Preparing Your Home for Living with Disability

Preparing a home for living with a disability is not as easy as you think. It requires various considerations to ensure mobility and safety. It is always important to consider the condition of your loved one before setting up your home.

Experts recommend different tips for preparing your home for living with a disability. It is also worth investing a little bit on some features of your home such as lighting, doors, acoustic, floor and aesthetics. These features need specific refinement to make your home more accessible and friendly for people with disabilities. These are a few ways to prepare your home for loved ones with disability:

Plan

Do your research before remodelling or preparing your home for people with disabilities. Consider the condition of the person before the remodelling process. Getting it right is essential as it saves you money and prevents headaches! Take your time. Think it over and over again.

Invest on door and door handles

Remote controlled doors are the best for people with limited hand mobility. Change your doorknobs to handles for easy twisting. You may also consider installing Smart powered doors on most used rooms in the house. Make sure that the door handle is still fully operational in case of a power cut.

The doorways should be 36 inches wide or larger for easy wheelchair mobility.  In addition, it is also essential to include a small peephole on bathroom doors to keep you talking with the person using the toilet.

Allow sufficient lighting

Lighting is vital for safety and comfort. Make sure that hallways, stairwells and other parts of your home are well-lighted for safety purposes. Light switches should be within comfortable reach. Visually impaired individuals need the right level to help them see well.

Sufficient lighting can prevent accidents such as tripping and falling, which is a concern for the elderly. It also allows the carer to respond quickly if accidents occur.

Get an expert to check the acoustics

Noise can bring discomfort to people with dementia and other types of neurological illness. Extreme noise levels may trigger the condition resulting in panic attacks, anxiety, high blood pressure, confusion and increased heart rate.

Sound insulation is an effective way to block noise and also prevent disturbance. A quiet room allows a person with a disability to stay calm and relax while agitated. Get professional help to work on the acoustics in your home to achieve a calming environment. A quiet environment can reduce stress and improve the interpretation of the stimulus in the environment.

Choose the right material for the floor

Hardwood floor is more comfortable to navigate and can even increase the market value of your property. Choose a flooring material that is smooth, firm and relatively non-porous for the wheelchair to transition seamlessly and to prevent slipping, tripping or falling.

Vinyl or laminate flooring is amongst the best choices because it is not too expensive. If you prefer the ceramic or stone tiles in your kitchen or bathroom, make sure that it is slip-resistant.

Stairs and Lifts Adaptation

Stairlifts, floor lifts and stair climbers are a few adaptations that you can integrate into your stairs to ensure safety and improved mobility. The specifications and features of the stairs and lifts should depend on the physical needs and type of disability. It would be best if you get an expert to inspect your home before doing the stair and lift installation.

The quality of stairs and lifts for the disabled should be emphasised to avoid pain, stiffness and other discomforts, which can prevent the person from manoeuvring effectively.

Integrate technology

Smart home technology is a significant advantage for household members with disabilities. It makes them feel less dependent on carers and allows them to move around comfortably. Smartphones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, motion sensor and voice activation are a smart technology that you should consider for your home. These tools are now available and can be installed easily.

Ensure accessibility

Look for ways to make daily routines easier and more comfortable. Consider the design and height of the furniture to alleviate mobility issues. It is worth hiring an interior designer with expertise in designing homes for the disabled to make sure that everything is in place.

People with disabilities need to feel less dependent on their carers. Delah from Maidforyou stated that ‘improving the features of your home to meet the physical needs of your loved ones with a disability is a way of showing love and care for them’.

Remember to always consider the nature of disability before remodelling your home. Thinking it through allows you to view other possibilities and ways to make their daily life easier and more convenient.

Lastly, get professional help! They are equipped with the most updated tools and knowledge in preparing a home for living with a disability.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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