Home is our sanctuary; it’s where we feel most comfortable, even during the more trying times in our lives. That’s why so many older adults are choosing to age in place in the comfort of home today. However, as people age, loss of mobility through injury, chronic illness, or general frailty can become an issue, and this issue is often solved through the use of a wheelchair. But incorporating a wheelchair into the home can present several challenges when it comes to access and safety.
Luckily, some simple home modifications can ensure that the senior can use his wheelchair safely and with ease in the home.
The following are some modifications recommended when incorporating a wheelchair into the home:
- Keep driveways and walkways smooth, clear of cracks and other tripping hazards, but not slippery.
- Install a ramp at the front door that has landings at the bottom and the top.
- Ensure doorways are 32-36 inches wide with enough floor space near the doors to maneuver a wheelchair.
- Make sure thresholds on doors are ¼ inch high or less.
- Cabinet shelves should be no more than 10 inches deep.
- Kitchen stove controls must be located at the front.
- Make sure there is knee space under all sinks.
- Oven doors should be able to swing open to the side.
- Install a Lazy Susan in deeper cabinets to ensure the person can reach all items.
- Bathrooms should have either a wheelchair-maneuverable bathtub with a 60-inch turning radius or T-turn space, or a stand-up shower that has no threshold and is at least 36 inches wide.
- There should be space to transfer from wheelchair to toilet.
- Walk-in closets are ideal for wheelchair-bound individuals, but a closet organizer that allows the person to reach all items can also work.
Being in a wheelchair certainly changes how a person lives his life, but it shouldn’t mean compromising or settling for a home environment that is less comfortable or accessible. At Hillendale Home Care, we believe that our wheelchair-bound clients deserve to enjoy the same access to their homes and everything in them that everyone else has.
As the leaders in elder care in Pleasant Hill and surrounding areas, our home care team can help your family decide on the modifications that will help your loved one live a safer and more independent life at home. Contact our team today to learn more about our home care assistance services.