As we age, it can become difficult to navigate around our day-to-day lives, even in the comfort of our own homes. For many seniors, these spaces can contain obstacles and hazards that can be a risk to their daily lives. At Leading Edge Mobility, we don’t believe it has to be that way! We understand the problems people with mobility issues face better than most and we’re always happy to find and provide solutions! Today, we share 8 tips to make an accessible home for everyone, especially those with mobility issues.
Accessible Home Tip #1: Install a Ramp
Stairs can be hard to navigate not just for wheelchair users but anyone with limited mobility. For most homes in Southern Alberta, they are designed with steps leading up to the front door. This can be especially troublesome and risky when you factor in weather such as gusting winds, rain, or snow. Consider installing a sturdy ramp, preferably close to the railing, on your front steps. This doesn’t have to be a major renovation to your home. Our selection of wheelchair ramps also includes folding and portable options.
Accessible Home Tip #2: Install a Stairlift
Exterior stairs are not the only problem—interior stairs can be a hazard too! If you’re looking to improve stair safety for seniors and those with limited mobility, check out our previous blog post on 6 Effective Ways to Make Stairs Safe for Seniors.
Stairlifts are the fastest and safest way for seniors to get up and down the stairs. Most are battery-operated and mounted on rails to carry a person up or down safely. While most are operated with a simple switch, some can also be operated by remote control. At Leading Edge Mobility, we carry a variety of stairlift models, accommodating both straight and curved stairs. Check out our products and request a free quote or contact us for more information!
Accessible Home Tip #3: Eliminate Bathroom Hazards
With many slick surfaces and sharp edges, a bathroom can be a place where you should be especially careful. In our last blog post, 8 Helpful Tips on How to Improve Bathroom Safety for Seniors, we talked about many ways to make a bathroom safer. However, one more thing you many want to consider is converting your existing tub into a step-in tub in order to eliminate one issue that can be particularly problematic. By allowing people to step into the tub directly without climbing over the side, you can effectively remove one fall or tripping hazard. Some step-in tub installations can also include a seat that makes showering safer and more comfortable!
Looking for more ways to improve bathroom safety? We can help! Book an appointment for an in-home assessment or stop by our showroom to view our huge range of bathroom safety products!
Accessible Home Tip #4: Think of the Key Areas
When we think of installing handrails, we may automatically think of placing them in areas such as bathtubs or near toilets. Handrails are great for users to find their balance if they need to sit, stand, or if they trip. In fact, consider placing handrails in other key areas that will make a difference, such as next to a bed or a seat at the dinner table.
Be mindful of the surfaces in your home as well. In the two blog posts linked above, we’ve talked about the importance of making sure that all areas have proper traction. This could be removing rugs from some areas or adding non-slip mats in others. Keep an eye out for problematic areas and address it as needed.
Another improvement you could make would be to invest in a lift chair. Blending comfort and function, a lift chair can be especially useful if your loved ones enjoy sitting to read or watch TV. Easy to raise and lower, a great lift chair could make all the difference!
Accessible Home Tip #5: Make Doors Easier
For those who have difficulty with grip, doorknobs can be an annoying thing to deal with. Instead of your traditional doorknob, consider replacing them with push/pull bars, press lever handles, or even automatic doors.
Accessible Home Tip #6: Rearrange Your Furniture
Have you thought about the layout of your home recently? Is your furniture in the middle of major pathways? Sometimes something as simple as changing the arrangement of your furniture can make a huge difference to those with wheelchairs or mobility issues! Try to move your furniture so that there are no sharp turns or narrow passages. Ensure a wide, clear path so your loved ones can navigate easily.
Consider this in other areas of your daily life as well. Create resting areas or make sure that comfortable chairs are easily accessible. Daily-use items on shelves, plates, utensils, and more should also be easy to access. For some, this could mean moving items to different shelves for easy reach. For others, it may mean creating a new designated area where all these items are easy to access.
Accessible Home Tip #7: Invest in Smart Home Devices & Education
Smart home devices aren’t just for the tech-savvy. There are also plenty of benefits for seniors as well! Some families have reported that smart technology can become a sort of companion for their loved ones. But more than that, smart home technology can make life easier and safer. For example, instead of stumbling in the dark to find a light switch, you can turn on the lights in a specific area with a voice command.
While investing in smart home technology can make life easier for the people at home, it’s also important to remember that you should invest the time as well. Make sure that seniors in your life know how the technology works and, most importantly, how to use it.
Accessible Home Tip #8: Talk to an Expert
For over 10 years, Leading Edge Mobility has been proud to be the one-stop destination for mobility equipment, knowledge, and advice in Southern Alberta. Looking for ways to improve accessibility around your home? We’re here to help! Book an appointment for an in-home assessment and see how your home can be improved for your loved ones! Contact us for more information or to book an appointment today!