The key to successfully aging in place is keeping your home safe and accessible. Sometimes, however, we don’t know where to begin! Team members from 101 Mobility®East Tennessee outline the top 5 areas in a home where accessibility could be limited with solutions for how to fix them.
An open floor plan is essential. Achieving optimal accessibility could be as simple as rearranging some furniture. Take a stroll through hallways, rooms, and bathrooms, noting the specific areas that pose a potential accessibility hazard. Clean up any clutter and consider a portable wheelchair ramp for safe travel throughout your home.
It’s all about the flooring. Wheelchairs and powerchairs move more smoothly around hard floor surfaces rather than carpet. Additionally—highly trafficked areas over the padded or thick carpet will leave tracks over time. If you have some floors outfitted with tile, be sure to minimize the depth of the gout lines for optimal safety.
Make garages and other entryways accessible. Aging in your beautiful home starts by getting inside. Most garages have a small threshold or a few steps for entry/exit, as do most porches and decks. Make these entryways easier to cross with a quality wheelchair ramp. A small slope is much easier (and safer!) to travel on than stairs!
Don’t forget about hallways, doorways, and other tight spaces. Fitting a wheelchair through a doorway should be a simple and safe experience. The majority of wheelchair widths range from 24-30 inches while the average doorway is only 30 inches wide. Make sure hallways and other tight spaces are comfortably accessible to ensure safe travel around your home (a 36-inch doorway is recommended). For stairways, consider a quality stairlift to safely and comfortably access different levels of your home. Some stairlift models “flip-up” when not in use to create even more space!
Keep things carefree and cool in your pool. Water accessibility is important too, especially with the added benefits of aquatic exercise! Entering and exiting a pool is no longer a hassle when you have a pool lift. Find your local 101 Mobility® to review your choices!
Want more tips about how to improve accessibility at home? Check back for more tips and advice from the 101 Mobility® team!