Mobility problems can have an impact on all areas of your life and make even simple everyday tasks more difficult.
If you have mobility issues there are a number of adaptations and solutions that can be tailored to suit both you and your home.
1. Improved access
You might need improved access to your home. This is especially the case if you use a wheelchair but some access improvements such as handrails and lower steps can benefit other people with mobility problems. Wheelchair users might also require ramps and widened doorways, both at the entrance and throughout the home.
If you struggle to get to the door, an intercom system might be a good idea. Some systems allow you to talk to the visitor then walk to the door if you need to see them or let them in. Others allow you to open the door automatically and some will also allow only trusted people, such as family and carers, to let themselves in without you having to get up.
3. Stair lifts
If stairs are a challenge a stair lift could allow you to continue making the full use of your home, without having to sleep and use a makeshift bathroom downstairs, or moving into a single-story bungalow. If this is not suitable it is sometimes possible to install a through-floor wheelchair lift that can transport a wheelchair user vertically from one floor to another. This requires a lot of space, however, and is not suitable for all homes.
4. Walk in baths
A walk in bath can allow you to continue enjoying the benefits of a hot bath even when mobility issues prevent you from climbing into a regular bath tub easily and safely. There are a wide range of
mobility baths for the elderly available and other options to the walk in bath include models fitted with power lifts. You might also benefit from a hydrotherapy system, which massages tired and aching muscles and joints with gentle jets of warm air or water. These can be useful for alleviating some of the pain associated with conditions such as arthritis and swollen joints.
5. Wet room
A fully waterproofed wet room is another bathroom option. A wet room can offer level entry access and an open-plan walk in shower, meaning you won’t struggle to lift your feet over the sort of high shower tray lip that are usually fitted with conventional shower cubicles. Other safety features may include special non-slip flooring, grab bars and shower seats.
6. Raisers and recliners
The height of a piece of furniture can greatly affect how easy it is to get into, or out of, and ‘raisers’ can be fitted onto beds, chairs, sofas and even toilets to make them easier to use. Powered riser-recliners can be fitted to chairs and special beds to raise or lower you to the perfect position at the touch of a button.
7. Kitchen adaptations
If you use a wheelchair or have certain other mobility issues that prevent you from straightening or reaching, you might need to reconfigure your kitchen. This might involve lowered cupboards, shelves and work surfaces, or installing spaces underneath work surfaces that allow you to move closer in a wheelchair. There are also many other minor adaptations that can make life easier, such as automatic mounted tin openers and hinged kettles that are safer and easier to pour.
If you need to adopt your home because of mobility issues there may be grants and other funding available to help you retain your independence.