Whether you’re able bodied, dealing with a chronic illness or disease, have aged not quite as gracefully as you had hoped or through an unfortunate injury everyone wants to be able to have the freedom and mobility to get around their own homes. This blog will focus on making the living room, bathroom, and bedroom safer, more mobility friendly, and help lessen the chances of accidents occurring.
The Living Room
Chances are the living room is one of the very first rooms upon entering a house. Our living rooms are where we go to relax and unwind or socialize with family and friends. Carpet and rugs in this common area may be problematic if there are wheelchair, canes, or walker considerations. Consider changing to tiled, hardwood, or laminate flooring. Make sure there is some traction on the floor as surfaces can easily become slippery when using canes, crutches, or some shoes. Keeping clutter at a minimum in all walkways is another important step to take.
Next is the living room furniture. It should be welcoming and not overly jumbled together creating a risk of bumping into things or even falling. Replacing your furniture may be out of the question but there are things you can obtain and utilize to make your current furniture more user friendly. One option would be to buy a set of furniture risers if it is difficult to rise from a seated position. Another option, that can be transferred between rooms, is the SafetySure StandEase which looks a bit like a backwards walker. This lightweight device makes getting up or sitting down easier with the sturdy bars to grasp on to. Plus, it can easily go with you whenever you find yourself traveling or on the go.
Bathrooms are hot spots for falls and injuries. Fortunately, many bathroom safety measures are simple and inexpensive. WebMD offers an article on home safety tips for persons with limited mobility. Most of these tips are taken from that article.
- Don’t rush in the bathroom. Hurrying can make you less careful. It’s important not to wait too long before going to the bathroom.
- Install skid-free mats. Low-pile, non-skid bathmats can prevent falls on wet and slippery floors. Non-slip mats or appliqués are also helpful in the tub or shower.
- Put in extra seating. If your bathroom is big enough, put a sturdy chair by the sink so you can brush your teeth and groom yourself while seated. Shower chairs, such as the Deluxe Bath Bench with Back, are a great option whether you have a tub or an open shower to help keep you safe while keeping clean.
- Don’t bend and stretch. Instead, put in a bath organizer, shelf, or wall-mounted dispenser for shampoo, conditioner, and liquid soap. A long-handled scrub brush makes it easier to wash feet, legs, and other hard-to-reach places. A standing toilet paper holder can help if it’s difficult to reach a wall-mounted holder.
- Make it easy to get up. A toilet seat riser or toilet safety rails (with or without a toilet seat) are helpful if you have trouble getting up or down from the toilet. A grab bar or two next to the toilet is another option.
For more suggestions on mobility aids for the bathroom or to purchase check out ila’s bathroom aids.
If possible, keep your bedroom on the main level of your living quarters. Climbing up and down stairs could pose an accident risk, especially if tired or having issues with your balance. Keep essentials next to your bed including any nighttime medications, drinking water, a flashlight, and a phone. If you frequently find yourself waking to use the bathroom at night a nightlight is an inexpensive aid to help you find your way.
One of the simplest ways to make a bedroom more comfortable is to look at choosing a bed that fits your needs. According to This Caring Home, Falls around the bed area are common. The bed may be too soft or not at a good transfer height. It could be that your mind wants to get in or out of bed but your body refuses or the other way around. One mobility aid that could assist in the case of balance issues or weak muscles is the SafetySure Bed Pull-Up. It easily attaches to the bottom of the bedframe and has eight, equally spaced, cushioned handles allowing you to rise at your own pace.
Finally, one last tip from the WebMD article. When it comes to getting dressed, sitting in a sturdy armchair to dress and undress can be more stable than sitting on a bed or standing. And you can use the arms to steady yourself when you sit down, reach, or stand up. Use a long-handled shoehorn to put on shoes without bending over. A dressing stick – essentially a stick with a hook at the end – can help you pull on pants or skirts, take off socks, and reach clothes that are hung up high. To purchase these type of mobility aids or to browse more options see dressing aids.