Hey everybody, Happy New Year!! In today’s blog, I’ll be talking about easy repairs that make any home or space accessible for a disabled person. HomeAdvisor has listed a few tips we all can use. Accessibility is important for the disabled community. There are over a billion people around the world living with a disability. Disabilities ranging from mobility issues to cognitive impairment. Whether you want to hire a professional or do the modifications yourself it’s something to help you accomplish your goal.
The first place that we should look at is the bathroom. It is the #1 place for privacy and comfort. For a disabled person such as myself, it is the most unpredictable place for hazards. Bathrooms can cause slip and fall like that if you use a walker or a wheelchair. It can also be very confusing to someone with a low vision or a cognitive disorder. To prevent this here are a few suggestions:
Wheelchair Access -First, you need to ensure there is enough room for wheelchair maneuverability. Your loved one needs easy access to enter and exit the room, which widens narrow doorways and increasing square footage of the bathroom itself. A low sink with room for knees underneath can help them independently conduct tasks like brushing teeth and washing hands.
Vision Impairment – For someone with low vision or blindness, the bathroom can be a dreadful experience. Be sure to use contrasting colors and textures to help them navigate the room safely. Handrails, no-slip mats, and flooring are also essential safety precautions. To help them stay independent, be sure to label items they will need and use often. For low vision, the brightly colored tape might be enough — but you’ll then want to install bright lighting — or for people with blindness, using textured tape or even braille might have a better impact.
Cognitive Disabilities – When a person with dementia enters a bathroom, he or she could forget their purpose in a matter of minutes. They can misremember how specific items work, like confusing the sink’s cold-water knob for the hot water one. That’s why it’s important that you consider installing special faucets that check the temperature. As with vision impairment, labeling items and areas can help them remember their usefulness. Balance is also an issue with dementia and Alzheimer’s, so handrails and no-slip surfaces can be fundamental in reducing injury and promoting self-care.
The Kitchen is usually a common area for all families. However, for a person with a disability, it can cause many hiccups. Often times a person with an impairment can feel quite helpless because how can one cook or clean up after a meal? In a regular kitchen a person in a wheelchair can’t reach the stove or upper cabinets without something falling, or a person with a visual impairment how will they know where things are, or how to keep track of cooking? Home Advisor suggests:
Wheelchair Access – Low counters with space underneath for a wheelchair is key for helping a family member with mobility issues with independence in the kitchen. Low cabinets, side-hinged oven doors, and sinks with drains toward the back help make the kitchen a place that a person in a wheelchair can maneuver in with ease and comfort.
Vision Impairment – Make sure everything that your loved one needs is labeled and stored in a regular place. Put hazardous materials, like cleaning products, out of reach, and make sure the fire extinguisher is in an accessible spot. Timers that count down out loud can help them keep track of dishes in the oven while painting cabinets with contrasting colors or lining them with varying textures can help them navigate spaces to prepare food.
Cognitive Disabilities – As with the bathroom, the kitchen can be a perilous place for slips and falls. Installing no-slip flooring and mats can help when water splashes from the sink, freezer or dishwasher. Keeping all hazardous chemicals out of reach is vital to safety. Consider keeping a special drawer for snacks so that your loved one can help him or herself when they are hungry. Since dementia is a progressive disease, meaning it can get worse over time, supervised kitchen activities are encouraged. You can have them help you prepare meals or clean-up, but whether they should navigate the kitchen alone depends on the severity of their specific situation.
Home Advisor has a lot more tips for home accessibility to help someone with a disability be comfortable at home. To see them all go to Home Advisor .