Being able to maneuver around your home isn’t just practical — it’s a matter of personal safety. For seniors and other individuals with mobility disabilities, being able to integrate fire safety features and other emergency safety measures independently is an important part of preserving their autonomy, and being able to feel safe in their own homes. This is why accessible renovations to the home can be a crucial part of aging in place, or caretaking for a person with a mobility disability. Common accessible renovations include:
- Stairlifts or ramps: Ramps can help people who use wheelchairs navigate outdoor stairs leading in or out of the home, while automatic stairlifts can create mobility between interior levels.
- Widened doorways: Widening doorways to accommodate wheelchairs or scooters can help mobility aid users navigate from room to room without assistance.
- Bright lighting: Brighter lighting can increase visibility for seniors, which can help them better locate objects or read appliances or print. Brighter lighting can also increase visibility at night, which can decrease fall risks for seniors.
- Loud or visual alarms: Because hearing and vision deteriorate with age, having alarms with louder alerts, or alarms that have a combination of visual and noise alerts, is important to keep seniors safe. Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, security systems, and other alarms can all be modified or upgraded to be louder or include a visual element.
- Smart security systems: Smart security systems often have visual and noise alerts. This is ideal for seniors who may have trouble hearing or seeing. Smart security systems can also often be controlled via remote or touch, which can make it easier for seniors to change settings.
- Stair railings: Trouble balancing and sudden fall risks can also be included under mobility disabilities. Sturdy stair railings can help individuals who are able to walk, but still need the assistance of a cane or crutches, to navigate up and down stairs safely.
- Easy-to-read thermostats and meters: Easy-to-read meters and thermostats can increase visibility for seniors with vision impairment, and help individuals stay comfortable in their homes. Large print meters or digital displays are both accessible, easy to read options.
Accessibility in the living room isn’t just important for the homeowner, but for any guests that they may have. These improvements to the living room can help make this space available to everyone:
- Remove tripping hazards: Tripping hazards may include rugs, unorganized electrical cords, and other clutter. Tripping hazards can be especially dangerous for seniors, as they can cause serious damage.
- Remove wobbly furniture: Wobbly or unsound furniture can also be a fall risk for seniors and people with mobility impairments if they were to rest on them. Tightening screws or removing this furniture all together can mitigate this risk.
- Remove furniture that blocks walkways: Blocked or tight walkways can make moving through areas with a mobility aid such as a wheelchair or walker difficult, or even impossible. Keeping walkways clear and furniture unobstructed is an important part of an accessible living room.
- Large remotes: Remotes with large buttons can be easier for seniors to use. The size can be easier for them to hold onto, and the larger buttons can promote visibility for ease of use.
- Smart thermostat: Smart thermostats can have many accessibility features. Touch controls can make it easier for people with fine motor skill impairments to use, large digital displays can make them easier for seniors to read, and remote controls can make them more accessible throughout the house.
- Hardwood floors: Hardwood floors are typically easiest for wheeled mobility aids to maneuver on, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters. It may be a worthwhile investment if you or a loved one uses a wheeled mobility aid and has difficulty maneuvering on carpeted flooring.
Home renovations are an exciting event that can transform your old and outdated home into a space you and your family will love for years to come. Without needing to relocate, you can have the home of your dreams and do it all within your budget. But how can you create your ideal home and stay in your budget?
At Home Mobility Pros, we work closely with you to create customized spaces that are tailored to your specific needs and desires. Providing the fastest quotes possible, we work efficiently so you can get started with your home renovation project as soon as possible. Working in real-time, we adjust home remodeling designs to fit your specific needs and order materials from the most respected suppliers in the nation for sustainable and quality home renovations that leave your home looking great for years to come.
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