As you get older, it might get harder to move around. Your home is supposed to be a place where you feel safe and comfortable, not a place where danger lurks around every corner. Seemingly harmless decorations such as throw rugs can become deadly tripping hazards and the long flight of stairs to the laundry can be a plunge to your doom. Avoid these perilous incidences by keeping your home mobility-friendly.
With a few small changes, you can easily make your living space more conducive for your wheelchair, walker, or cane. Keeping your house safe and mobility-friendly is one of the best ways to help you live in your home for as long as possible.
1. Eliminate Clutter
This may sound like your mom is nagging you, but it’s simply the truth. Keeping things cleaned up and put away will reduce fall hazards. Move all lamp, extension, and telephone cords out of commonly used pathways.
2. Add Lighting
It’s common knowledge that eyesight tends to get weaker as people age. Therefore, make sure your home is well-lit so you can always see obstacles in front of you. Full-spectrum bulbs are ideal because they reduce glare that may hurt your eyes. Place nightlights along hallways so you can always see where you are going.
3. Build a Wheelchair Ramp
Even if you don’t use a wheelchair to get around, stairs can be hard on the knees. Creating a wheelchair ramp at the entrance of your home makes it easier for you to get inside without potentially falling down. Additional ideas for a wheelchair ramp include adding handrails, using a non-slip surface, and covering it to protect it from the weather.
4. Replace Door Hinges
When using mobility devices in the home, you might need a little extra space to navigate through doorways. Sometimes, the door may not open wide enough for you to safely pass through. Consider replacing your old door hinges with new ones that allow the door to open and drop back in line with the frame to provide a few extra inches of space.
5. Switch to Lever Doorknobs
Round doorknobs are a classic design; however, they are hard to use for those with arthritis. Lever doorknobs are much easier to use. While you are replacing the doorknob, try lowering it if you commonly use a wheelchair for greater accessibility.