Home modification is an increasingly important resource for the elderly and people with disabilities, because it helps them to age in a more comfortable and familiar environment. Home modifications adapt living spaces to more easy and safe environments, and meet the needs of people who suffer from physical limitations, so that they can live an independent life. Some of these modifications involve nothing more than adding a minor assistive technology. Others involve a little home remodeling. From adding pull handles to cabinet doorways to installing wheelchair ramps, there are many great options available for those living with physical limitations.
When mobility is limited, the stairs can be a major problem. Approximately 15% of elderly Americans suffer from some form of balance problem (NIH). Even taking a shower can be dangerous and challenging for them. Slipping and falling on the stairs or in the shower are two of the most common risks faced by seniors living at home (CDC). Also the risk of having balance problem increases as you get older.
Studies conducted by the AARP show that the majority of homes are not equipped enough to accommodate the special needs of people aged 65 and above, and they are not designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities either (Pynoos). The CDC, in its own studies, has indicated that home modifications could prevent up to 50% of accidents in the home for senior citizens (“Home Modifications”).
Installing railings in the bathroom and shower can prevent falls while showering and dressing. Lowering sink and countertop heights can reduce the number of falls created by trying to grab something that is out of reach. Replacing cabinet knobs with pull chains can do the same thing. A stair lift can eliminate one of the most common cause of falls, and will allow wheelchair-bound individuals to keep living in a multi-story home.
This article was written by Ali Soltani, owner of HandyPro of Washington DC Metropolitan. You can contact Ali at 301-960-1060 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDC. “Injuries Among Older Adults.” CDC. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.
“Home Modifications for the Elderly or Disabled.” GeriCareFinder. GeriCareFinder, 2008. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.
NIH. “Balance Problems.” NIH Senior Health. NIH, 2014. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.
Pynoos, Jon. “Home Modification Resources.” Fall Prevention. Center of Excellence, n.d. Web. 1 Jan. 2015.