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Safety Tips for Seniors Who Use Wheelchairs

Ensure your home is safe for seniors who use wheelchairs.

Home is where we’re most comfortable, and it’s for that reason so many older adults make the choice to remain at home through their golden years. But oftentimes wheelchairs come to be a part of life when seniors or those with specific disabilities experience decreased mobility. This can be a unique challenge when it comes to making sure the home is safe for seniors who use wheelchairs. However, a few home adjustments for older adults and those with disabilities can substantially improve safety.

The following are just a few changes that are suggested to incorporate a wheelchair into the home:

  • Make sure walkways and driveways are smooth, but not slick.
  • Have a ramp installed that leads to the front door that has landings at the top and bottom.
  • Doorways need to be 32-36 inches wide with adequate floor space near the doors to move a wheelchair.
  • Thresholds on doors should be ¼ inch or less.
  • Cabinet shelves should ideally be a maximum of 10 inches deep.
  • Controls on the kitchen stove should be positioned at the front.
  • Make sure there is knee space under all sinks.
  • Oven doors should be able to swing open to the side.
  • For deeper shelves, install a Lazy Susan to allow the person to reach all items.
  • Bathrooms should have either a wheelchair maneuverable bathtub with a 60-inch turning radius, or a stand-up shower without a curb and at least 36 inches wide.
  • There should be space to transfer from wheelchair to toilet.
  • Walk-in closets are great for seniors who use wheelchairs, but a closet organizer that gives the person the ability to reach all items is also a good option.

Additionally, floors should be free of clutter and furniture should be organized for maximum maneuverability for seniors who use wheelchairs. 

CareFor, providers of senior home care services in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas, can also assist with home modification ideas and coordination. The first step is our complimentary in-home evaluation, where we will put together a personalized plan of care to address the person’s unique care needs and wishes, and then we monitor that plan ongoing and update as needs change. 

Our Austin area senior home care services are available for just a few hours each week, up through full-time, around-the-clock care. Contact us online or call us any time at (512) 338-4533 to learn more!