One of the most customary dilemmas many households encounter is figuring out how to make it easier for handicapped or elderly household members to safely and comfortably move around the house. Fortunately, many domestic innovations, such as electric stair lifts, wheelchair ramps and lift chairs, have emerged and helped to solve this problem. When it comes to securing the well-being of our family members, and creating a handicap accessible environment, home modifications or adjustments can sometimes be unavoidable.
1) Bedroom – If a handicapped or an elderly person is staying in the house permanently or for a couple of days, it is very important that he/she is comfortable with the bedroom and its location. Consider the needs of the occupant and see to it that all his/her personal needs are accessible inside or from the room. Also, although there are contemporary technologies that can excuse elders and handicapped from using the stairs, it would be best if you provide him/her a bedroom on the first floor of your home safety.
2) Bathroom – Another necessity that you might want to put into consideration is the accessibility of a bathroom. Although it is probably best if you can provide your patient with a personal bathroom in his/her bedroom, this is sometimes not feasible. Your second best resort is to place the person in a bedroom closest to the bathroom. Also, make sure that he/she can use the bathroom conveniently. You may install handle bars by the toilet bowl to offer assistance in getting up, and put rubber mats in the shower to prevent falls.
3) Kitchen – Although you can’t possibly expect your elderly or handicapped housemate to cook for you or do your dishes, he/she may still wind up in the kitchen. As a safety precaution, make sure not to leave sharp objects, such as knives or scissors lying around on the counters, and that substances are properly labelled, in case he/she goes looking for something to eat.
4) Living room and yards – There are times when your live-in elderly or disabled person might want to be elsewhere other than the bedroom. The person might want to stretch muscles, or just breathe in fresher air, so it is best to ensure that the rest of the house is well suited for his/her condition. You may want to provide a recliner chair in the living room or in the veranda to allow the individual to take naps without having to go back to the bedroom, and a walker as assistance when he/she wants to move around.
These are only some considerations that you may take into account if you are expecting a handicapped or elderly visitor/housemate. It is also very important that the entire house is well-lit and properly ventilated, and that the person is given a tour around the house to be made familiar with its parts. Of course, the most important consideration, still, is making sure that he/she is accompanied by a responsible person at all times, or can easily call someone whenever he/she needs to.
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