As we grow older, adapting our homes to reflect this becomes necessary. The same applies when someone residing in our home is living with a disability. After all, the average home is not well equipped to cater for people with reduced mobility.

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In those cases where someone with reduced mobility is either living with you, plans to live with you, or requires assistance moving into their own home, careful thought is required as how best to adapt the house to suit their needs, There is a wide range of mobility and home adaptation aids available on today’s market catering specifically for elderly people or those with a disability.

How to best adapt your house will depend on the individual mobility needs of the person or people you are catering for, as well as how your house is laid out and, of course, your budget restraints. A good starting point when considering adaptations is to go through the house room by room, anticipating where the person with reduced mobility may encounter difficulties and considering the various solutions available.

You may wish to take on the services of an occupational therapist, who will professionally assess daily living needs and make recommendations on the problems that need to be solved and the appropriate adaptations required. Below is a helpful list of areas in a home that commonly require attention as far as mobility adaptations are concerned, and options for making these areas more accessible for a person with reduced mobility. Take a look!

Outdoors / access

– Moving doorbells and entry phones to convenient heights

– Installing grab rails for support

– Ensuring that external approaches such as paths or drives have a firm, level surface

– Installing ramps

Getting around

– A stair lift or elevator may be needed if access to an upper floor is required. Alternatively, re-locating bedroom and bathroom facilities at ground level may be an option.

– Alternatively, grab rails or a second bannister may do the trick as far as stairs are concerned

– Repositioning or widening doors and/or passageways is a likely task if you need wheelchair access

Kitchen

– A kettle tipper helps people with a weakened grip avoid scalds

– Cupboards with pull-out shelves are a great option for easy access

– A one-handed chopping board is a brilliant invention

 – A wheelchair accessible sink may be a must

– Adapted cutlery is a big help

Bathroom

-Raised toilet seat

-Back rest against the toilet

-Cistern-level deck shower

-Bath with hoist, or electric bath lift

-Hand basin to be moved to appropriate height

– Grab rails next to shower and/or toilet

Bedroom

– Specialised furniture, such as an adjustable bed or support chair may be of use

– A mattress or pillow elevator can add comfort

General

– Moving light switches, door handles to appropriate height

– Installing ramps to avoid using steps

– Setting up alert devices for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing

– Equipment, such as walking frames, riser-recliner chairs, trolleys, perching stools, plug pulls, reachers or grabbers, adapted scissors, key turners and a phone with extra large buttons may all be useful.

Tips and advice offered by Patient Handling, specialists in disability and rehabilitation equipment.