Monday, 15 August 2016

Adapting The Home For Those With Mobility Problems

If you are looking after someone with mobility problems, whether this is due to age or disability, or you have mobility problems yourself, there are a number of things you can do to make life easier. Some are simple to do and easy to get hold of, whilst other things will be more expensive but can make a big difference to the quality of life of you or the person you are looking after.

Home Access

It's important to be able to access your home easily. If you are wheelchair bound a ramp can really help if there is a high step. A handrail can also be useful too especially if you are a little unstable on your feet. If eyesight is poor, good quality bright lighting can help illuminate the way.

If you are wheelchair bound you may have to widen the doorways to ensure easy access to your home. You should be able to get help with this, if you contact your GP they will be able to arrange a mobility assessment and put you in touch with agencies that can offer help and advice.

Stairs

If you have difficulty in managing stairs, and cannot afford to move to a bungalow a stair lift can really help.  Even though these can be expensive, they can be invaluable to manoeuvre the stairs. 

If a stairlift is too expensive you may need to look at home your home is organised. A downstairs bedroom can be made with little cost, a downstairs and easy access bathroom is more expensive but can make a huge difference to those with mobility problems.

Bathroom



In the bathroom, a walk in shower that has low-level access can be extremely useful, alternatively, a walk in bath like this one from Premier Bathrooms with an easy access door ensures you don't have to climb in and is also an excellent idea. 

With heated water, a thermostatically controlled 'cool touch' device can help ensure safety.

Kitchen 

In the kitchen, lowering the work surfaces can be a big adaptation that will make your life easier.

Smaller adaptations like easy to use can openers, kettle tippers and adapted cutlery are cheap to buy and make a big difference too.

There is help out there if you need it. If you contact your GP they can arrange an occupational therapy assessment to see what items are needed. The Disabled Facilities Grant is also available in the UK to help with adaptations to your home although this is means tested.

With many of these adaptations, the elderly, infirm or those with mobility problems can stay at home without the need to go into sheltered housing or a nursing home, and that can only be good for mental well-being and quality of life.

*PR collaboration
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21 comments

  1. I love posts that highlight these issues as I work with people with a learning disability x

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  2. Losing mobility is a big issue and finding workable solutions to make the lives of those effected is really important.

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    1. It is especially as mobility problems can increase as we get older, and we all know the population is getting older generally.

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  3. Love the look of that walk-in bath! My mother-in-law has given up using the bathtub and only uses the showers. I think she'll be pleased to know that she can actaully have a walk-in bath :)

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  4. We had to adapt the stairs for my grandad but they already had a walk in shower which they found so much easier than a bath, although I think they would have gone for something with lights on.

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  5. The loss of mobility can have a great effect on the elderly and the walk in bath looks perfect.

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  6. Great post thank you for the advice :) I just wanted to add a word of warning about stair lifts which I had but unfortunately it had to go as my stairs were so narrow & someone fell down my stairs & broke his leg so just remember that enough space is needed for able bodied stair walkers too.

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  7. The walk in bath room is a great idea. A God send to many I am sure.

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  8. Great post and advice, the bath looks a great idea :)

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  9. Some fabulous tips here - it is good to see high street companies now making great aids for the elderly and infirm

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    1. Yes many high street stores are as well.

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  10. I think the bath idea is very handy especially for older people.

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  11. These are great ideas for those that need it. I think a walk in shower is a must for any age x

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  12. We looked at premier bathrooms when we were doing my Grandmas bathroom, they have some lovely designs x

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    1. Did you? They do have some great designs.

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  13. I am a wheelchair user with considerable mobility difficulties. I am not old and am disabled by two types of arthritis, fibromyalgia, a heart defect, and take morphine for the pain.

    I have a stairlift and a previous poster is correct, you do need a certain amount of clearance for the stairlift but you can fold the stairlift seat up vertically for able persons to use the stairs.

    I currently have a wetroom installed with a shower stool. This was provided by council grants for adjustments and I live in rented disability adapted accommodation. A walk in bath is not always ideal as you must sit in an empty bath and wait for it to fill up and this can mean a considerable wait leading to the person sitting in the walk in bath getting very cold especially if they are elderly.
    Sometimes the best solution is a bath lift for the user to sit on and be swung around and into the bath which is already full, then lifted back out of the water when the bath is over.

    Taps like those in hospitals, that have a push bar left and right to turn off and on are invaluable to those who have problems using their hands, and I also have these.

    Plug sockets at seat height in the walls mean no bending and easy to plug in electrical items. Straight lever door handles arealso better than door knobs.

    A toilet frame is also invaluable for using to get on and off the toilet and ensure that you don't fall off.

    Light switches at seat height also help and inbuilt ovens at a comfortable access height in the kitchen remove the need for bending and lifting.

    A hand grabber is also invaluable so you don't have to bend over to pick things up from the floor or to reach lightweight items stored above a wheelchair user or to open and close the curtains or get clothes out of the wardrobe.

    I also have two zimmerframes one upstairsand one down stairs that I can use on my good days and as I have a computer tablet I always grocery shop online and get my items home delivered and search online for disability aids and adaptations which could help me live as normally as possible.

    The biggest thing I have difficulty with is keeping the garden in order and as I am unable to do this I had no otherchoice than to find a reputable gardener, which, after a lot of trial and error and rather dangerous people tending to my garden, I managed to find an amazing gardener.

    There aremany things out there to help and assist with your every day life and there are many places that can help you find the too. Your local library or Council can help you with a lot of things too, you just need to ask.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Miriam. It's interesting to know that your library can help you. What help can they provide? It must be a nightmare looking after your garden, I know how hard ot can be to find a good gardener but it sounds as if you have one, which must be a relief.

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  14. I'm waiting to see if I'm going to get help for a wetroom at moment..although I have a walk in shower as I've got worse my carer needs to help me in the shower more & where the shower and my chair r it's just so impractical because of the shower doors, poor woman tends to take some of her clothes off to help me which is totally inappropriate..I so hope I get help with the grant for it,I'm very lucky in the fact my OT at moment is fantastic and really wants to help...I have a stair lift to but so wish I had enough room to put a bed downstairs, I have no choice but to spend a lot of time led down due to the chronic pain I'm in and sleep lots due to morphine I'm on and feel I miss out on being with my family so much...there's just nothing we can do about that problem.

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    1. I hope you get help with this, it must be so inconvenient and embarrassing for you to have help when the lady has to remove some of her clothes to help you! Hope you can sort out somewhere so you can have a bed downstairs. What about a sofa bed?

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