Walking can be made difficult or impossible for those who were born with a physical disability, went through a major surgery, or experienced a serious injury. If you have a loved one who is experiencing any of these hardships, it can be difficult for them to adapt to everyday life in a wheelchair.
Overcoming physical disabilities starts within the home. Here are 6 things you can do to your home to help your loved one navigate a life where walking is painful, difficult, or otherwise not manageable for the long term.
1. Get a Stair Lift Installed
If you and your loved one live in a two-story house, this is an essential item that you will need to invest in. The largest stair lift supplier provides stair lifts that help aging and disabled people move around multi-story houses.
Stair lifts come in varying types, accommodate different weights, and are available in a variety of price ranges. Do your research and have a professional install the stair lift to ensure it is safely done, as factors like the staircase’s structural integrity have to be considered.
2. Switch Your Flooring
While you can have carpeting in the house, it is best to avoid thick carpeting that makes it difficult to move a wheelchair.
Consider giving your home an entire floor remodel. Hardwood and laminate floors are great for dining rooms and living rooms, while ceramic tiles are ideal for rooms prone to collecting water, like kitchens and bathrooms.
These floor materials will help a wheelchair user effortlessly travel from room to room.
3. Re-Arrange Your Kitchen
Allow your loved one a sense of independence and a way to prepare their favorite meals themselves by rearranging your kitchen.
Organize appliances like toaster ovens, coffee makers, and can openers near counters so your loved one doesn’t have to strain to use them. Put bowls, cups, silverware, and plates in lower cabinets for easy access.
Also read: 10 Coffee Health Benefits
4. Add Grab Bars in the Bathroom
These pieces of equipment are conveniently located in public bathrooms. Why not get them for your own home?
In each bathroom, your loved one uses, place grab bars near the toilet and bathtub/shower. These are great to have around and are cheap and easy to install. Consider opting for a standard 1.5-inch diameter bar.
These bars will help your loved one maneuver around the shower and toilet on their own and will prevent falls on potentially slippery floors.
5. Build a Wheelchair Ramp
Make sure your loved one always has easy access to their home by building a wheelchair ramp. Once deciding on this step, you might need a permit to continue. Check for any regulations that are in your deed restriction and obtain the permission needed.
6. Install a Step-In Shower
Traditional bathtubs have high sides that can make bathing difficult for those who experience pain when walking. Eliminate this roadblock altogether by transforming the space into a step-in shower. This allows for more room for your loved one to navigate. If your loved one requires a caregiver to help with bathing, this step creates more room to ensure the bathing process is completed safely.
It’s also worth considering installing a shower bench for your loved one to sit on. They can take their time showering and you can rest assured knowing they have somewhere to rest if they grow fatigued.
Start With One On This List and See if it Works
Keepyour loved one’s best interest in mind by considering these 6 home improvements. Choose one to install, and develop your home from there. These will all grant your loved one the increased independence and mobility they need!h