On a previous post, we wrote about getting old and mobility problems at home and how activities that barely require conscious thought now aren’t that easy. We also identify that aging is not the only reason why people starts to have mobility problems and other factors such as low physical activity, accidents, obesity, impaired strength and balance, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis can lead to mobility limitations.
Then, maybe we will need to start using walking aids such as canes or walkers or even a wheelchair. That means that suddenly we need to make some home adaptations to facilitate our mobility around the home.
Recommended home adaptations
First of all, before proceed with any purchase or work at home to help improve the mobility it is highly recommended to talk with an occupational therapist or a qualified physiotherapist to get advice about what we really need. In addition, when our or any other of our house members have mobility problems that require making some changes at home, we need to plan because some of those adaptations require time.
Let’s see what we usually do daily and how some adaptations can help to improve our mobility.
Actually, bedroom changes will help at the beginning and end of every day. Probably we must raise the height of the bed to get in and out of it easily. But always remember to do it with correctly fitted equipment and do not use improvised solutions such as bricks, wooden blocks or books.
In addition, a bed lever attached to the bed can be really helpful to stand, sit, steady and lay.
Toilet and shower time
Sometimes we store too many things in our bathrooms and the free space there is quite narrow. Remove from the bathroom any unnecessary thing.
While at the shower or bath, in the case of problems with standing and balance, use benches or boards and sit. That means that we will need a removable shower head with a long hose. It is also necessary to use non-slip safety strips or a rubber bathmat on the bath bottom and add grab bars to the wall or edge of the bath for support. More information about bathroom aids.
If sitting and standing are no easy, a raised toilet seat can help with getting up and down from the toilet.
Up and down / In and out
Stairs are probably one of the biggest obstacles for people with mobility problems. The first thing we have to do is to install lights at the top and bottom and handrails on both sides. If our budget and technical requirements are fine, a stair lift can be a good option.
Usually, houses have one or more small steps at the entrance. To get up and down those steps, fitted handles on the side of a door frame can be really helpful. In the case of need to use wheelchair we probably will need to widen the doorway and install ramps.
Remember, the works to adapt our home stairs and entrance use to be the ones that require more time and need to be planned accordingly.
As we recommend for the bathroom, remove from all around the house any unnecessary stuff to improve the free space.
To make easier to sit and get up be sure that the chair used by the family member with mobility problems has the right height for them. In addition, if it is possible, with filled-in arms because those will stop magazines and TV remotes from falling through.
Place furniture strategically to help as a transfer aids when mobbing around.