Simple adjustments to create an accessible home
Life changes as do our needs and, at some point, we have to adapt.
These changes sometimes happen slowly as the years progress and we have more physical limitations due to ageing. Other times due to accidents, illness and disability needs can change pretty quickly and we need to make adjustments in our mindset and in our environments speedily.
This can feel a scary task.
Creating an accessible home can look like an overwhelming task and fills most of us with dread. Where do we start? What do we do ? Oh my goodness won’t this just cost huge amounts of money?
Don’t be daunted. Making a home accessible is often a matter of simple adjustments and there are so many products around these days to make life simpler. This list wont be conclusive but hopefully it will inspire you with ideas if you need to make adjustments to make your home, or that of someone you care for, more accessible,
Doorways can be widened to accommodate wheelchair users and ramps (both portable and permanent) are no longer a big job to fit. Grab rails in doorways can also help. Non slips mats can help prevent slipping on icy days. Grippers on steps can do the same. Keeping a supply of sand and grit at the house for colder weather can also help prevent falls on drives.
Lights and doors need their handles and cords moving to the the right level for wheelchair users. Alternately, apps can be used to open them if this would work better. Being able to operate lights from bed might be very useful. Lights on a timer could also be beneficial, these are simple to set up and timers plugs are inexpensive. There are lots of options.
Raised beds and clear wide pathways are easier to maintain for older gardeners. Rails and artificial grass may also be of benefit. Lots of seating and low maintenance plants will help too. Gardens are so health giving it is important to keep them as accessible as possible.
A walk-in bath can be an absolute blessing to someone with limited mobility and can keep bathing accessible. They have some wonderful types of walk in baths now that can enable full bathing through the push of a button. Room to move, bath boards, raised toilets and grab rails all add to the accessible bathroom.
On a really basic level just removing rugs can help with accessibility and the reduction of falling risk in a lounge or hallway. Lo tech and high tech solutions both have their place. Chairs that raise you up can be extremely practical and a simple grab stick can be one of the most useful aids ever.
Microwaves at an accessible level are really helpful and one of the safest ways to cook. One cup kettles save pouring and lifting and are a safer option than regular kettles.
As you weave your way around your home there are so many creative ways to make it more accessible and many of the adjustments are pretty straightforward.
Rather than see accessibility as a problem you need to embrace it as a challenge.
Our homes can adapt to our changing needs.