Disabilities come in all shapes and sizes. If someone close to you is living with one, there are key things you can do to help. Craft a safer home for you and your family today.
Did you know that one in every four adults is coping with some kind of disability? That’s a grand total of more than 61 million Americans accounting for about 25% of the total population in the United States. Sometimes, these disabilities fly under the radar. Others, however, can affect almost every aspect of the person’s life. This includes whether or not they can work to how they communicate with others. In fact, it’s estimated that 20% of the world’s poorest people are coping with some sort of disability. Let’s do something to help. Craft a safer home for someone with a disability.
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Improving your home’s safety is a top priority if you live with someone who has a disability, whether they’re young or old. The smallest accident could result in catastrophic consequences. Making a home safer and easier to navigate can make all the difference for someone living with a chronic disability. Something as small as a misplaced rug could result in a nasty trip and fall. Here are some of the best ways to craft a safer home for someone living with a disability.
Add ramps where possible
Even a single-story home with two steps leading to the den can be an issue for some folks with disabilities. If you can, replace any steps you have in your home with ramps to make navigating your home easier, especially if you have a stoop leading into your home. Avoid making them too steep, otherwise, they’ll be just as hard to navigate as stairs. If you don’t have the funds or ability to install permanent ramps, you can always invest in portable ramps. These can be applied and removed with ease.
Pay special attention to bathrooms
If a person with a disability is living in your home for an extended period of time, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your house. Here are some tips to make your bathroom a little safer for folks with a disability:
- Install grab bars by the tub to make getting in and out of the shower easier.
- Remove area rugs or mats from the floor. While these are good for catching water, they can cause a dangerous trip and fall accident if someone slides on the mat. If you must have a mat or rug in the bathroom, prevent their edges from coming up by using tape and other means to keep them locked to the floor.
- Keep harmful cleaning tools in locked cabinets. A curious child might not know that these cleaning agents can be bad for them.
- Brighten up the space with good lighting to help people with failing vision. Bathrooms don’t often have windows that naturally brighten up the small room. Install better light bulbs and lighten dark corners with motion-detecting lights. You can also do this throughout the rest of your home, especially around stairs that might be hard to see.
On top of these helpful points, you should also clean your bathroom often. These areas are where you get clean. As such, bathrooms will take on your dirty qualities. Clean the space often to keep your loved ones with disabilities safer from germs.
Establish an emergency plan
Every home should have an emergency plan in the event of a fire or serious accident. This is doubly important for homes housing folks with disabilities. You should always have more than one way of getting out of your home, along with the phone numbers of nearby health officials, like your local urgent care center. More than 75% of urgent care patients claim that their visits to these locations are excellent or good, making these viable options if you have an urgent medical concern. You should also have navigation routes in place to prevent getting lost on the way to your destination.
Keep poisons at bay
While we’ve already touched on the importance of locking your bathroom cabinet, there are other poisons that you may not have considered. Now that summer is here, it means that it’s time for fun in the sun. If you plan on drinking a cold mixed drink to keep the heat at bay, you should lock up your alcohol when it comes to folks with disabilities.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that adults can’t make their own decisions. Grandma might have failing vision, but that doesn’t mean she can’t enjoy a beer or two. But if you’re inviting over people who happen to have developmental issues or cognitive impairments, alcohol can be particularly dangerous. Just like you’d exercise caution against drinking and driving, you should be in control of your liquor cabinet when you have guests.
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You’ll also want to watch out for poisons when it comes to pests. Now is the time when hornets build their nests and ants want to invade your refrigerator. If you’re tackling bugs with pesticides, keep them out of the reach of small children and people with disabilities. You’ll also want to spray in areas away from common spaces or put up gates or fences around harmful areas.
Don’t wait until an accident happens. Craft a safer home for someone with a disability. It is essential to living a fuller, healthier life. If you’re trying to better support the people you love, rely on these tips to improve your home.
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