What are some things that you can do to begin making the home more accessible? The beginning steps are simple ones, but they are efforts that can make a big difference in accessibility and autonomy around your home. Try these steps and enjoy an improved sense of security and more convenience today!
Anyone can make their home a safer and more accessible place to live and those with mobility issues or physical limitations may want to implement some of these strategies. Creating a more accessible home makes it more convenient, too. See for yourself! Try some small steps to begin making the home more accessible and consider quality mobility aids if you would benefit from additional accessibility.
Start with these steps:
Create a Path
The most fundamental step for making the home more accessible is to create a path throughout the home. Make sure that it is wider than you need, and that you don’t stack objects or items up on the sides. There should be a clear path that allows you to easily navigate the way to key areas, like the bathroom, kitchen, and bed, without fear of tripping or falling. This may require getting rid of non-essential furniture and reconfiguring living spaces so enlist some help with the project.
Get Rid of Clutter
As you create your path, start getting rid of clutter or anything that you don’t need or haven’t used in a while. Whether you choose to donate, sell, or throw these things is your choice, but know that it is liberating to lighten the load when it comes to clutter around the house. One strategy is to give belongings and keepsakes to loved ones now, rather than later, and let them enjoy these things while you bask in a clutter-free environment!
Rugs and carpets can be a real obstacle to access for many people with mobility issues. If possible, remove the rugs and reduce the floor to a flat, smooth surface, ideally non-slip. Scatter rugs, mats, and runners can become trip-hazards and, unless there is a purpose, should be avoided. If the floor is shoddy, the vinyl is torn, or it has a slick finish, work with a contractor or handyman service to resolve this and enjoy a much safer home that is far easier to move around in.
Convert to One Level
Depending on your limitations and the layout of your home, it may be practical to convert your living to one level. That is, move into the most convenient level of the home, typically the ground floor, and limit the trips you need to make upstairs. Ascending and descending stairs can be a huge barrier to access. By moving to one level, you eliminate the need to climb stairs. Certainly, there are some criteria that come with one-level living, including the placement of the bathroom, but it is one solution to consider.
Another feasible solution if you struggle with stairs is to consider a stairlift. These are non-intrusive, so others in the home can still use the stairs with ease, and stairlifts reduce the risk of a fall significantly. If this idea appeals to you, speak with a mobility retailer in your area to learn more.
Install Some Hardware
It is never too soon to implement basic safety and security steps like grab bars or bed rails, for instance, around the home. Think about the areas of the home where a stable and supportive hand would help, then go install a grab bar nearby. Places like the top and foot of stairs, near sinks and toilets, as well as outdoor spaces that you frequent. These may never be used, or they just may help to protect you from a nasty slip-and-fall accident at home one day. When plotting and planning beginning steps for improved accessibility, do not overlook the value of sturdy grab bars.
Some other hardware that your accessible home should not be without include:
- At least one reaching tool.
- A shower bench or seat.
- Light switches at both the top and bottom of stairwells or steps.
- Motion sensors for outdoor lighting, in and out of the home.
It also makes sense to implement user-friendly security systems, like video doorbell surveillance, when augmenting the home environment. The video footage can be useful and provide aid as needed in an emergency.
If you are not tech-savvy, it is time to use and take advantage of electronics that can aid in accessibility. For instance, personal alarms can help you to garner help in an emergency, while tech products, like Amazon’s Alexa, are a type of virtual personal assistance, that helps around the house. Technology has made life so much easier and it can help those at home reach out, connect, shop, and engage widely.
Ready to make the home more accessible? Use these tips and strategies to create a more accessible and autonomous environment for all living there! When it comes to mobility aids and equipment, talk to the professionals at Pacific Mobility; they bring generations of experience to the table and can help you make your home more accessible. Call or visit today.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)