Making your home disability-friendly
Having a safe and comfortable home can be paramount for those suffering from an illness, injury, or disability. However, after you or a loved one arrives home from the hospital or a care centre, it can be hard to know where to begin. You don’t want to affect your property’s aesthetics, but you want to make sure the occupants can remain mobile to retain their independence. Here are a few helpful tips that may put you on the right path.
Eliminate obstacles and obstructions
Everyday things in your home can be hazardous obstacles and obstructions for the aging, ill, or disabled. View your loved one’s home, or yours, with a critical eye. Remove any loose carpeting or rugs that could pose a trip hazard. Securely fasten doormats and fix rough or uneven edges where possible. If you require wheelchair access around the property, ensure furniture is spaced far enough apart for easy navigation, and remove unnecessary clutter.
Purchase and install appropriate aids
If you are creating a disability-friendly home for a loved one, get their permission to purchase and install equipment and aids to assist in every-day living, such as those from East Coast Mobility. This might include wheelchair ramps at main entrances, handrails in the bathroom and toilet, automatic doors, and stairlifts. Even conditions like arthritis can see the need for a few extra home additions for comfort and safety, such as higher chairs, shower stools, and adjustable bed risers.
Consider housing alterations
Not every home will be fit for wheelchair access. Sometimes, a ramp at the entrance is not enough. In that case, significant alterations may be required. Consider your options around changing the layout to allow for wider hallways and doors and easy flow from room to room. While temporarily disruptive, such changes can make you or your loved one’s everyday life much more comfortable going forward.
Make everyday items accessible
Being a wheelchair user, having limited mobility, or even suffering from back pain can make reaching everyday items challenging. Rather than put yourself at risk by climbing or reaching, spend time putting everything you need within reach. The kitchen is a great place to start. Reposition plates, cutlery, and cooking utensils in low cupboards. If your loved one has a carer who takes care of the cooking, make sure they are aware that, for their safety, they should request assistance when they need to prepare a meal.
We’re living much longer than we used to, but with age often comes aches and pains and the need for help. Whether you or a loved one is struggling with everyday tasks, it’s paramount to reach out. There are support services available to assist with life’s necessities, such as washing, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. You can even hire people to take care of property maintenance like lawn mowing and gardening.
Making your home disability-friendly can be a significant undertaking, but it can be necessary for quality of life and safety. Break the job down into manageable steps and enjoy the peace of mind from a safer, healthier home for you and your loved ones.
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