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What Can I Do to Create a More Handicap Accessible Home?

Hussain Ali
League of Angels: Heaven's Fury [CPP Esprit] EN+Many GEOs

Did you know that the number of people over 80 that are living in a household is expected to double to 15 million by 2037? This statistic shows that now more than ever, younger generations need to focus on helping the elderly create accessible homes.

Not only does this help inspire independence, but they’re also safer and can help extend a person’s lifespan. As a smart homeowner, there are a number of adjustments you can make that don’t require a full home renovation. 

With this in mind, read on to learn how to create a handicap-accessible home for aging adults today! 

Modify Entrance Steps

Regardless of whether your aging parents are using a wheelchair, mobility scooter, or walking aid, modifying the entrance steps is a smart place to smart. This is because they can present a tripping hazard and can be hard on arthritic joints.

If your loved ones plan to several more years in their current home, modifying the steps can make it easier for them once they transition to a walking aid.

Before you build a ramp, keep in mind that your area most likely has building codes that you’ll need to check and adhere to. You can find mobility aids and more at https://www.mobilitypluscolorado.com/

Easy First-Floor Access

If you or your loved one has a two-story home, it’s important that both the bedroom and bathroom can be easily accessed on the first floor. Although there are lifts available for stairs, they can be expensive to install and cumbersome to use.

The ability to access most of the house without needing to climb stairs makes it easier for elderly care, as they can continue to live a life as independently as possible.  

Modify the Bathroom

The bathroom can be a hazardous place for the elderly, as the area without modifications can make them more prone to tripping and falling. Here are a few simple ways you can make the bathroom a safer place: 

  • Install a roll-in shower or make sure that it has a low lip
  • Add grab handles inside the shower
  • Install grab bars by the toilet
  • Install a handicap shower bench
  • Install raised toilet seats
  • Include non-skin rugs and shower mats
  • Make sure your floors are slip-resistant

You’ll also want to lower the water heater so that it’s below 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This can help reduce the chance of burns if your loved one is unable to make fine-tuned adjustments.

Proper Lighting

A home becomes far more dangerous if it’s dimly lit, as your elderly loved one won’t be able to avoid bumping or tripping into hazards. For this reason, make sure that all lightbulbs are working properly and that light switches are easy to access.

You may want to consider investing in Google Home or Alexa with smart IoT technology. Voice-activated commands can make it easy for the elderly to turn on or shut off all their lights at once without needing to get up.

You can also set up daily routines that do a number of actions all at once with just a few words. For instance, saying, “Hey Google, good morning,” can trigger it to turn on the lights in your home, raise the temperature, and give a news update. 

Eliminate Obstacles

Making your home can also be as simple as eliminating obstacles and clutter so that your loved one has an easier time navigating cramped spaces. Remove any bulky furniture that you feel is unnecessary and that won’t be missed.

You’ll also want to tackle pet toys, piles of documents, old rugs, and anything that could be a tripping hazard.

You’ll also want to consider whether items you have placed on high shelves are too hard to reach. If this is the case, make sure to do a sweep of the kitchen to make sure all cutlery and cooking utensils are easy to reach and put away.

Lower Counters and More

Lastly, if your loved one is primarily using a wheelchair or scooter to get around, you’ll want to lower some of the objects in the home. For instance, make sure that doors are moved from the hinges or come with lower, level handles in order to make them easier to lower and close.

You’ll also want to consider lowering countertops in the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room so that they’re convenient to use at all times. Even better, consider creating a gap beneath countertops so that people in wheelchairs can prepare food, brush their teeth, and be more comfortable without having to make adjustments for the environment. 

Although this may seem like a large renovation, everyone will be rewarded with more independence. Otherwise, people who use wheelchairs and scooters will have to depend on caregivers or loved ones in order to complete common chores. 

Create a Handicap-Accessible Home for Enhanced Quality of Life

Although creating a handicap-accessible home takes time, you and your loved ones will be rewarded with better quality of life. This is because adjusting the environment to work for physical disabilities makes those disabilities less of an impairment. 

For instance, a home with wide doorways and well-constructed ramps means that those with scooters or walking aids will have an easy time navigating their home on their own.

Eliminating obstacles and making objects easier to reach can also reduce stress and help the home become a safe place instead of a hazardous one.

Ready for more tips on how to create an accessible and comfortable home? Keep reading the blog for more tips!  


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