When someone becomes temporarily or permanently disabled, or if they’re ageing and having more trouble getting around the home, modifications to the home may be needed. Those updates make it easier for the occupant to get where they need to go inside the home as safely as possible and allows them to continue to access anything they need. Some of the most common modifications for those who are elderly or disabled include the following.
Adding a Ramp to an Entry Area
It may be necessary to add a ramp to the home so it’s easier for the occupant to get inside or outside. A ramp is necessary for those who are in a wheelchair and can make navigating into the home a lot easier for those who are unsteady on their feet or who use a walker. Make sure the ramp has two railings to help prevent falls. Check out online mobility resources to find help installing a ramp on any home.
Widen Doorways in the Home
Doors need to be at least 36 inches for wheelchairs to be able to fit through. Doors in homes, however, are often only 32 inches wide. That means it may be necessary to make the doors wider to accommodate a wheelchair. There are some other, less expensive, options available, but it will depend on how wide the wheelchair is. If the wheelchair cannot fit through the doors, they will need to be widened to allow the wheelchair to move freely through the home.
Change the Flooring in the Home
Some flooring, like carpeting, is not wheelchair or walker-friendly. Instead, it should be swapped out for new flooring that’s easier for users of those devices to move on. Choose material that is smooth and firm so it’s easy for a wheelchair or walker to be used. Also, look for flooring that’s easy to keep clean so it’s not difficult to keep it properly maintained and free of obstructions.
Add Grab Bars in Strategic Locations
Grab bars can be placed anywhere in the home they might be needed to make it easier for the occupant to get around the home. One of the most common places to put grab bars is next to the shower. When the occupant is getting in or out of the shower, they can hold onto the grab bar to make sure they have steady footing and reduce the risk of slipping and falling. These bars can be installed just about anywhere in the home.
Consider Smart Home Products
Arguably one of the easiest modifications to make is to install smart home products. Instead of needing to go to each light switch to turn off all the lights at night, the occupant can just use their smartphone or tell the lights to turn off. There are numerous smart home products that can be installed today so device users can close the blinds without moving or set their security system quickly and easily without having to move.
If you need to add modifications to your home because of age or disability, these are good places to start. While some of these modifications can be a little more expensive, they’ll make it much easier for someone in a wheelchair or who uses a walker to get around the home and continue to live a comfortable life.