How to Prepare Your Home for The Disabled or Elderly

How to Prepare Your Home for The Disabled or Elderly

You may be new to the life of the physically disabled, either with your own disability or a loved one’s. Sometimes the unexpected happens and you must begin to prepare and alter your life to accommodate the changes that come with a life with disability. Here a some tips on how to implement those changes when adapting your home for the elderly or disabled.

1. Widen Hallways and Doors

This is a very obvious changes that needs to happen, but for good reason as the biggest issue faced by disabled people is accessibility. Expert Patsy Pahr from the Contractor Discussion Group on LinkedIn says this,

“Are the sidewalks wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair? Are there any steps at all required to get into the home? Is the door wide enough, and is the threshold flat enough to get over? … The specialty items, like the special bath tub, lower sinks, and grab bars can be added as needed, but the space to get around in a chair, the lack of any steps at all on the first floor, and a full bathroom on the first floor are basic.”

These are all things to consider either when moving or when adapting your home. They may seem simple in nature, but they make all the difference for a disabled person.

2. Lighting (For the Elderly)

As you age, your eyesight deteriorates more than you may believe and when having an elderly person move into your home you may not consider your home’s lighting to be inefficient. Lights that work just fine for young eyes may not be sufficient for the eyes of the elderly. Expert DeAnn Radaj explains:

” as you age, the lens of your eye yellows and you “see” differently. Brighter, natural spectrum lighting is key. Also, adding accent lighting to help “guide” those who are sight-impaired will also help them with life quality & independence.”

Look for darker areas in your home and adapt by adding extra lamps or light fixtures. An increased visibility can majorly decrease the chances of trips and falls.

3. Flooring

If the disabled person in your home is in a wheelchair, the flooring is very important for the success of their mobility. Carpets should be replaced with linoleum or hardwood to ensure that their wheels can easily glide from room to room. Experts at Grand View Builders say,

“Carpet can make it difficult to move around independently in a wheelchair because it takes more energy to do so. Hardwood and laminate floors not only make the home easier to navigate; they are also very popular and can increase the re-sale value of a home.”

Hardwood floors are also easier for cleaning and can add to your home’s aesthetic.

4. Aesthetic

When adapting your home to aid in the life of a disabled person, some people make the mistake of going too hospital like or too sterile. This can make the homecoming of you or your loved one that much harder. Try to create an environment that radiates creativity and positivity. This will help with the overall mental well being of the disabled person as well as your happiness in your home.

Adapting your home to make it feel safe and accommodating can feel overwhelming, but focusing on the most important elements will make the task feel more doable. Also remember that every person, and every disability is different, so consult the person about their preferences as well.

About the Author: Jenn is a guest contributor from Global Lift Corp, the leader in ADA compliant above ground pool lifts.