Friday, August 27, 2010

Wheelchair and Scooter Friendly Homes: Simple Changes You can Make Yourself


If you’ve recently begun using a wheelchair or mobility scooter to get around, you might be feeling a great mix of emotions.  One of the most common feelings can be frustration caused by challenges you’re likely to face in a home that was not designed or decorated for someone using a mobility device.  The good news is that, when it comes to making your home easier to navigate with a wheelchair or scooter, many of the changes that make the most difference are easily performed without major work or cost.

Here are 5 simple home-modifications that cost little or nothing to perform:

1. Remove loose carpets and rugs.  Especially if you have hardwood or tile floors, loose floor coverings can be a frustrating obstacle for wheelchairs and scooters.  Removing them obviously doesn’t cost anything, and it can make a big difference in your ability to easily navigate your home.  Alternatively, an adhesive backing can be used to hold rugs in place.

2.  Move furniture to accommodate your mobility device.  This seems obvious, but many people don’t know just how much room is needed for their mobility device.  As a general rule, arrange furniture to allow at least a 32-inch path and 5-foot turning radius.  Some furniture might need to be removed altogether to accommodate this.

3.  Tie strings to your door handles.  To allow a wheelchair or scooter user to more easily pull a door closed while passing through doorways, add a 36-inch string to each door handle in your home.  This comes with little to no cost, and it makes a big difference.  If you don’t want plain ugly strings hanging from your doors, you can always use colored yarn or decorative ribbon!

4.  Raise your tables and desks.  To bring some tables and desks to above knee level, it might be necessary to place furniture coasters or blocks of wood under their legs.  Again, let your creativity take over with this project to avoid big, ugly wooden blocks under your tables.  Whatever you use, just be sure the table or desk is sturdy and can’t easily be knocked off its footings when you’re done.

5.  Spruce up your device!  One thing that can be challenging to get used to when first using a mobility device is the difficulty in carrying items and maneuvering at the same time.  To help with this, equip your wheelchair or scooter with accessories to help carry everything from books and clothes, to drinks and medical necessities.

One last tip: While it doesn’t have to do with accessibility, it is important that you install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home, and make sure the batteries are checked frequently.  As it might take a little longer to get out of your home in an emergency, it is critical that you have early warning in these cases.

So, there you go! Some changes that will make a huge difference in your ability to get around your home in a wheelchair or scooter, that won’t break the bank or cause a lot of disruption.  As always, if you have questions about equipment you have purchased or are considering, contact All Time Medical, and we’ll be happy to help any way we can.

14 comments:

Sober Girl said...

Oh, I really like this post. Often times people discuss baby proofing their houses, but who thinks about making their homes safe for the wheelchair bound? Thanks for sharing!

Jason said...

We had to make our home wheelchair friendly after my brother broke both his legs in a ski accident. Very helpful article thank you!

Mobility Scooters said...

Thanks for this post, some really great, original and well thought out ideas for using a mobility scooter around the home. It's the little things that count over time.

Arthritis Treatment said...

This is certainly a well thought out article as people with physical limitations highly needs the best help they can get. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

mobility aids said...

I agree, purchasing or using a wheelchair will set no limit to you to the place you want to go. I hope that everyone is afford to have this when needed,

Mobility Batteries said...

Great advice...thanks for sharing it.

Sam M said...

You are providing helpful information about wheelchair friendly homes. thanks for that, i hope, when anyone needed, may be wheelchair price will be in their budget. To check the wheelchair price you can visit http://www.healthgenie.in/elderly-care/mobility-support/wheel-chairs.html

Brandon Walsh said...

Making your home wheelchair friendly can make everyone's life easier. It also helps if you have a proper mobility scooter for your home. These specialized scooters are usually smaller and much more easier to navigate. Home friendly electric scooters such as the transport mobility scooter by EV Rider provides portability, a smaller body, and overall ease of use. Thanks for the post and the ideas!

Medi Scooters said...

These are very comprehensive tips one should take into considerations and should start to accomplish all of them step by step. It is obvious that homes should be re-modeled to our needs especially if we have a physically challenged person or an elderly in the family. Great post!!!

Anonymous said...

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Avery Schlacter said...

Thanks for this I've been looking around for a new mobility scooter to help my grandma out she really could use a new one. I've checked out a couple good sites. http://www.cnymedpro.com/Power_Wheelchairs_Syracuse_NY.html

Sophia Evans said...

This is such a great post! My mom is getting up there in age, and she recently broke her foot. Poor little thing. I felt so bad for her when I found out about it. She is going to be ok, thank goodness, but the doctor recommended to her that she either be put on bed rest, or consider to find a mobile scooter. She doesn't really want to stay in bed the entire time her foot heals, but she has been wondering how she can get around in her house with the scooter. These are perfect ideas for her, so simple and it will help her out a lot.

CNY Medical Equipment

katysewell12 said...

I didn't know that it was so easy to make a home medical scooter accessible. My dad uses a scooter and has a difficult time getting around the house. Thank you for writing this post! It will surely help us fix up the house this summer.
http://www.cornermedical.com/Catalog/Online-Catalog-Category/5701/Scooters

Amber Johnson said...

It really is quite easy to make your home scooter accessible. My grandfather is getting older and is having a hard time getting around on his own. He has a walker that he is supposed to use, but he doesn't. I think that a home medical scooter would be perfect for him. He would be able to get around in his home and neighborhood again. Thanks for much for sharing this blog post! http://www.crossroadsmobility.net