Mobility can be a big problem for seniors. The same two story house that once made sense can be impossible to maneuver now. Before you call your realtor and list your home for something smaller, consider your mobility aid options. Fortunately, it is possible to renovate and upgrade your house to improve overall mobility.
Remove all hallway barriers
It is best to open up all hallways and doorways. Even though that china hutch might look nice in the hallway, it is best to move it into a corner, against the wall. Hallway barriers can make it difficult and dangerous to move mobility aids throughout the house. Among older adults, over 50% of all falls take place at home. You can reduce your chances of suffering a fall at home, by moving these barriers. Additionally, it will make it easier to use walkers and chair lifts for home.
Install handles along long hallways
Even if you do not expect to need them, it can be useful to install handles along long hallways and up the stairways. This way, if you are especially tired or feel like you might fall, you can grab onto them. They can also be useful if you do fall. Most seniors that fall do not have anything to grab to help them back up. A wall handle can help you pull yourself back up into the wheelchair or wheelchair lifts. It can even be helpful to have a handle along the wall of a lift chair recliner system.
Upgrade to a larger vehicle
Many seniors also give up their transportation as they get older. Mobility issues can make it difficult to drive. If you require a cane or wheelchair to get around, it can be tough to get in and out of the vehicle. However, similar to chair lifts for home, you can also get a wheelchair lift for SUVs or wheelchair lifts for vans. These lift recliners for elderly allow seniors to easily transport themselves and their mobility equipment in and out of the vehicle. It does, however, usually require that you replace your small sedan with a larger SUV or van.
Equip your home with an emergency alert system
It is not usually the fall that harms the senior, but the inability to call for help. Most falls can be quickly treated in a medical setting if the senior is able to get help in a timely manner. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. With many seniors living alone today, this can be a problem. If you make the decision to live alone and require mobility assistance, it is important to equip your home with an emergency alert system. Even having chair lifts for home should be installed next to an alert system. Most of these systems come with a device that the seniors wear on their person. If a fall occurs, they can quickly call for emergency help.
Place everything important on the main floor
Even though chair lifts for home can be useful in moving from one floor to another, it is best to limit your needs on different floors. Try to place everything of importance on one floor for easy access. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom should all be on the same level, with an easy route between each room. This will prevent emergency falls and will make it easier to get to the rooms that you need, on a daily basis.
Approximately 53 million Americans live with a disability, and according to a recent study, the most common disability is associated with limited mobility. Limitations to mobility do not always mean that you have to move to an assisted living home. It does, however, usually mean that you need to make safety accommodations in your current house. These added safety features ensure that you are not at risk of dangerous falls. If a fall does occur, they ensure that you can get emergency help quickly.