Elderly man

Adapting a home for the disabled or elderly

  • 4 May 2016

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When someone is living with a disability, or simply have mobility issues after reaching old age, even the simple things in everyday life can be a real challenge.

This even includes just getting around your home, which is why it is so important to get the adaption of a home for an elderly or disabled person right.

Widen doors and hallways

When you think about home adaptations for the disabled the first thing that springs to mind might be hand rails, low beds and bath tubs, or perhaps access ramps.

However, one of the most important adaptations that needs to be considered is simply making sure that the hallways and doors are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

Lighting and acoustics

DisabledFor people who are partially sighted or have hearing problems, getting the lighting and acoustics right in each room can make a huge difference.

Use brighter, natural spectrum lighting as much as possible, and implement accent lights to guide those people who are sight impaired to help them get around the home easier. Identify the darker areas around your home and brighten them to help avoid trips and falls.

Another important factor that you might not consider is the acoustics of a home.

As we get older our hearing deteriorates, and a home that has been designed or adapted with acoustics in mind can make a big difference to quality of life. You can hire specialist acoustic engineers to provide you with advice on how to best reduce the ambient noise that can drown out the things you want to hear.

Platform lifts

If you’re adapting a home that has more than one floor – or even just has a large step that is too high for a ramp – a platform lift is the perfect solution.

The mobility and home lift specialists Gartec & Gartec Home offer a wide range of platform lifts designed and built by Artico, some of which are capable of travelling up to 13 metres and incorporating six stops.

The importance of platform lifts for properties with multiple floors cannot be overstated in terms of helping the elderly and disabled to regain independence in their own home.

Flooring

If you’re adapting a home for someone who’s in a wheelchair, one of your top priorities should be replacing the carpets. They can make it much harder to get around the home than compared with laminate or solid wood flooring as it takes a lot more energy and strength to do so.

What’s more, hardwood flooring can also add value to the property, so it should really be seen as an investment rather than an expenditure.

There are a lot of things that need to be thought about when adapting a home for the elderly or disabled, but by focusing on these important features first you can make a big difference and help them to reclaim an independent life at home.

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