Category Archives: Accessible Alterations

Seniors At Home Living Safely With Handicap Modifications

When life deals a blow to the quality of life one is leading what can be done to keep and create independence in the home environment. The fact that we or someone we know will become disabled at some point or another is a vast reality.  How the event is handled to ensure that proper care is given to the home environment to will depend on the severity of the disability and the time frame of which the individual’s life will be affected.  When looking at people handling handicap disabilities or elderly individuals the prognosis is more severe and more permanent renovations need to be planned for independence within the home environment to be established.

The first question that usually arises is a question about whether or not it would be easier to move or modify the existing home.  It is important to remember that most individuals will probably want to live and retire within their own home rather than move to a facility that offers assisted living situations. Most homes will have to go through modifications and renovations to become modified for safety.

Seniors at home are more likely to hold on to their independent desire leading them to stay more physically active, leading longer lives.  The same is true for individuals living with a handicap.  Accessible living solutions and an abundance of home safety equipment in the market place make handicap construction a feasible option for almost everyone.

One of the first steps in making a home wheelchair accessible is on the outside.  Handicap/wheelchair ramps, which are also useful for walkers and scooters, are the most desired additions individuals desire when research handicap construction contractors for their homes. Another key area where safety is at a premium and needs attention is home modifications to the bathrooms.  Bathroom safety solutions and aides can be purchased and installed for maximum safety throughout the homes bathroom.

Mobility is a premium we take for granted until we have it no longer.  When injury, old age or illness that leaves us handicapped the need for independence does not dwindle.  It is important no matter our age or levels of maneuverability we still have a desire for privacy and the ability to do things for ourselves.   Handicap construction allows this to be accomplished within our home environment.

Accessible solutions within the home are found in simple adjustments to the width of doorways and halls.  Simplicity can be found for opening doors and cupboards using open pull handles and lever instead of round hard to grasp knobs. Another accessible home solution that is often overlooked is the removal of carpet and the installation of tile or wood to allow for wheelchairs, scooters and walkers to move freely.  Outside wheelchair accessible ramps and walkways can be installed for ease of entering and exiting the home and enjoying the outside environment.

Simple home solutions allow individuals the quality of life that is so important.  Without independence we rely solely upon others for our care. This is not the most feasible option for people in the society we function in.  Even when struggling with a debilitating illness, a handicap or aging we still desire freedom.  Freedom comes from not having to rely upon others for your care.  This is what handicap construction and modifications to the home can provide for you or a loved one.

Solutions To Adapt Your Home For Changing Needs

Disabilities, age and certain illnesses leave us clinging for answers when it comes to modifying our living environment to make the conditions safe and user friendly. At any season of life we could be facing the challenges limited mobility, loss of stability and decreased use of motor skills brings.  When this is the case it is evident that changes within the home environment will need to be made to encourage continued independence.

When born with an illness or disability that lessens the skills individuals have changes are made right away to the home environment.  The learning curbs to adapt to the surroundings are simpler for those individuals who are raised adapting to the home space.  However, when the disability is sudden it is harder to change the behaviors that already exist.  Instead modifications need to be put into place to ease the existent behaviors.

This is especially true for individuals who suddenly find they are using a wheelchair as their main form of maneuvering.  The adjustment is huge.  Mobility is suddenly not an afterthought.  It takes careful planning and maneuvering to navigate a space that was not designed for use with a wheelchair.  This is why many individuals who find themselves in this exact situation turn to handicap construction experts.

Certain changes within the home environment make it more readily usable to wheelchairs.  One item that needs to be addressed is the entrance and exit of the home.  It is important that handicap wheelchair ramps be installed in more than one area of the home for increased safety.  Wheelchair ramps can consist of simple threshold ramps or elaborate porches that contain a ramp for wheelchair users and stairs for those with leg function.  Wheelchair ramps are also helpful for individuals with knee ailments.

Another area of the home that is especially difficult to maneuver for those with mobility and stability issues is the bathroom.  Bathroom safety solutions run the spectrum. The installation of bathroom safety aides is a fairly common job.  Bathroom safety bars can help with getting in and out of the tub, off and on to the toilet and for stability around the sink basin.  Other options include showers designed to for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility to be able to enter direct without any type of ledge to hinder the individual.  The bathroom area is the number one cause of injury.  It is of utmost importance to seek out handicap construction professional to help with the installation of safety aides.

Many times individuals do not consider future needs when purchasing a home.  This is true when purchasing a home with stairs.  It is not always feasible upon injury, illness or aging to up and move to a home without stairs.  Often the option includes adjusting the stairs to fir the new need.  This need can be met with a stair chair lift installation.  Whether needing to access the basement or top floor a stair chair lift can be installed to fit the individuals need.

As with any renovation it is wise to seek the advice and assistance of a professional in the industry. With an increased senior population in areas such as Florida and Michigan professionals in the handicap construction industry are abundant.  If you are unable to locate a private handicap construction professional in your area contact state officials or local social workers who can help facilitate meeting your needs.

Safety At Home Is The Number One Priority For Aging Adults

Safety is the number one factor seniors and their caregivers face when hoping to live within their homes instead of moving into nursing homes or assisted living facilities.  There are a number of safety items that can help to ensure a seniors safety as the age in place.  Handicap construction contractors can be hired to come into a home and revamp obstacles known to cause injury or harm to older adults.  Simple bathroom safety aides, handicap wheel chair ramps and room renovations can ensure the safest possible environment, within their homes, for seniors to age in place.

As adults age little accommodations should be done to keep up with their changing needs.  This preemptive effort will alleviate a complete over haul and will allow the senior to feel more at ease with the changes occurring to them.  If caregivers come in and completely over take a home it is liable to cause a sense of uneasiness that can be avoided.  Below is a list of things to begin looking at as a caregiver of seniors approaching their golden years.

Flooring:

The most common injury reported with senior citizens is from falls.  In order to prevent the most common falls it is important to address issues that arise due to flooring.  It is important that all rugs, runners and mats are removed from the home.  Some people recommend using sticky tape and slip-resistant backings however the safest home improvement for seniors is to remove them all together.

Bathroom:

It is important that caregivers take a detailed look at the bathroom when thinking about the safety of loved ones.  Seniors living on their own will need to take care of all of their hygiene needs.  With this in mind it is important that the space is user friendly.  First check that bathtubs and showers are equipped with bath seats and non-skid bath mats.  The tub surface becomes slick when wet and soapy which could easily result in a fall.

Bathroom safety aides can be purchased for all areas within the space.  Grab bars should be in place within the shower and around the toilet area.  Another suggestion that helps many seniors is the addition of a high rise toilet seat.  This makes getting up from a seated position more comfortable on the knees and other joints.  Also, turn the water temperature down to around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Kitchen:

The kitchen is an area that concerns many caregivers.  There are many obstacles within the space.  It is important to prevent fires.  Ensure towels and combustibles are kept a distance away from stoves.  Place a sign with big bold letters exiting the kitchen to remind seniors to double check the stove to make sure it is off and that everything within the kitchen is back into the proper space.

It is important to start the shift of everyday items into the lower shelves.  This eliminates the risk seniors take on when using a stool to grab something overhead.  Utensils and cooking aides should be kept within reach. The kitchen is a scary place for seniors.  It may be that eventually the caregiver sees fit to provide prepackaged food to be warmed in a microwave in disposable containers.  This alleviates the preparation of meals, use of the stove and utensils.

Living Rooms:

Chances are that most of your loved ones time will be spent in the family room.  Create an open environment that wheelchairs and walkers can navigate with ease. Check cords to make sure they are tucked in against walls and away from areas that they could become tangled within senior’s feet, wheelchairs and walkers.

General:

  • Check to make sure lighting is adequate throughout the home and that light switches are easily accessible.
  •  Telephones should be in every room of the house.  Another aspect to think about is a cell phone small enough that can be placed in a pocket to be carried with them.
  • Medication should be clearly labeled and accessible.  Label containers with clear instruction.

Aging is the one thing all people have in common.  Clearly we will get older.  It is important to remember that as we age we will want to be treated with respect as our caregivers prepare us for our aging needs.  Not all seniors we go smoothly, renovating their homes.  Many feel they are just fine and totally capable of living as they have been.  As caregivers we understand as they age their needs will change.  Age in place remodeling should be done in a very caring, supportive and non invasive manner.  This will help keep a healthy balance to the wants and needs of aging adults.

Home Alterations Seeking To Create Independence for Seniors and Handicap

Independent living is a must for many seniors and physically challenged individuals.  When you are using a wheelchair to access a home or vehicle that is not designed for those purposes the challenges may be a bit overwhelming.  It is important that individuals build and put in place wheelchair access points with the use of ramps or lifts to ensure access for wheelchair users.

In order for bi-level access for wheelchair users wheelchair lifts are installed to make movement from one level to another simpler.  Chair lifts are also another option.  The disadvantage to this is that a wheelchair would need to be placed on each level.  This fixture allows total independence within the home for users of wheelchairs.

Another room that is often brought up when it comes to independent living and access in the home is the bathroom.  Privacy is a continued desire for individuals in wheelchairs or not.  Access independently is a must.  Showering, bathing, hygiene needs and toilet issues should all be accessed independently.  This is a freedom as caregivers that should never be compromised.  There is something liberating about caring for one’s self.  Many fixtures exist to help keep bathrooms accessible and safe.  Bathroom safety aids range from a threshold ramp to accommodate a variance in flooring to showers that individuals can roll directly into.  Counters are adjusted to fit the changing need, grab bars installed and high toilet put in to accommodate the different needs within the household environment.

The goal in home safety modifications such as wheelchair ramps and bathroom safety aids is to put individuals within the home in a comfortable, safe environment that is home to all occupants.  Ramps are a major area in providing home access to wheelchair users.  There are several different needs to fit the various uses one may be needed.

As mentioned earlier threshold ramps, the smallest of handicap wheelchair ramps, is the smallest of access ramps.  They are simple to use, easy to install and provide ease in transition between the doors and other raised areas.  They come in a variety of materials such as rubber, aluminum and wood.

Portable folding ramps are small, lightweight ramps similar to a threshold ramp.  These ramps are meant to collapse and be carried with individuals to help with access into rooms that have a small platform or areas with just one or two smaller steps.  Portable folding ramps can even be purchase for travel and put into a suitcase.  Technology advances are coming along in regards to access for individuals using wheelchairs.

Modular ramps are another option if an individual is looking for a fix that is permanent but that could easily move with them.  This is an option for more temporary, long term living arrangements that require a handicap wheelchair ramp access.

Options within the wheelchair ramp industry are abundant. A little research into a client’s situation and needs should give any handicap wheelchair ramp seller and installer a clear picture of the ramps that should be installed.  The freedom of mobility and independence is a gift caregivers can give to their loved ones with the use of a few well thought of home safety modifications such as bathroom safety aids and wheelchair ramps.