Home Adaptations for the disabled
The top 5 home adaptations that can help improve the use of your home and make life easier.
Are you looking for practical solutions to adapt your home for an older person or a person with a disability?
About 39% of households owned outright include a person with a disability in the UK, according to the latest English Housing Survey. Unfortunately, there is a further 1 in 5 people who need adaptations to their home or believe that their current accommodation is not suitable and accessible for their disability.
In 2015 in South & West Wales there were a reported 113,000 of residents in homes stating they found it difficult to do the usual everyday activities due to a disability.
Having an accessible and safe home ensures that those living with disabilities can be self-reliant, independent and live a full and happy life. So, what home adaptations are available, and how can they improve your day to day life? In this article, This article will discuss the top 5 disability home improvements that can make a difference in your life.
1. Installing Grab Rails & Grab Bars
The Support That Prevents Trips and Falls Grab rails and handrails are simple pole structures fixed in places around the home to provide support and stability. The simple grab rail is a very low-cost option to help individuals regain the freedom to navigate their home.
Grab rails can be fitted to help the user as he/she tries to balance themselves when getting up from or sitting down in a chair, walk long corridors, climb the stairs, use bathroom facilities or navigate outside steps leading to and from their home and garden. A grab rail is most useful in wet or slippery areas, such as bathrooms and the outside, where people are at most risk from a fall. Grab Rails come in several types, and each one has a different function, structure and installation process. Grab rails must only be fitted to solid stable structures - such a brick/block walls or partition walls with special fixing supports. Grab rails should never be fitted directly to plasterboard.
Grab rails are available in various finishes such as stainless steel, chrome, wood, and plastic – with a range of textures and colours to suit any home décor.
Types of Grab Rails:
Straight Grab Bar - It's a simple horizontal bar that can be installed to a bathroom wall either horizontally or vertically.
Wave-Style Grab Bar - It is similar to a straight grab bar but with a hint of wave design that adds aesthetics to the pole.
Grab Bar Accent Ring - This partial circle grab bar with a one portion missing is usually placed around shower knobs and taps. It supports the user while adjusting or tuning the knob on and off..
Wall to Floor Grab Bars - This is a 90° grab bar commonly fitted near the commodes or entrances.
Corner Grab Bars - This is another 90° bar designed to be fitted on the corners to help the disabled person move around the bathroom.
Suction Cup Grab Bar - This is a portable grab bar with a switch that locks it into the wall using a suction cup.
Flip-up and Flip-down Grab Bar - As its name implies, this grab bar commonly installed near commodes can be flipped up or down.
2. Using Smart Home Devices - The Game-Changing Technologies You Can Utilise
Using smart home technologies is a simple and convenient adaptation to our home. Although these devices can be sometimes expensive, investing in these tools can provide a higher level of comfort and independence in your home.
Here are some assistive technologies that can make a disabled person's life easy:
This sensor designed to monitor for leaks at home detects if there are any taps left running and shut them off automatically.
Smart voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google are convenient and useful in managing devices at home and making calls in an instant. This is a great tool to have if you are ever in an accident or emergency situations, as you can call your emergency contact just by calling out to your voice assistant. No phone needed!
This smart device helps to maintain the temperature you want in your home and allows you to lower the heat through your smartphone to save energy before leaving your home. You can also switch it back as you arrive at your house. This is very beneficial, especially for a person with cerebral palsy who prefers warm temperature.
A doorbell with a motion-sensing camera will let you know who is at the door and inform a person if someone is calling. There are also two-way communication systems that will allow you to talk with a caller and record a face or interaction.
Smart Garage Door Opener
This device will enable you to open your garage wherever you are. It comes in a range of brands, style and with some add-on features.
Smart Curtains, Shades or Blinds
People with restricted mobility may find it challenging to open curtains and blinds, but this smart covering can help. It will allow you to open and close your curtain through an app.
3. Installing Stairlifts - An Automated Stairlift
Another way to improve your home is to install a stairlift. Also known as a chairlift or stair glider, this mechanical device is beneficial for people with restricted mobility who can't navigate the stairs safely without assistance.
Types of Stairlifts:
It is a standard stair lift designed to lift a person in a straight path without bends nor curve angles. It's the easiest to install and the most affordable of the three options.
This type of stairlift is suitable for staircases with more than one level or landing, it has a curve designed to match the trajectory of the stairs itself.
If you need a stairlift for your external stairs that lead to your property's front door, then an outdoor stairlift is the best option. It is weather and dust-resistant, making it hassle-free and convenient.
How can a stairlift benefit you? These are some of the pros of using this motorised chair:
It reduces the risk of injuries since it provides a safer way to get from floor to floor.
Smooth and comfortable ride
It also offers a comfortable ride since it's built with extra cushion.
Restores Sense of independence
It will help a disabled person regain independence since it will enable him/her to get up and down the stairs without assistance.
Easy to operate
This motorised device is easy to use. By merely sitting on the seat, putting on the seatbelt and pressing and holding the rocker switch, it will bring you upstairs. It will stop moving as soon as you release the button. It also comes with a two-key remote control that will command the stairlift to go, either up or down at your command.
This is also the quickest, most affordable and cost-effective option when compared to the monthly cost of a senior living facility or single-level home.
4. Walk in Showers & Walk in Baths- The Safer Solutions For Risky Wet Rooms
A walk-in shower free of doors and curtains provides a range of options and benefits to an elderly or disabled person. You can convert your existing bathroom and personalise and customise it according to your specific needs.
You can also upgrade your walk-in shower by adding some features like a walk-in bathtub. This is a perfect way to upgrade your bathroom and make it more accessible to your needs. A walk-in bathtub has watertight doors that will allow the user to get into the tub over a low threshold, and the tub will be filled with water after closing the door. After bathing, the person can drain the bath and step out of it safely.
Here are some of the advantages of using a walk-in tub:
It has a low-step height for a quicker and safer entry.
It provides anti-slip flooring that prevents slipping and falling.
It often comes with built-in handrails to provide support while standing and getting out of the tub.
It offers deeper water depth than standard bathtubs.
5. Upgrading Security - The Keyless Entry That Unlocks With One Click Away
A smart or automatic lock system is one of the best innovations that could be incorporated in a senior or disabled persons home. With this option, you'll never worry about leaving the key and the vulnerabilities associated with it. It helps to prevent intruders from entering your home because burglars cannot pick it, unlike the conventional door locks.
A smart lock is a safer alternative to a keypad lock because you can control it through a smartphone wherever you are. You can also allow other people like housekeepers, nurses or family members to gain access as a guest, or admin for a limited time through scheduled locking. So, you can control the number of days and time they can access your home and monitor it via an app that keeps a log. It is even more beneficial for an elderly and disabled person because they will never have a hard time reaching the lock and opening it with a key. With a smartphone or remote, they can already access it with just a single click.
These tips may come with added expenses however, there's no doubt that it can significantly improve the quality of life of a person with limited mobility and other health issues like visual impairment. We hope that this article will be helpful for you and enable you to live the best life you've always wanted.