While you or a loved one is aging in place, it’s important to keep your home as safe and hazard-free as possible. Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) Gordon Raney of 101 Mobility® Dallas offers some helpful ways to make your home more accessible.
Garage—Most garages have a small threshold or a few steps in the doorway in order to enter and exit the home. To ensure easy access through this entryway, consider a wheelchair ramp for your garage. Whether you’re in a wheelchair or on foot, crossing over a small slope is easier than climbing stairs.
Hallways/doorways—Make sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough to safely and smoothly pass through. Fitting a wheelchair through a doorway should not be a “tight” situation. Most interior doorways are as narrow as 30 inches (sometimes 28 inches when including the trim). The majority of wheelchairs range from 24-30 inches in width, making some doorways an obstacle for home access. Raney recommends a 36-inch wide doorway or hallway to ensure safe travel throughout your home.
Openness of the floor plan—Improving space and access at home can be as simple as rearranging furniture. Walkthrough your home and note any places where an obstacle could impede safe travel around the room. Tight turns, numerous doorways, and house clutter can all become a daily frustration if a wheelchair is unable to easily travel past it.
Carpet vs. hard surface flooring—Thick carpet or heavily padded carpet can be too soft for a mobility device. Over time, wheel tracks over trafficked areas will become visible. On the other hand, hard surface flooring makes it easier for a power chair or patient lift to cross the floor. If you choose to have tiled surfaces in your home, be sure to minimize the number and depth of gout lines for the smoothest surface possible.
Pool/Jacuzzi/Spa—Because entering and exiting a pool can be difficult, many customers at 101 Mobility® Dallas assume they will no longer swim in a pool or relax in a Jacuzzi. However, many doctors recommend pool lifts for water exercise and therapy. Depending on the selected model and condition of the space around the area, pool and spa lifts can range from $3,000 to $10,000.
Want more tips about how to improve access at home? No problem. Find your local 101 Mobility® by clicking here. Check back for more tips and advice from CAPS and 101 Mobility® Dallas owner Gordon Raney!