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How to make your home more accessible when you have mobility problems

stairlift

Just because you have mobility problems it doesn’t mean that you can’t remain independent in your own home. Tasks like walking up and down the stairs and getting in and out of the bath may be more difficult but there are a number of ways you can adapt your home to make it more accessible.

Hand rails – install hand rails in the areas where you need to lift yourself up or stand for longer periods of time. For example, by the bed, in the bathroom, next to your favourite chair in the living room, by the front door and in the kitchen where you prepare food. As well as providing extra support, it’s also a great safety measure in case you suddenly become wobbly on your feet.

Outdoor lights – although lighting can’t help with mobility, if you’re a bit unsteady on your feet then it’s very important to ensure that you have adequate lighting in and around your house. A loose paving slab or an uneven surface that you can’t see could result in a bad fall.

Stairlift – stairs are the hardest thing to navigate in the home if you have mobility issues. If handrails don’t provide enough support this doesn’t mean that you have to confine yourself to just the ground floor. Stairlifts can be the ideal solution in this scenario. They take up less space than you would imagine, modern models are very quiet, they’re easy to install, they allow you to access the upstairs of your home which you might not be able to do otherwise and ultimately, they may even save you the hassle of needing to move house.

Wheelchair access – if you’re a wheelchair user there are a number of ways you can adapt your home to make it easier to access. Installing a ramp by your front and back door is relatively easy and you can even reposition or widen doors and door frames so you can move freely from room to room.

Bathing – if you prefer to shower then you can add a shower seat to your enclosure. This will allow you to sit down while washing or if you suddenly feel like you need some support. Contrary to popular belief, there are a number of methods that will allow you to continue to enjoy having baths as well. You can install a bath lift or alternatively, there are now many different types of walk-in baths available.

In the kitchen – if you have trouble supporting yourself then the kitchen can be a particularly hazardous place. Devices such as a kettle tipper can help you to use this appliance without the risk of scalding yourself with boiling hot water. Always make sure that you have a working fire alarm in the kitchen as well just in case there’s an emergency and you can’t get to a phone or leave the house.

man on walking frame

Some more helpful tips for the kitchen include having cupboards with pull-out shelves for easy access and keeping everything you need at the appropriate height level. If you’re in a wheelchair for example, you more than likely want a sink and cupboards that are lower down. If you struggle to bend down though, it would be better to have everything you need at a height you can reach without having to lower yourself.

Many disabled people are entitled to disability benefits, if you have any questions with regards to claiming benefits visit the Government website where you can find out more information.