Your dad’s had a stroke, and he’s completed rehab. He will need a wheelchair, however, and you’re faced with making his home as wheelchair friendly as you can. Before you make any improvements, you should see if his house is even suited for a wheelchair.
Will Your Dad’s Home Work?
Start by measuring the width of doorways, hallways, and the entry. Regardless of the type of door, the opening must be at least 32 inches wide. This includes sliding, hinged, and folding doors. Hallways also need this much space. If the space is narrower than that, you may have problems.
Depending on your dad’s budget, you may be able to widen some doorways. This is dependent on the wall and whether it is required for support. If the wall supports the roof or upper floor, a builder would need to come in and look at how to keep the support in place while widening openings. If that’s the case, you may find it better to move your father to a home that meets current ADA requirements.
Simple Ways to Make a Home Wheelchair Friendly
To get into the home, your father will no longer be able to use stairs. Portable ramps may work for the immediate future. You can also build a ramp that has a slope of no more than 1 inch for every foot of length. Once the ramp is level with the entry door, make sure the threshold is no more than 1/2-inch high. Anything higher than that may cause the wheelchair to get stuck. It may be easier to relocate the wheelchair entry to a side door or walk-out basement door.
For homes with stairs, a stair lift may be needed.
This is especially true if your dad’s bedroom is on an upper floor. Moving his bedroom may be easier if there is room. In a raised ranch, setting up the bedroom on the lower level and having the entrance to the home through the garage or back of the house will work well.
Have doors swing outward instead of inward.
This offers more space and makes it easier for your dad to open the door. You can also remove doors completely when possible and put up a curtain for privacy. Pocket doors will cost more to install, but they’re a great alternative to a traditional door.
Your dad will need help around the house.
An elderly care agency can help you figure out the best services for your dad. As he gets used to his wheelchair, have caregivers on hand to help with meals and household chores. Call an elderly care agency today to learn more and schedule an interview.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home health care in Pacifica, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203
At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.
As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.
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