There are more than 47 million people over the age of 65 living in the U.S. today. And while many are fully able to get around on their own and care for themselves, others have begun to need some help with daily tasks.
Whether you’re trying to help a loved one stay in their own home as long as possible or welcoming them into your home, there are a few things you’ll need to do to make sure that your space is safe.
Keep reading to learn 5 ways to make your home handicap accessible.
Solve the Stair Dilemma
Perhaps the most dangerous thing in any home is the stairs.
Even if a senior is able to walk up and down in the stairs, this can put undue strain on their knees and legs. And if other health problems arise while going up or down a steep flight of stairs, or if a person simply trips, the results can be disastrous.
The first thing you should do is figure out how to make stairs handicap accessible in your home. Depending on your home and its layout, you might be able to add a ramp, a lift, or, in some cases, even an elevator.
Upgrade Your Bath
Another seemingly mundane daily task that can become difficult or even dangerous as a person gets older is bathing.
Wet ceramic tubs and slick walls make it easy to slip and hard to get back up on your own. If a senior is in home care in Pompano Beach, they’d have help bathing safely, or else the necessary features in their bathroom to make bathing on their own safe and easy.
But in your home, you may not have the luxury, unless your loved one has an in-home nurse. Instead, it’s up to you to make your bath or shower safely.
Step-in tubs eliminate the danger of having to step over a bath wall. Non-slip bottoms prevent slips. And handrails make it easier to get up and down.
Skip the Doorknobs
When arthritis slips in or a person’s strength begin to ebb, even opening doorknobs can prove difficult.
Don’t put your loved one in a position where they have to ask for help to simply open a door within your home.
Get rid of doorknobs and instead make it so that your doors can be easily pushed open and closed.
Move Your Furniture
If your loved one is in a wheelchair or uses a walker or cane, your current furniture could be in the way.
This is one step that is quick and easy. All you need to do is rearrange your furniture.
You should aim to create wide-open pathways that make it easy to push a wheelchair or walker through without bumping couches or furniture.
Consider Your Flooring
Your furniture isn’t the only thing that can get in the way. You also need to consider your floors.
Carpet can be difficult to push a wheelchair or walker over. Hardwood or tile is easier, but you’ll need to skip the throw rugs to prevent walkers or chairs from getting caught.
Making Your Home More Handicap Accessible
Making your home more handicap accessible doesn’t have to be a challenge. But it does take some careful thought and consideration about which aspects of your home could be a potential hazard.
For other tips on rearranging or upgrading your home, check out the rest of our blog!