It is becoming more and more normal to see aging family members living with the younger generation. That being said, whether you have an elderly family member living with you or someone else in your home who has a disability, there need to be some modifications in order to make things more accessible and safer for them. Tweaking the layout of the furniture and making a few common sense architectural decisions can make the living environment both safer and more comfortable for them. Here are just a few tips that will assist you in making your home into one that can be comfortable and safe for everyone.
Stair lifts, like the EasyClimber home stair lift, can help those with different abilities to get to the second floor of a home. The lift tracks with the stairs and then the chair itself will take the passenger slowly from one floor to the next and back again. These are installed easily, and some insurance companies will actually cover the cost.
You may have noticed that not all wheelchairs are the same. There are ones that you have to push and ones that are powered. The manual ones might not be too comfortable when one has to sit it in all day long. Also, it leaves the differently-abled person dependent on someone else to get from one room to another. Power wheelchairs might be a bit more expensive, but they give a person a sense of freedom that just doesn’t come with manual ones. They also tend to be well padded and more comfortable. This is also something that different insurance companies will pay for.
Rails, Benches, and Grab Bars
Bathrooms can be a place that is very dangerous. This is especially true for those with different abilities. When it comes to people of a certain age, getting on and off of the toilet can be an activity that can actually cause injuries. For this reason, installing grab bars might be considered since they give the user more support that they can hold on to as they sit and as they rise. These are an easy home modification to make too.
Along with that, you might consider getting a shower chair or installing a bench in the shower. This might allow for someone to have the ability to shower without help while not needing to worry about slipping on the wet floor. Shower chairs can be found online at very negligible costs.
Open the Rooms
You can make even the smallest rooms in a home larger simply by removing a wall. The interior walls of your home might not be ones that support too much of the weight, and any contractor worth his cost can tell you which walls you need to keep. If the walls can’t come down, you can at least make the doorways wider to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. Having the extra space that is made by knocking down walls can help those who use a walker or wheelchair get around your home safely.
The walkways and stairs around a home are not typically accessible by those in wheelchairs. However, adding ramps can make it easy for wheelchairs and walkers to access those spaces. You will need to add a ramp that goes up to the porch and then a smooth surface in the doorway as well as a ramp that reaches from the ground to the deck in the back of the house. Those higher spaces will not be accessible to those in a wheelchair without a ramp.
Some of these things might pose a significant challenge. However, they are not challenges that are insurmountable. Creating a home that is comfortable for your differently-abled family members can be achieved with a bit of time and some work. Also, there are quite a few resources to help you get these things done. Check with your family member’s insurance company to see if they offer coverage for these or any other solutions that might help you make a safer home for everyone who lives there. You might be surprised at just how much some of them cover.