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5 Tips to Make Your Home More Handicap Accessible

May - 01 - 2022 Northside Medical Supply

Bath with grab bars for safetyIf a recent injury or surgery has reduced your mobility or balance, your home or office can suddenly seem unsafe with crowded hallways and slippery hard surfaces. The good news is these small handicap accessible changes can make getting around safer and more enjoyable for all. 

In the Hallway
While hallway tables, shelves, and cabinets are convenient for storing items or organizing a collection of shoes and umbrellas, cluttered hallways can make entering or passing through the home a variable obstacle course for wheelchairs. One way to reduce the stress of trying to safely get around the house while using mobility aids is to clear out any unnecessary furniture. Instead, try hanging keys and umbrellas on wall hooks that are within reach for someone in a seated position. For shoes, make it a rule to carry them to the appropriate closet or look for creative ways the shoes can be organized and placed out of the way of rolling wheels.

In the Bathroom
The bathroom is one of, if not the most, common places for slips and falls that result in injury. Adding some safety items can help reduce the risk of falls, especially for someone who uses mobility devices regularly. Such individuals may benefit from such items as grip bars or railings on and around the tub or shower area, a non-slip bath mat, a hand-held showerhead, and a raised toilet seat.

Another item that can be useful when the individual is unable to stand or easily step into the tub or shower is a bath bench or transfer bench. This items prevent the individual from having to stand up or be lifted over the side of the tub in order to bathe, which in turn could also help him or her feel more confident and less dependent on a caretaker. 

In the Bedroom
Although many bedrooms are carpeted, bedrooms are another major concern for those who have difficulty with mobility or balance. The good news is by installing bed railings and standing aids as well as making a bedside commode available as needed, the bedroom can easily be converted into a more handicap accessible space that offers a significantly lower risk of injury due to falls. In fact, many bed railings also come with side pouches for keeping frequently used items like glasses and the television remote handy. This feature eliminates the need for climbing into and out of bed to search for these items, which means more rest and relaxation while lowering the risk of a hard fall.

In the Kitchen
Non-slip socks are excellent items to keep on hand for slippery surfaces, such as wet or slick kitchen floors. However, large appliances, kitchen islands, and an abundance of cabinets can make navigating a challenge for wheelchair users. Then, there is the breakfast table with chairs and a large trash can to consider. Therefore, by downsizing the breakfast table to only accommodate the number of individuals in the household, storing a smaller trash can under the kitchen sink, and making certain chairs are never left out in the open, the pathway can be made clear for wheelchairs or another mobility device. 

Purchase or Rent Multiple Mobility Aids
While a wheelchair may be necessary for standing or walking for extended periods of time, there are some narrower mobility devices that can be useful to those who require light to moderate mobility support. Walkers, upwalkers, rollators, scooters, and walking canes are examples of options for those who do not necessarily need the full support of a wheelchair while in the home. Using these devices that take up less room can be enormously useful around tight corners as well as in narrow spaces, such as hallways, eating areas, and the kitchen.

Make Daily Living Aids Convenient to Use
From a reacher that lets individuals grab items that are too high up to reach to items that help make dressing and dining easier, it pays to become familiar with such handy accessories and carefully place them in accessible nooks and cabinets throughout the home. This way, when it comes time to get dressed or eat dinner, the individual can simply grab what he or she needs to make that task simpler and less frustrating.

Where to Find Items Like These in Roswell, Georgia
The above suggestions are easy tips that can help make your home more handicap accessible, including the addition of some incredibly useful items that are available for purchase at Northside Medical Supply in Roswell, Georgia. If you are in the area, stop by to say hello to our friendly staff and stick around to shop unique finds as well as top brands and beloved features or place your curbside pickup order by calling (770) 425-7718.