The law states that someone considered to be handicap has a condition that restricts their ability to function mentally, physically or socially. Today, over 50 million people in the United States have some type of disability.
Of those with a handicap, 13% have a condition that affects their mobility. Some types of mobility issues involve the loss of use of upper or lower limbs, manual dexterity, or problems with their organs that impair functioning.
Where this handicap can be most noticeable is in the home. Just because someone is handicap, it doesn’t mean they can’t be independent. With the help of handicap accessible home features, getting around the house can become much easier. Below are 8 popular features that support mobility.
1. Grab Bars
One of the easiest and least expensive handicap accessible home features you can add throughout your home are grab bars. They support mobility in every room in your house. They also provide a level of security for time you need extra support because they lessen your fear of falling.
The most important place for grab bars is in your bathroom, including in the shower. You can choose from vertical, horizontal and diagonal. Other options include straight, wavy, toilet paper holder grab bars, floor to ceiling bars, and corner bars between two walls.
2. Rollators With Seats
A rollator is another name for a walker on wheels. Some have seats and some come without seats. For the best mobility in your home, however, get one with a seat. There may be times where you feel tired after walking around and need to take a break. The seat allows you to do that.
When not sitting on it, the seat makes a good tray or carrier for small items, so you don’t have to worry about holding them and pushing your rollator at the same time. Rollators are portable, lightweight and can fold up to fit in cars. They are adjustable and have storage for items like a cane, purse, medicine, and more.
3. Threshold Ramps
It was once easy for you to step over the thresholds throughout your home. Now they create a struggle and perhaps a hazard for tripping and falling. A quick and simple update to your home can solve this problem. Installing threshold ramps is not expensive and it makes moving around your home safer and easier.
You can choose from a variety of threshold ramps based on your needs within your house. If you use a wheelchair, then wheelchair ramps would be preferred. There are different sizes, shapes and they can adapt to the rise of your threshold. Threshold ramps can also be portable.
4. Stair Lifts
If living on the bottom floor of your home only is not appealing to you, then installing a stair lift can help you continue accessing higher levels. Stair lifts range in price, which is based on your type of stairs, curved or straight.
Stair lifts allow you to stay mobile on every floor of your home. You can choose from a variety of chairs and features that go on your stair lift. Or, if you don’t want a chair, you can choose a stand-up lift that lets you ride safely, while also standing up to your second or third level.
5. Bed Assist Rail
Getting in and out of your own bed can be difficult when you have mobility issues. Bed assist rails can help. They offer stability and balance when you can’t find that on your own. If you don’t like the looks of a rail attached to your bed, you may want to choose a floor to ceiling rail instead. The key is to have some type of sturdy device that you can hold onto when transitioning in and out of your bed.
6. Step-In Tub or Accessible Shower
Getting in and out of the bathtub and shower can become dangerous when mobility is restricted. And even though you have grab bars all around the bathroom, they are not a guarantee for preventing slips. The best solution is to install a tub or shower that allows you to enter and exit using your mobility devices.
You should be able to take your cane, walker or wheelchair into the shower with you. Or, use a chair made for bathing that comes with a transfer bench to help you get in and out of your tub easier. In some cases, you may even want a lift to take you in and out of the shower area.
7. Medical Alert Systems
No matter how many improvements you make, you could still have an accident and then the only thing that becomes important is getting help. Therefore, it is essential you install medical alert devices other than the one you can wear as a necklace.
A voice automated medical alert system connected to your Wi-Fi or in-home technology is in addition to your plan for calling for help when you are hurt. These systems can also offer your family members and friends who care about you some peace. They will spend less time worrying because they know you can get help if you need it.
8. Outdoor Ramps
You may have already installed threshold ramps inside your home. But you are mobile, so you don’t want to stay inside all the time. You want to enjoy the outdoors too. Getting from the inside of your home to the outside is important in helping you maintain your mobility once you exit the home.
You can install wheelchair ramps, threshold ramps, and even chair lifts if you have stairs between your house and your yard or garage. Some people choose to hire a local contractor to build a permanent ramp that lets you move at your pace when using your wheelchair or any other helpful walking devices.
There are many other handicap accessible home features on the market today that help you continue to be a mobile, independent homeowner. You can start improving your home today by calling your local pros.