Home is where we can truly relax and be ourselves, and that’s just part of why so many older individuals make the choice to remain at home throughout aging. But in many cases wheelchairs will become a part of life when seniors or those with certain disabilities experience decreased mobility. This can be especially challenging when it comes to ensuring the home is safe. Thankfully, a few home modifications for seniors and those with disabilities can substantially improve safety.
Below are just a handful of modifications that are recommended to incorporate a wheelchair into the home:
- Make certain that walkways and driveways are smooth, but not slippery.
- Have a ramp installed that leads to the front door that has landings at the top and bottom.
- Doorways need to be 32-36 inches wide with adequate floor space near the doors to maneuver a wheelchair.
- Thresholds on doors ought to be ¼ inch or less.
- Cabinet shelves should ideally be no more than 10 inches deep.
- Kitchen stove controls should be placed at the front.
- Make certain that there is knee space below all sinks.
- Oven doors should be able to swing open to the side.
- For deeper shelves, put in a Lazy Susan to enable the person to easily reach all items.
- Bathrooms should have either a wheelchair accessible tub with a 60-inch turning radius or T-turn space, or a stand-up shower that is curbless and at least 36 inches wide.
- There should be space to transfer from a wheelchair to a toilet.
- Walk-in closets are great for wheelchair-bound people, but a closet organizer that offers the person the ability to reach all items is also good.
In addition, floors should be clear of clutter and furniture should be positioned for maximum maneuverability.
Advanced Home Health Care, providing West Point, IA home care services and care in the surrounding area, can also offer additional home modification ideas and coordination. The first step is our complimentary in-home assessment, where we will develop a customized care plan to address the individual’s specific care needs and wishes, and then we will monitor that plan ongoing and adjust as needs change. Our home care services are available for just a few hours each week, up through 24/7, around-the-clock care.