Spring is here, bringing with it plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy your backyard. But for people with mobility issues, this can be easier said than done.
That’s why we want to spend some time today talking about ways to make your backyard – from decks to patios to walkways – more accessible.
In some cases that means installing devices such as stair lifts and platform lifts. Other times, accessibility means making certain adjustments.
Here are a few ways to make your backyard for accessible this spring:
1. Spaces and paths
Everyone wants a smooth, level place to sit during backyard gatherings, and people who use wheelchairs are no exception. Wheelchairs need about five feet of space in which to turn around. Ideally, you should aim for more than that, with spaces scattered around the area.
As the Baby Boom generation ages, more and more people will turn to home health care as an alternative to residential care (retirement communities, assisted living, etc.).
Part of that is a growing wish to age in place and boomers’ embrace of new patient-managed technology, and part of it is just math: The number of senior citizens in America is expected to jump to 71 million by 2029, the year the last group of boomers hits the retirement age.
In the face of that shift, policymakers are pushing home health care as a solution to the cost of hospitalization, writes Liz Seegert in Covering Health, a publication of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
“Hospitals or nursing homes are no longer the only options,” U.S. Senator Harry Reid told a home health care conference in 2013. “In the months and years to come, the home health care industry will become the de facto solution for many as our aging population requires more care.”
Stair lift installation is easy when staircases are easy. A staircase that goes straight from point A to point B requires far less work than a curved staircase.
That doesn’t mean curved stair lifts are impossible. While they present a challenge, they can be done.
Curved stairways – or staircases that have any sort of irregular design – are more expensive to work with. That’s because no two curved staircases are the same, which means you’ll need a custom stair lift.
Falls are the number one cause of injury for older Americans, affecting more than 25 percent of seniors each year. Avoiding these potentially-serious injuries can be aided through the installation of a stair lift, though there are many other things that you can do to keep your stairs safe.
It’s a “seriously and costly” problem, as the Centers for Disease Control says on its website, with the nationwide fatality rate from accidental falls on the rise. It’s something worth thinking about if you’re getting older, or if you have loved ones who are senior citizens.
Here’s a phrase that we should leave in the past: “Confined to a wheelchair.”
Having to use a wheelchair doesn’t mean you’re trapped, especially not at home. From stair lifts to ramps, there are options available to you or your loved ones to make your home more accessible:
1. Wheelchair ramps
Ramps are the most common way of making a home, business or public building more accessible to people who use wheelchairs, scooters, or simply have difficulty getting up and down stairs. A contractor can install a permanent ramp made of concrete or wood, but a folding or modular ramp can also work if you’re on a tighter budget.
When we think of someone using a chair lift, it’s tempting to picture a person who has permanently lost their ability to make it up and down the steps.
But sometimes the need for a chair lift is just temporary. If you’ve just gotten out of the hospital, or are returning home after spending time in a rehabilitation center, it’s important to have support in place. Physical and occupational therapists know the value of renting a chair lift for your home while you’re in the midst of your recovery.
We’re sure you’ve seen a stair lift at some point, even if it was on TV or a movie. But if you’re looking to buy or rent a stair lift, you’ll have one important question: How do they work? In this blog post, we’ll look at the basics of a stair lift: what they’re made of, how they work, and how they can help.
Parts & pieces of your stair lift
The central part of the stair lift is known as the carriage, which is comprised of the seat, footplate, armrests and seatbelt, along with the motor and battery that power the lift.
Most stair lifts can be moved horizontally at the top or bottom of the stairs to allow people to get on and off. Some stair lifts don’t feature a seat and are designed to hold a wheelchair, or to let people use them while standing.