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.”
Most stores, restaurants, and government buildings take steps to accommodate people with disabilities. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the law.
But things aren’t always as easy at home. Most homes aren’t designed with wheelchair users in mind. However, with a few modifications, it’s possible for people with disabilities to live comfortably. Here are a few handicap accessibility tips for your home:
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.
Steps, steep curbs, broken sidewalks. Any one of these things can be a problem. Taken together, they can make even a simple errand a giant headache. We’ve got you covered when it comes to stair lifts and vertical lifts for wheelchairs, but there are many other challenges that you will need to overcome this season.
Things get even worse when winter arrives, with snow and icy sidewalks making conditions even more challenging – if not dangerous for people using wheel chairs and their caregivers. With that in mind, we’d like to offer a few winter tips for wheelchair users.
There’s a lot of work that goes into getting your home ready for holiday guests: cooking, cleaning, adding fresh sheets to the guest room.
But when one of your guests has a disability, your job is to make your home not just hospitable, but accessible. If this is new territory for you, don’t worry. We’ve put together a few tips to help guests who have disabilities feel more at home.
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.