• Home modifications can help make recovery smoother for a loved one.
• Installing ramps, handrails, reverse door openers, and grab bars is necessary for every entryway.
• Bathroom and kitchen areas should have shower benches, grab bars, and raised toilets to provide extra safety.
• Mobility aids such as lifts, voice-activated controls, and lift chairs can be installed for easier navigation through the home.
If your family member has recently been involved in an accident, you are likely doing everything possible to make their recovery as comfortable and easy as possible. Modifying the home environment is one way to help your loved one get back on their feet and back to life as they did before. Here are some home modifications that may be necessary to facilitate a smooth recovery process.
Making Accessible Entryways
The first step in making your home more accessible is ensuring that all entryways are equipped with proper safety measures. Some of the modifications you should consider include installing the following:
These are necessary, especially if your loved one is in a wheelchair or has limited mobility. Ensure the ramp is wide enough to accommodate the wheelchair and sturdy enough to support it. Additionally, ensure that the ramp has a non-slip surface so they do not slip when using it. Temporary ramps are also available if the modification is temporary and the ramp needs to be removed when not in use.
These can make the entryway much safer for your loved one, providing support and stability when navigating through doorways or stairs. Make sure that the handrails are securely mounted for maximum safety. Handrails should also have a non-slip grip to prevent slipping.
Reverse Door Openers
These are especially helpful for those who are in wheelchairs, allowing them to open the door without getting up and moving around. Reverse door openers can be installed on all entry doors, making it easier and more comfortable for your loved one to move around the house.
Modifying Bathroom and Kitchen Areas
The bathroom and kitchen can also be modified to make them more accessible. Some of the modifications you may want to consider installing:
These are great for those who struggle with standing in the shower. Shower benches allow them to rest while bathing and provide extra stability. Make sure the bench is securely mounted and has a non-slip surface. Also, the bench should be near the showerhead so your loved one can easily reach it while showering.
These are necessary for providing extra stability when using the bathroom or kitchen. Make sure that the bars are securely mounted and have a non-slip grip. Additionally, position the bars in areas where they will be easily accessible and provide maximum safety.
Raised toilets are also a great option for those who have difficulty sitting down or standing up from the toilet. Ensure the height is appropriate and the toilet is securely mounted. Additionally, ensure enough space around the toilet to provide stability when maneuvering. The grab bars should also be installed near the toilet for extra support.
Install Accessible Kitchen Cabinets
If your loved one is in a wheelchair, ensure the kitchen cabinets are accessible. This may mean installing lower shelves and countertops so they can reach them easily. Additionally, consider putting in pull-out drawers rather than standard cupboards, as these can be easier to access from a seated position.
Installing Mobility Aids
Depending on your family member’s needs, you may need to install additional mobility aids throughout the house. These could include the following:
Lifts or Stairlifts
For those who struggle with stairs, lifts or stairlifts may be necessary. These are mounted on the stairs and come with a seat or platform that can be used to transport someone safely. Ensure the lift is securely mounted and has a secure locking mechanism for safety. Additionally, the lift should fit comfortably in the space where it is being installed and can accommodate your family member’s weight.
These are great for those who struggle with manual dexterity. Voice-activated controls allow your loved one to control various aspects of the home, such as lights, music, and temperature. This makes it easier for them to move around the house and make their own adjustments without having to physically do so.
Lift chairs are perfect for those who struggle with standing or sitting up. The chair is designed to lift the user safely and comfortably, allowing them to stand without much effort. Make sure the lift chair is securely mounted and can accommodate your family member’s size and weight. Additionally, make sure that the controls are easily accessible so that your loved one can easily operate the lift.
These are just some modifications you may need to consider for your family member’s home environment. With these in place, you can rest assured knowing that even though there will be challenges, you are doing everything you can to support them through this difficult time.