home modifications for people with disabilities

A Quick Guide to home modifications for people with disabilities | Easy Tips and Tricks

Home modification is necessary to make home safer and more accessible for people with disabilities. You can consult a professional who can make recommendations for home adaptations for the elderly and disabled based on your home and the state of your loved one. 

It is necessary to guarantee that persons with disabilities have the support they require to live safe and happy lives at home. Home is where everyone feels safe, so it is vital to make it a safer and comfortable space for disabled people.  

Our mobility and physical strength decline as we age. We grow more prone to developing chronic diseases. And many previously functional aspects of our home have become difficult. Home adaptations are frequently required by the elderly and individuals with mobility or sensory limitations to maintain their independence. 

 

Why is home modification important? 

 

Home modifications provide a unique opportunity to directly quantify the influence of housing policies on health and care. Meanwhile, they are widely recognized as an effective policy and practice response to help frail, older, and disabled persons in remaining at home. 

Investigating how house alteration influences care outcomes recognizes the significance of housing in addressing issues connected with maintaining levels of care in an aging society where community care is advocated and favored. 

Home modifications vary in form and function and might include major structural alterations such as the addition of ramps, elevators, or wider doorways. Minor, non-structural modifications can also include assistive equipment inside or outside the home, such as grab rails and railings. 

 

Things To Consider Before Starting Modification  

 

As people age, they are more likely to lose mobility and physical strength or develop a chronic condition. And many previously functional aspects of our home have become difficult. Home modifications are frequently required by the elderly and individuals with mobility or sensory limitations to maintain their independence. 

You may have recently obtained your new ability status, moved into a new house that requires upgrades, want to age in place, or simply saw an opportunity to make your home more accessible.

In any event, there are certain crucial questions you should ask yourself to determine which home changes will best suit your needs.  

There are a few things you must consider or look out for before you start modifying the place. You should know stuff like exterior walkways and entrances. Followingly, make sure  

Followingly, make sure there is at least one entrance where they can go without having to walk a lot when they arrive home. People with disabilities require an adapted home environment to live safely, do tasks more easily, and live independently despite physical constraints. Modern technology and design make this feasible! 

 

Do Your Proper Research Pre-Modification 

 

House modifications for the disabled or elderly include both structural changes and the installation of assistive technologies.  

You will want to give a variety of solutions, from dealing with a second-floor expert’s stairs to ensuring someone with vision difficulties can safely access all areas of the house. 

 There are also differences between designing an in-law suite to move an older parent into your house and designing a kitchen makeover to improve accessibility. 

Home accessibility adjustments might be as easy as installing grab bars. However, major structural improvements, such as replacing a stairway, installing stair lifts, building a wheelchair ramp, or replacing a bathtub with a walk-in-shower, may be required. 

Many house modifications for people with disabilities may fulfill ADA standards, in which case they will meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

 

Process Of Home Modification for Elderly and Disabled People 

 

Here are a few households are where you might want to work on modifying to make the stay of disabled people more independent and safer.  

 

Easily Accessible to Wheelchairs

 

Flatten out any lips or barriers that restrict wheelchair access around the house. Measure entrances and other entryways and add width, as necessary.  

Ascertain that your loved one can reach cabinets and closets from a wheelchair. Almost half of the senior citizens and people with disabilities require wheelchairs to help them with their mobility.  

So, it is particularly important for houses to have easy access to wheelchairs.  

 

Do Not Keep Wet Floors

 

Wet Floors are dangerous to everyone and most particularly for the elderly and disabled people as they already struggle with mobility.  

When wet, tile flooring becomes slick and dangerous. Rugs and other irregular floor types can cause uneven walks. And having an uneven surfaces causes issues for elders with restricted mobility. 

One thing you can do is consider floor coverings or peel-and-stick traction strips to reduce slip-and-fall hazards permanently.  

 

Safe Staircase and Hallways

 

Staircases should always have a railing to prevent any kind of fall while they walk around. Stairs become a challenge for many seniors with restricted movement or balance over time.  

Carpeting on the staircase exacerbates the problem. Furthermore, stairway lighting frequently fails to effectively illuminate steps and transition zones. Long corridors, as well as the bottom and top of a staircase, should have light switches at both ends. 

In general, avoid using area rugs and runners in your home because they might be a tripping hazard. If you want to keep them, secure them using carpet tape or skid-resistant liner.  

Even if it is secured, never include a rug on the stairs or directly at the top or bottom of the stairs in a disability-conscious home. 

 

Toilet Areas

 

Curbless walk-in showers are a fantastic idea since they allow you to simply push a walker, wheelchair, or transfer chair in. This can lessen the likelihood of falling. Non-slip flooring can also assist reduce falls in the restroom. 

Getting out of a tub can cause an elderly or disabled person to slip and fall. Slippery, moist surfaces increase the likelihood of a fall accident. In fact, the bathroom is responsible for 80% of all falls. 

 

Work On the Kitchen

 

You should have at least one easily accessible workplace in your kitchen that you can utilize while sitting. While working on the kitchen area, you also must make sure that the sink can be accessed from the seated position.  

Even if it is low enough to accommodate this requirement, it is preferable to create leg room beneath it, as you did with your counter workstation, from a more direct angle. You should be able to approach the sink straight ahead, rather than parallel. 

In addition to that, heavy cooking utensils, plates, and canned foods should be stored on the lowest shelves. 

 

Outdoor Area

 

The driveway and all walkways should make it possible for you to arrive at your front door without meeting any difficulties. Keep an eye out for cracks that could catch a walker or wheelchair and cause you to fall. 

If your home has stairs leading to the front or back door and you are in a wheelchair, walker, or plan on growing old in your home, a ramp should be erected.  

Ramps and pathways should ideally be textured to avoid water gathering and improve traction for shoes, walkers, and wheelchairs. If you reside in a snowy area, such as Boulder, CO, keep ice melted on hand during the winter. 

 

Conclusion 

 

Home modification is defined as the modification of both temporary and permanent characteristics in indoor or near outdoor surroundings. Modification helps to work with some of the household designs that sometimes restrict independent living for people with impairments.  

It is a type of intervention that allows people living with debilitating conditions to remain in their homes while also restoring the home as a location that encourages personal and social ties. 

In addition to that, it can also help elderly people, especially those with impairments or other health issues become more independent and safer.  

Likewise, it is also important to reduce or eliminate the need for expensive long-term residential care or care services. However, you must learn everything about the modifications before you take a step. Proper research is necessary.  

Local municipal housing rules and federal guidelines currently dictate home alteration needs. Private residences are exempt from the ADA because most of the restrictions do not apply to the people who live there. This means that home improvements should be adapted to their specific requirements. 

The structural elements that may cause issues to prevent people from staying in their houses as they get older.

This often leads the elderly and disabled people to opt to move to retirement facilities. Living at home necessitates the procurement of long-term care services, which is an expensive endeavor for most families. 

Many homes may not be equipped to safely accommodate aging elders who desire to live freely in their homes. You must make your house a safer option as many elderly people prefer to live in the house itself considering their comfort.  

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