Maintaining your independence is a major concern when you’re faced with the prospect of living with a disability, but the good news is that there’s plenty you can do to make your everyday life more straightforward when you’re around the house. Let’s look at some of the changes you can make so that your home is an easier place to be with limited mobility.
Getting around your home
A good place to start is installing ramps at the front and back door to make your home wheelchair accessible. You could also add hand rails and extra lighting to make things easier when you’re getting home or leaving the house.
Unless your home is a bungalow, you’ll be needing a way to get upstairs. A stairlift is a great solution, and you can read more about the options on Age UK Mobility. Grab rails along the walls around your house will also help you move around more easily.
Installing pull-out shelves in your kitchen cupboards will make it easier to get to the things stored in them, while you’ll find a huge range of mobility-friendly kitchen equipment and utensils to make it easier to prepare food. If you’re adapting to life in a wheelchair, you might even want to invest in lower kitchen units and a wheelchair-accessible kitchen sink.
There are a number of modifications you can do to the make the bathroom more accessible. A bath lift, removable bath board, shower seat and grab rails will help you bathe using your existing bathroom facilities. Installing a walk-in bath or shower goes a step further, or you may even be able to replace your current bathroom with a more wheelchair-friendly wetroom (you may need planning permission to do this). You might also want to put up grab rails around the toilet and sink.
Bedroom and living room
You could invest in hoists to get you in and out of bed, and there’s an array of different mobile and fixed hoists and standing aids to choose from depending on your needs (take a look at the options here). Alternatively, it may be enough to replace your bed with an adjustable one to make getting up in the mornings a little easier, and grab rails attached to your bed can also help. In the living room, a riser recliner chair could be a good investment if your mobility is limited.
The financial implications
Making alterations like these can be costly, but there are grants available to help you make these changes to your home; take a look at the Government website for more information. Finally, if you’re making your home more mobility friendly, don’t forget to give your insurer a ring to let them know about the changes you’ve made. Keeping your insurer in the loop not only means that you can be sure you’re covered for specialist equipment such as stairlifts, but it also ensures that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible.