If you or someone you care about is losing mobility due to age or has recently sustained an injury that affects the ability to navigate safely around the home, it is time to research how to make a living space handicap accessible. Here are three places to start as you go about creating a hazard free home.
Don’t let limited mobility keep you or your loved one inside. Installing exterior ramps will allow wheelchairs and mobility scooters to power in and out of the home as much as you or your loved one desires.
Be sure to enjoy this same level of freedom inside the home as well. Threshold ramps are designed to fix interior problem areas with minimal aesthetic impact. They will give the ability to move freely about the inside of the home without having to worry about any uneven floors between rooms.
Since bathing is a vital part of anyone’s daily routine, showers must be as safe as possible. If the bathroom has a shower that you step into, and that requires you stand for the duration of bathing, you should consider a roll in shower. These will provide a low threshold for easy wheelchair access or, for those with limited mobility, make stepping in and out of the shower safer and easier.
A roll in shower will often include a seating area and safety bars, all of which enable you to maintain your independence while going about your daily hygiene routine.
Additionally, install a single lever faucet that mixes hot and cold in the shower, and set your water heater’s temperature to go no higher than 120°F. Should you be unable to shut off the water flow at any time, this will prevent burns from occurring.
Falls from the toilet can, unfortunately, happen. However, precautions can be taken to minimize these risks for your or your loved one. While it is possible to install a raised toilet, adding a raised toilet seat instead is a cost-effective alternative. As with the shower, safety bars provide more independence and allow for easier maneuvering on and off the toilet.
Another option to consider is a commode lift. Some models are designed to fit over the existing toilet and can help you or someone you care about to maintain their dignity and privacy.
These are just a few suggestions on what you can do to make your home or your loved one’s home safely accessible. A change in mobility doesn’t have to mean an inability to live alone. In fact, there are many modifications that you can make to a home to ensure happy, independent living for years to come.