level floor surfaces with minimal variations that allow freedom of movement, especially when navigating with mobility assistance or medical equipment citation
    • Minimize thresholds (less than ¼ inch vertical, or up to ½ inch beveled) citation
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Smooth, level floor surfaces with minimal variations that allow freedom of movement, especially when navigating with mobility assistance or medical equipment citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize undue strain during recovery
    Design Strategies
    • Access for mail delivery (including packages) directly to the home if patient is homebound/unable to access traditional mailbox A H
    • Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces are no more than a half inch below interior floor level citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Smooth, level floor surfaces with minimal variations that allow freedom of movement, especially when navigating with mobility assistance or medical equipment citation
    • Minimize thresholds (less than ¼ inch vertical, or up to ½ inch beveled) citation
    • Accessible path to outside/nature/garden
    • Access for mail delivery (including packages) directly to the home if patient is homebound/unable to access traditional mailbox
    • Deck, patio, or balcony surfaces are no more than a half inch below interior floor level citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    • Avoid glare and excessive contrast and patterns on floors, which can be perceived as or conceal actual changes in level which pose a potential trip hazard. citation
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
    • Provide weather protection for exterior stairs, ramps and landings. A H citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; minimize risk of injury
    Design Strategies
    • Avoid glare and excessive contrast and patterns on floors, which can be perceived as or conceal actual changes in level which pose a potential trip hazard. citation
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
  • Layout (Overall)

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize undue strain during recovery
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Psychosocial support
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
  • Flooring

    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Avoid glare and excessive contrast and patterns on floors, which can be perceived as or conceal actual changes in level which pose a potential trip hazard. citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; minimize risk of injury
    Design Strategies
    • Avoid glare and excessive contrast and patterns on floors, which can be perceived as or conceal actual changes in level which pose a potential trip hazard. citation
  • Walls

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize undue strain during recovery
    Design Strategies
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Handrails on both sides of stairs citation
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; minimize risk of injury
    Design Strategies
    • Provide handrails (1-1/4” to 2” in diameter) with a slip-resistant surface adjacent to all sloped surfaces even if the floor slope is not steep enough to require a handrail by code. citation
    • Provide wainscot trim that protrudes from the wall and is securely fastened to offer a frame of reference and a touchstone for balance for level surfaces. citation
  • Doors

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of use
    Design Strategies
    • At least one exterior double door to facilitate option to bring in large medical equipment that may be necessary for patient care citation
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Psychosocial support
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • At least one exterior double door to facilitate option to bring in large medical equipment that may be necessary for patient care citation
  • Electrical

    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; minimize risk of injury
    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
    Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Flashing porch light or 911 switch in case of emergency citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Flashing porch light or 911 switch in case of emergency citation
    • Avoid glare and excessive contrast and patterns on floors, which can be perceived as or conceal actual changes in level which pose a potential trip hazard. citation
  • Fixtures / Furnishings/ Appliances / Equipment / Accessories

    Desirable Outcome
    Accessibility; ease of us
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize patient stress/anxiety
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Psychosocial support
    Design Strategies
    • Designated space and provisions for pets (bed, built-in feeding system, outdoor access, fenced in yard, self-cleaning litter box), if appropriate citation
  • Patient Handling/Movement Equipment

    Desirable Outcome
    Caregiver safety; minimize risk of physical injury
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space for two people to provide caregiving assistance if using hydraulic patient lift/hoist (e.g., toilet, bed, car) citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Minimize undue strain during recovery
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation
    Desirable Outcome
    Safety; fall/injury prevention
    Design Strategies
    • Adequate space for two people to provide caregiving assistance if using hydraulic patient lift/hoist (e.g., toilet, bed, car) citation
    • Adequate space to install ramps/stair lifts to accommodate changes in interior and/or exterior levels (e.g., front, side, garage entryways) citation