As our relatives get older, we realise that the time we have left with them is precious and we want them around more. This post will tell you some ways you can make your home accessible for older relatives so it is easier for them to visit you.
We love having family and friends around to our home for meals and celebrations. It doesn't have to be a special occasion - it's just lovely to have people over for a Sunday lunch or Saturday brunch. We do however live in a Victorian townhouse which means that access for elderly relatives can be a problem. Here are some things to consider if you want to make your home accessible for older relatives.
Stairs are one of the biggest barriers to elderly visiting your home. If you are serious about wanting to make adaptations, a stair lift is something to consider. Historically these have been ugly, cumbersome things but you can now get a platform lift in your house and they are infinitely mores stylish and useful. It's definitely something to consider, especially if you are in your forever home as you might need to use it one day!
Quite often houses will have a step at the front door so you might need to think about a way for this to be more easily navigated, either by someone with a walking stick or a wheelchair. A temporary ramp that you can move in and out might be a solution. Also if you have steps leading up to your front door you might want to put a handrail up or consider changing them for a slope instead to make access easier.
One of the biggest issues can be using the toilet. If your toilet is upstairs it might be difficult for access. If you can fit in a small downstairs toilet it will not only add value to your house but also make it a lot easier for any elderly relatives to access. Add a handrail to help them to get up and down from the toilet seat themselves too. Design is also something to consider. I have a disabled friend who is unable to use our downstairs toilet because of the positioning of it.
Most modern houses have doorways that are big enough to fit a wheelchair through, but in older houses this might not be the case. Altering the doorway size is a big job and you won't want to do it unless you have to but if you are moving houses soon or you are having a disabled relative come to live with you it is something to have in the back of your mind.
Sometimes you don't need to make huge modifications for access but you might want to consider where your elderly relatives will sit. They will probably require a comfortable chair so make sure that you have one that is suitable and make them at home in it. Put a little table nearby for them to put their drink on and I'm sure they will be very happy.
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