Having spent the past 3 weeks going back and forth to the hospital to visit my mom who had a heart attack recently and is waiting to undergo open heart surgery, I began to notice while wandering around the hospital how everything is so not made for people in wheelchairs or physically incapable of proper mobility. All patients have is the nurse’s button to help them get what they need, except for the bathrooms which are equipped with handicap bars near the potty.
Did you know that most homes and apartments are not equipped to deal with those who have disabilities in a physical nature? It makes me think what we are going to do as time goes on for both my parents and ourselves.
Tips to Providing Better Living for Those with Accessibility Issues
- Bedroom: Add a phone and alert system near the bed and you can include a trapeze or overhang lift to allow those to get out of bed on their own.
- Bathroom: Install a phone or alert system near the toilet, shower and bathtub and a lift (such as the Minivator Bath Bliss 311 Bath Lift) with a bottom between 13-30 inches, a toilet seat lift, and grab bars next to the toilet and in the shower or bathtub. Most accidents and falls occur in the bathroom.
- Kitchen: Change up the height of the countertops and cabinets to make them lower and within arms’ reach for someone in a wheelchair. Table height should be at least 27” of knee clearance between the floor and the table underside, and clear a floor area of 30”x48” at each seat.
- Entryways: Extend the door widths to at least 32” so that power chairs, electric wheelchairs, and mobility scooters can easily fit through, and stair lifts or wheelchair ramps should be installed in garages or other entryways to the home.
- Stairways: Stairs are a big issue so consider adding a stair lift, such as the Summit Indoor Stair Lift from Harmar, can help residents easily access a basement or second floor.
- Pathways: All paths should be wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, scooter and around 36″ for halls and 32″ for doorways.
- Lighting: Ensure lighting in the home is well-lit and visible, and create panels that are low enough for someone in a wheelchair to control.
It’s not fun thinking about getting older and how we may need to change things in our home.
Grants are provided by the government and other agencies for home improvements to that are wheelchair bound or with physical disabilities. Planning ahead is important.