Rolling Without Limits

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Wheelchair Accessibility Tips for Seniors
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Wheelchair Accessibility Tips for Seniors

No one wants to see their mother or father struggling with everything they can muster to get around the house. Leaving and returning to the home without the wheelchair is out of the question. The loss of mobility can be a trying time in the lives of the affected seniors and their loved ones.

You must do everything you can to help your elderly family members cope with limited mobility. Wheelchair accessibility helps people who can no longer get around without support. You can optimize your home and your daily life to make things easier on your parents if they cannot be as mobile as they had been. 

Wheelchair Ramps

Ramps make it much easier for people in wheelchairs to exit and enter their homes. The material for the ramps should be standard wood, but you can use protective coatings on the ramp to make sure that the weather doesn't weaken it. You must check to see if the person using the wheelchair can easily push themselves up the ramp and down the ramp without the wheels getting snagged on anything.

Don't space the wooden planks too far apart. The gaps in the wood can cause a bumpy ride at the least and a health hazard if you're not careful. You can even buy portable ramps that you can take with you on road trips. The person in the wheelchair will also need help getting into vehicles and other establishments. Portable ramps can certainly come in handy at the most convenient moments of a disabled person's life.

Wider Doors Inside

You must ensure that doors have easy paths of travel. Don't place boxes or other items close to doors when a person using a wheelchair will have to navigate through the opening. The doors in the home may need to be wider if they are less than 32 inches wide. The wheelchair user must have plenty of space to get through.

Wider doors can also make a people feel more comfortable inside the home. The bare minimum amount of space can make them feel cramped and closed in. They should at least be given some freedom of movement even though they are using a wheelchair.

Wider Hallways

Wider hallways are also essential to the comfort and well-being of the senior who gets around in a wheelchair. The wheelchair must be able to move freely through the halls with plenty of space to spare. Make sure there is at least 36 inches of space between the walls in the hallways.

You might also need wider hallways if the wheelchair will need to turn corners to get to different rooms. It can be difficult for a wheelchair to navigate through tight corridors without rounded corners. Leaving plenty of space will ensure a happier and healthier experience for the senior.

Bathroom Changes

It's time to get rid of that bathtub in your bathroom. Showers are much more accessible with wheelchairs than bathtubs. You can also install hand-held shower heads and seats so that people using wheelchairs can have a better chance at bathing themselves. The person will be much more comfortable in the shower since they can just open the door and wheel their way in.

Consider a Caregiver

A certified caregiver can also be of assistance if your senior citizen parent is losing some mobility. You can hire them to cook meals, clean up the house,  and take general care of them. They can also do some chores around the house. You can trust this person to take good care of senior citizens. The home health aide can help them perform these actions and more. A caregiver brings experience and compassion to this delicate situation. You can leave your parent in good hands.

The loss of mobility doesn't have to negatively affect the lives of the people you care about. Make some changes to your home including ramps, doors, hallways, and bathrooms. Hire a caregiver to help with the things the person using a wheelchair can't do.

More about wheel-chair, senior-care

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