Household Challenges for Wheelchair Users and the Elderly

As we get older, we may start to find that our lifelong family home is no longer suitable or accessible for our growing mobility needs. Often our homes need to be adapted to accommodate wheelchair access.

In this post, we take a look at some of the most common household challenges the elderly and disabled face, offering tips for how to combat them where possible.



Stairs

If you suffer from joint pain, mobility issues or unsteadiness on your feet, you’ll understand just how dangerous stairs can be. Finding yourself only using half of your home can seriously affect your quality of life — but there are solutions.

Stairlifts are one of the main options available. Attached to the staircase of your home, they offer easy transportation between floors. Most require users to be seated, which can be a problem if you have difficulty bending your legs. A perch stairlift may be more appropriate, as it allows users to travel in a virtually upright position.

While offering numerous benefits, a stairlift can be expensive. However, brands like Ideal Stairlifts offer second-hand stairlifts that are both affordable and practical.

For wheelchair users, a stairlift may not always be suitable. A home lift is a more practical option, as it conveniently transports users and their wheelchairs between floors in the same way as a passenger lift in a shop or multi storey building.

Kitchens

Kitchens can be one of the smallest rooms in our homes and often pose problems for wheelchair users. If it is difficult to move about and access cupboards, you may become discouraged from cooking in your own home.

Many kitchen design companies have looked to overcome this issue. Kitchens are now offered that feature shorter plinths to allow for improved access to sinks and work surfaces, as well as pull-down shelves and appliances with adjustable heights.

Kitchens like these may be suitable for the elderly, when reaching and transporting heavy pots and pans becomes an issue.

Bathroom

Slippery surfaces are hazardous for anyone, so it’s especially important to put the correct measures in place in your bathroom.



Installing handrails can make it easier for those with mobility issues or joint pain to get out of the bath or up off the toilet. Alternatively, walk-in baths can be installed, which makes it easier to get in and out of the tub. Specialist shower units with a ramp instead of a step are also available for wheelchair users or if you have space a wetroom would be ideal.

It is a fact that many people fall, especially when outside because with age they become less stable, vanity often results in not using a walking aid, check out walking sticks that are modern and in many cases do not look like walking aids. Facing up to the fact that we often need extra support can prevent falls.

Everyday Tasks

Tasks that the non disabled may take for granted such as simply opening and closing curtains, switching on and off lights, heating etc can now be done with ease thanks t0 the mart smart home devices on the market see home automation for the disabled to get an idea of what can be achieved and how these everyday tasks can now be done by voice through many smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa, mobile phones etc rather than bending, stretching and constantly getting up and down.  We all moan about the many fandangled  devices constantly coming out but home automation is one that really does help.

Many of these ideas may appear obvious but I hope some of you are motivated by some of the ideas.

About Mobility Reviewer

Mobility reviewers are a groups of disabled adults including wheelchair users, vision impaired and others with a range of mobility issues. Wherever possible we have tried and tested all products under our review and offer a honest review not with the intention of trying to sell any product. Any links are for information only. Enjoy the site and please tell your friends and ask them to link back to us from their websites or add to the reviews.
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