24 Apr 5 Accessibility Home Improvements for Seniors
A guest Blog by Eddie Chu of Qualicare Ottawa
Whether it’s simple modifications, such as placing a handle in the shower, or larger undertakings like widening doorways for mobility chairs – home improvements can allow seniors to maintain their independence while improving the safety of living at home. For modifications both small and large, here are five helpful accessibility home improvements to consider for enhancing the comfort and safety for your loved one at home.
Placing Night Lights in Hallways
One of the greatest risks for seniors who live alone is tripping over something and falling down. Creating modifications that can help to reduce any tripping hazards is important. Falls are more likely to happen in low light conditions at night, when it is hard to see and you may be groggy. Placing night lights in the hallways and even the bathroom can improve visibility and significantly reduce the risk of falling over something during the nighttime.
Replace Doorknobs with Pull Handles
For older adults, small everyday tasks can become painful or challenging to perform, such as twisting a doorknob to open a door. By simply replacing doorknobs with pull handles, it can reduce the need for such a tight grip and twisting motion that can become difficult for seniors with arthritis to perform.
Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom
The bathroom is another common area where slips and falls can often occur. Getting in and out of the shower or bathtub can become a challenge for older adults. But by placing grab bars in the tub or shower and also next to the toilet, this can provide the support that seniors may need, while being able to maintain that level of independence.
Widening Doorways for Accessibility
It’s imperative to be able to move around with ease when you’re at home. And when seniors rely on mobility chairs, it can become a challenge to squeeze through doorways, which can limit access to various rooms throughout the home. Undertaking a reno project that will widen doorways will improve accessibility and remove those limitations at home.
Create Accessible Shower
Aside from the convenience of grab bars, showering can also become a difficult task for those with mobility issues, or when standing for a period of time isn’t a viable option. In this case, you can remove those barriers by having a wheelchair accessible shower installed, or a sit-down shower to allow seniors to rest their body on a surface while they bathe.
Maintaining independence is important for us all. And for seniors, this is just as significant. Whether it’s minor modifications or a large reno project, enabling older adults to maintain their level of independent is always worth taking on some additional home renovations.