Is one glance around your bedroom evidence enough that you’re battling a chronic illness? Dressers and nightstands covered in prescription bottles, tubes of lotions and creams, medical equipment taking up space, your laptop on your bed (because work doesn’t take a break even when fatigue sets in), clothes on your chair that you’re still getting around to hanging up . . . you get the picture.
While a fresh coat of paint and an optimized closet might seem like the handiest bedroom upgrades, you might be surprised by what a few smart additions can do to help you better manage your space, time, and health.
Don’t miss this quick list:
1) Overbed Table
Tired of having to twist, turn, and strain to place things on your bedside table? Sleeping with your laptop in bed with you? An overbed table solves this problem quickly by offering you an easy-to-move surface on wheels that you can roll right up to your bed, so it sits in front of you. Similarly, a portable lap tray that rests over your legs can hold food, devices, and other items in a convenient and accessible way while you’re in bed.
2) Bed Rails
Rolling over on your side, pulling yourself up in bed, and even getting in and out of bed can all be difficult processes for people with limited mobility or range of motion. Bed rails offer discreet and helpful assistance by providing a sturdy support on which you can lean or hold yourself up. You can find easy-to-install bed rails in a variety of adjustable heights and sizes online or at your local pharmacy.
3) Wall Mounts
People with chronic illness know that medical items and equipment can take up lots of space, and the more clutter in your living area, the more stressful (and potentially dangerous) it can be.
Where possible, try mounting things on your walls – i.e. pictures, floating shelves, your television, etc. This utilizes empty vertical space instead of requiring you to use more floor space with large dressers, TV stands, and bookshelves.
4) Alarm Clock
If your chronic illness affects either your sense of hearing or your sleep patterns, an alarm clock more powerful than your smartphone may be an ideal purchase. Alarm clocks for heavy sleepers and the hearing impaired feature extra loud alarm sounds, blinking lights, and the ability to vibrate to more effectively wake you up.
5) Hospital Bed
If your disability or chronic illness puts you at risk for swallowing problems, breathing problems, or mobility problems, you may qualify for a “hospital bed,” an electric bed with the ability to mechanically raise the head and feet areas as well as completely rise up and down.
Remote-operated hospital beds make it easier for someone with limited physical abilities to sit up and down as well as for caregivers to assist them in getting in and out of bed. Your doctor has to write you an order for a hospital bed, and it typically must be fulfilled by a local medical equipment company in order for it to be covered by your insurance.
6) Hamper on Wheels
Depending on where your dirty clothes end up (in your closet, bathroom, or bedroom), chances are they make their way to the laundry machine via you having to carry a heavy hamper or laundry bag. Upgrade your laundry transportation with a wheeled hamper that allows you to more easily push or pull your load to the washing machine instead of carrying it.
7) Blackout Curtains
If your chronic illness is frequently accompanied by insomnia, you may want to look into making your bedroom more conducive to sleep. In addition to keeping the temperature cool and avoiding exposure to blue light (like on your television or smartphone), blackout curtains could be a smart addition to your windows, helping to block out unwanted light pollution from your surrounding city.
Smart Ways to Find Equipment Without Insurance
If the equipment or upgrades you are looking for aren’t covered by insurance . . .
Check with a local ‘lending’ program that offers gently-used medical equipment and assistive devices to people in need. Oftentimes, Council on Aging groups or local Christian ministries will have lending programs for seniors and other people with special needs.
Contact your local charity re-store, Goodwill, and Salvation Army to see if they have had any equipment donated recently which you can pick up at a vastly discounted price.
Sign up for your pharmacy’s rewards program to earn points towards purchases like an alarm clock or bed rails.
Include items you could use on a wish list and share this with friends, caregivers, and family. Come birthdays and holidays, people will know exactly what to get you and will feel good about gifting you something that makes your life easier.
Living with a chronic illness is challenging, but these bedroom upgrades can help you get around easier, have more peace of mind, and enjoy better quality of life.
Need more upgrade ideas?
Check out this article: 7 Thoughtful Bathroom Upgrades for People With Disabilities
Shop my favorite Amazon products!