Improvements to the home for Seniors And People With Disabilities are sometimes essential. In such cases, they need to meet the requirements of the Disabilities Act. Changes in access to apartments or houses can involve major structural changes, including the replacement of stairs, the installation of stairlifts, the installation of wheelchair ramps, the removal of a bathtub and the replacement by a walk-in bath.
Some seniors need to weigh up their options to improve their housing situation against moving to a care facility. Converting a house can be beneficial for people who intend to stay in their home. Such changes can also give seniors access to the home refurbishments they need later in life, such as a new kitchen or bathroom.
Popular home modifications for seniors and people with disabilities
- Sometimes, it can be as simple as adding a grab bar or it could involve installing a wheelchair ramp, wheelchair lift and/or walk-in bath.
- Visibility is also a concern for seniors who want to entertain disabled guests or plan days in advance if they need additional help to navigate their own home. For example, installing a ramp at the front door or redesigning the corridors and rooms for wheelchair users would make it easier for people with disabilities and their families to visit the home.
- A wheelchair can be seriously disabled just by a few steps at the front door. However, according to the Home Safety Property Management Advisors (HPMA), simple things can be done to improve mobility.
- Widening the doors and adding wheelchair ramps are often the most effective ways for seniors to continue living in their homes.
Housing design for older adults
This is currently most often focused on new concepts, but many people with disabilities choose to convert, which often benefits seniors. Although these characteristics contribute to the above-mentioned elements of older life, they do not go far enough to ensure independence.
Designers and contractors specializing in the conversion of apartments for the disabled and the elderly can build a wide range of features for seniors and people with disabilities, such as bathtubs, doors for wheelchair users and wheelchair ramps.
Attention must also be paid to details that increase comfort and functionality and enable greater autonomy. Improvements, conversions and repairs to houses can help older adults maintain their independence and avoid accidents.
Improving accessibility means widening the doors, allowing wheelchair users to pass through, lowering the worktop for wheelchair users, installing handles and placing light switches and sockets at easily accessible heights.
Accessibility improvements include lowering countertops, sinks and kitchen cabinets, and lowering the height of the sink or kitchen cabinets for someone in a wheelchair.
Adaptability is a change that can be made to meet the needs of seniors and disabled people without the need to completely redesign the house, such as using different materials for necessary furnishings.
Other examples of changes in the home include the removal of throw carpets to avoid slipping and falling, and the installation of grab bars in the bathroom to avoid falls.