Adapting Your Home For A Disabled or Elderly Relative

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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When a relative suddenly needs additional care, it can be a difficult time for all of the family. It could be the result of an accident leaving them wheelchair-bound, or an elderly relative whose health has deteriorated. The average home isn’t designed with elderly or disabled people in mind so you might wonder how you’ll cope or get by. Luckily there are a few ways you can make the process easier.

Adapt a Downstairs Room
If you have a room downstairs that could be repurposed as a bedroom, this would be a good option for someone who has reduced mobility. For example, if you have a dining room that isn’t used much you could use this. You could purchase a smaller table and chairs for the living room, conservatory or kitchen instead. 

Think About The Bathroom
A wheelchair user will need a specially adapted bathroom. This includes having rails and handles mounted for ease of use, and a shower or bath that’s easy to get into and designed for those with disabilities. This could be installed in the family bathroom or added as an ensuite to their room. Thankfully there is funding available for these kinds of things, so be sure to check out what help is available to you. 

Install a Lift
Stair lifts are useful for people who can easily get to and sit on the seat. But for people in a wheelchair, this can be much more challenging. Instead, you could consider having an actual elevator lift installed in your home. This is suitable for wheelchairs, and if you don’t have space for an extra room downstairs, this would be ideal as it means they are able to access all levels of the house. You could find out more information here

Add Ramps and Rails
Getting in and out of the home can be an issue for wheelchair users or people with reduced mobility, so ramps at both the front and back door are likely to be needed. You may need to add things like rails for those who can walk a little but need support. This site has more information about what add.

Change Your Floor Coverings
Another thing to bear in mind is the floor covering you have in your home. Very thick carpet, for example, is likely to be difficult to move a wheelchair across, and some other coverings will look worn quickly. You can buy anti-slip floor sheets to place down, although for long term wheelchair users updating to a more suitable flooring is likely to be the best way to go. Something like ceramic tile or real wood would work well. Real wood floors can be sanded up to six times before risking damage giving them an incredibly long lifespan. 

Have you ever had to adapt your home for a wheelchair user or a family member that couldn’t move around very well? What adjustments did you make?


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