For many, aging in place is the preferred life continuum. More and more aging adults prefer to spend their later years in the comfort of their own home; however, this choice raises many questions regarding the compatibility between home and occupant/s. As we age it is important to ensure our homes are made accessible for our changing needs. Home mobility modifications will ensure that as you age your home will be able to accommodate your specific level of mobility.
On a daily basis we occupy rooms such as the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and other living areas. Of these, the bathroom tends to pose the most risk and is considered one of the most dangerous spaces in a home. Abound in hard surfaces – tile, cast iron, porcelain, marble – bathroom safety is a major concern when one in three adults 65 and older fall each year. Moisture and the sometimes awkward postures required to use the bathroom greatly increase the odds for a devastating, bone breaking accident. Home mobility modifications can increase the safety of your home giving both you and your family peace of mind.
Home mobility modifications can be safe and fashionable. Some common bathroom mobility modifications include grab bars, hand-held showers, and elevated toilet seats. Grab bars are safety devices designed to prevent falls; anchored into wall studs for strength, these mobility devices can installed in the shower, near the toilet and on the edge of the bath tub to provide extra help when stepping in and out. Hand-held showers allow the user to sit on a bath bench while bathing which is particularly helpful if you are unable to stand for a long time. Lastly, elevated toilet seats are beneficial for individuals who are recovering from surgery or a traumatic injury, and are available in temporary models or for permanent installation. It is even possible to purchase a seat that is specifically designed for those recovering from hip replacement surgery! These home mobility modifications do not have to look institutional and many of these options are available in different finishes and styles giving your home the safety you need without sacrificing design.
The bathroom is not the only place in your home that should be considered when making home mobility modifications. Should you have mobility limitations that require mobility devices such as wheelchairs (manual or power) and scooters, it is important to ensure there is enough room to maneuver such devices. Previously we discussed how to assess your level of mobility; now we need to understand what types of home mobility modifications could be required when using such mobility devices. A big area of concern inside the home when using a wheelchair or scooter is if there enough room to maneuver the chair safely and negotiate room transitions, think doors and thresholds. Doors must have a minimum 32” clearance with a straight approach. Should doors be located in hallways and ample turning room is required, a 36” clearance is preferable. Another home mobility modification required when using a wheelchair or scooter is the installation of ramps for thresholds, doorways, raised landings, sliding glass doors, etc.
As the elderly become a larger share of our population it is important to understand how home mobility modifications can increase home safety. From mobility devices to bathroom safety equipment, Aeroflow Healthcare is here to help with your home mobility modification needs. Our dedicated team of mobility specialists can assist in choosing the right mobility aids for your changing needs. Give us a call today at 888-345-1780; we look forward to hearing from you!