How To Adapt Your Home To Make It More Accessible
Whether you are adapting to an illness, have mobility issues, or are simply getting older, sometimes we have to re-assess the way we live and adapt our home accordingly.
Our homes are in some way an expression of ourselves. We all want to make it as comfortable and relaxed as we can. Safer living doesn’t have to mean that your home needs to look like a hospital or rehab facility. In fact, good design can incorporate safety and style. For example, no one would guess that the Uccello Kettle is a mobility aid at first glance. It is simply a conversation piece.
Below are a few top tips on how you can adapt your home to make it more accessible for all.
Around The Home:
Below are a number of guides and tips that range from small and instant changes you can make to bigger renovation projects. We hope they help. Here is a list of helpful general tips for around the home:
- Change all round doorknobs to the lever-style. This will help with accessibility, especially for those living with arthritis and weakened hand grip.
- For those with limited or reduced mobility, bright wall colours is the safest option. This way, any light source will brighten the room even more and help you or your loved easily distinguish furniture, obstructions etc.
- Have a Reacher/Grabber in every room – You never know when it may be needed but having one in each room makes life easier and reduces the change of losing it around the house.
- Widen hallways and doors around the house so that they are wide enough for a wheelchair or mobility scooter. This will make life easier to maneuver so you or your loved one don’t have to worry about bumping into walls and doors or even catching or hitting hands against doorframes.
- Apply non-slip flooring – by this we mean no area rugs or mats. If you do wish to have them, we would strongly recommend they are secured to the floor as their edges can create a big tripping hazard.
- Make your house more open plan – this will make getting around both safer and easier.
This is one of the more dangerous rooms in the home. They are 99% of time tiled floors and there can be spills from the sink, shower or bath which makes it a very big slip risk room. To make life that bit safer and easier why not try:
- Adding non-slip flooring in the bath and shower.
- Install grab rails where needed – in the shower, beside the toilet etc.
- Say goodbye to those awkward twist sink faucets – install a lever style instead. Your hands will thank you.
- Have your bathroom door open outwards – this will give you better range and access for the bathroom – especially if you need assistance.
- If there are cabinets in the bathroom such as under the sink, it would be a good idea to remove them to give wheelchair users better access.
- If the toilet has become and issue, with regards to height – there is always raised toilet seat frame that can be easily moved for those who need or do not need to us it.
This is our favourite room of the house. It really is the heart of the Irish home. It’s also where we believe we shine with our assistive living range.
- Uccello Kettle – Ideal for those with reduced mobility in their hands, arms and wrists. The Uccello Kettle uses it’s unique tilt-to-pour action to deliver hot water safely every time. You don’t have to worry about lifting, balancing or straining with a kettle again.
- Uccello Grip Mat – specially designed to help those with limited strength, mobility and dexterity. It’s the perfect kitchen buddy. Whether you need a helping hand in opening stubborn jars, want to keep items in place or simply want to use it as the perfect cup guide when using the Uccello Kettle.
- Muggi Cup Holder– Ideal for wheelchair users, if you have a tremor, a shake or you need both hands to carry a cup. You can safely make a round of tea and transport without hassle. The Muggi catches any drips and spills, so there is no need to worry about burns or scalds.
- Lever style taps – Avoid the pain of trying to grip and twist the tab with the easy pull up and push down lever style taps. Accessible for all.
- Non Slip Place Mats – Extra safety on the counter when preparing food, cooking and eating.
- Adjustable height counter tops – This allows everyone, including wheelchair users to easily access counter tops so there is no dangerous lifting or moving of heavy objects such as a kettle, pots etc.
The Sitting Room:
This is where many of us go to relax. Our place to unwind. Here are a few tips to help make it more accessible for all.
- Rethink carpets and rugs. They can make it harder for wheelchair users to get about easily.
- Remove excess wires. These can be a big risk and cause falls – By putting all wires in a Cable tidy you have made it easier to see and safer to move around.
- Install a stove and say goodbye to an open fireplace. A stove is a better, safer more economical option to heating the sitting room. It spreads heat more evenly, has a sealed door for added safety and doesn’t let warm air escape when not in use.
- Paint it bright – it can be hard to make out furniture legs in a dark room so painting the walls a brighter colour will certainly help distinguish furniture legs and edges.