If you or a loved one are disabled, you should design your home accordingly. A disabled person can be seriously injured if changes are not made to the house in which they live. The most common injuries are slips and falls which, depending on the person’s disability and age, can sometimes be fatal.
Re-designing your home to make sure it’s disabled-friendly isn’t as difficult as you might think. In fact, it’s actually very simple.
If you want to know how you can make your home more disability-friendly, keep reading.
Installation of a stairlift
Stairlifts can make getting around your home easier. Most medical professionals do not recommend advising people with disabilities to live in split-level homes. Unfortunately, it is not always possible for people to move because of their disability. The establishment of a stairlift won’t cost you much, but will give your disabled loved ones (or you) more control over where they go. Independence is a big thing for many people with disabilities. Stairlifts give them that.
Build a ramp
Also, you will need to build a ramp if your house has steps leading up to the front door. For obvious reasons, people with disabilities may find it difficult to climb the stairs and get home. You should probably hire a professional to build a ramp for you. While it is indeed possible for you to build your own ramp, it’s really not advisable. If you have no knowledge of construction, you’ll probably end up causing more harm than good. Ramps are not very expensive.
Smart entry system
Once you have a ramp, your disabled loved one (or you) can then get inside without anyone else’s help. However, if they are in a wheelchair, they might not be able to reach the door lock or handle for that matter. A smart entry system will give them the opportunity to go inside despite this. Using an app on their phone, they will be able to unlock the door and open it. Smart entry systems will physically open the door for them. This will give them much more freedom and control over where they go and when they return home.
You might consider converting your bathroom into a wet room, which will be much safer for your disabled loved one. A wet room is a large bedroom with floor drains, much like the showers you find in public gymnasiums or even schools. Your loved one can roll their chair inside (or walk in as they normally would) and then sit on a stool in the shower, without having to worry about getting in and out of a tub. You can of course also install a bathtub in a wet room, but it is better to make sure that it is suitable for disabled people (because it has a door so that they can enter it).
Use non-slip flooring
If you have floors that become slippery when wet in your home, you need to change them to non-slip floors. Installing non-slip flooring will make moving around your home much easier for you or your loved one. Ideally, you should also invest in non-slip flooring designed to absorb the impact of drops. Make sure it’s not too harsh either. If a disabled person falls and the ground is very hard, they can be seriously injured.
Lowering light switches
One of the main complaints of people with disabilities is the height of the switches. People who are in a wheelchair are not able to reach the light switches sometimes. If they can’t reach light switches, then they won’t have much freedom or control over their lives. You can lower the light switches in your home. It won’t cost you a lot of money, actually. However, you need to make sure a professional does it because it involves electricity. You should never attempt to make electrical changes or repairs to your home alone unless you are an electrician yourself.
Height adjustable beds
If a disabled person will be living in your home, you need to make sure that you invest in an adjustable bed. People with mobility issues often need to adjust the height of their bed to get into it. Height adjustable beds can be purchased online at a very affordable price. If you are caring for a disabled person, you can even get a bed for free. If you can’t get one for free, you can always get a government grant or payment to cover the cost of an adjustable bed.
toilet seat adjuster
Additionally, you need to make sure that you also have an adjustable toilet. The best way to do this is to get a smart toilet. You need to make sure there are rails on either side of the toilet in case your loved one slips or becomes unsteady. It is also strongly advised to have a medical alert system and to place a console next to the toilets. If your loved one cannot get up from the toilet, they can call for help using a medical alert system. These systems put people in touch with call centres, who can then contact the ambulance service.
It is a very good idea to install accessible cabinets so that your loved one can move around the kitchen more freely. After all, no one wants everyone cooking for them all the time. Sometimes it’s nice to cook your own meals or at least get food without someone else’s help. Installing accessible cabinets will make this possible. You must have them installed by a professional so that they are properly fixed to the wall.
If you live with a disabled person or if you are disabled yourself, you should upgrade your home to make it as disabled friendly as possible. If you do not make the changes suggested here, you or your loved one could be injured.