HOME ACCESSIBILITY

When homes are built little to no thought is given to the accessibility of the home as one ages. This often leads to some areas of the home becoming difficult or unsafe to access independently as the homeowner ages-in-place. This can lead not only to frustration, but can affect the overall wellbeing of the homeowner. In a worst case scenario, the homeowner can become isolated to certain areas of the home and be too fearful to leave the home without assistance.  

 

True independent living is only possible if the homeowner can easily access all areas of the home, including outdoor spaces, and is able to enter and exit the home without assistance. At HomeAid we have solutions to address any obstacles that may limit the accessibility and functionality of your home. As a full service consulting, design and project management firm we can help you achieve your goals of aging-in-place safely in the comfort and security of your own home. 

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Stairlifts   

Having access to all floors of a home is important for the homeowners overall wellbeing. It gives them a sense of independence that is often lost when certain areas of the home become inaccessible. Of all the options, installing a stairlift is the most economical way to improve the accessibility of an upstairs or basement. Some advantage of stairlifts include:

 

  • Stairlifts minimize the risk of dangerous falls.

  • They are relatively easy to install, with Installation typically completed within a day.

  • The track can be configured to accommodate virtually any staircase, including spiral staircases and stairs that have a 90 degree turn.

  • They require minimal maintenance. 

  • When not in use Stairlifts can be folded up to minimize the overall profile.

Please click on the logos below to learn more about the chairlifts HomeAid offers. 

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Elevators

Functional limitations such as pain and weakness, and a fear of falling may keep a homeowner from utilizing the second floor, or basement of their home. Traditionally, stairlifts have been the solution to this problem as residential elevators proved to be too costly and difficult to install. Fortunately, as the demand for aging-in-place home modifications has increased more affordable and easy to install options have become available. 

HomeAid offers a range of residential elevators with different price points and design options. Installation can be surprisingly simple and take as little as 2 days to install. Residential elevators are ideal for homeowners that currently, or may eventually use a walker or wheelchair. An elevator may also be preferred for aesthetic reasons, or when a chair lift is not compatible with the stairs.  

Please click on the logos below to learn more about the residential elevators HomeAid offers. 

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Ramps 

Many homeowners must navigate steps when entering and exiting the home. These steps often become challenging as one ages, with the homeowner becoming fearful of falling. If the homeowner uses a walker or wheelchair for mobility steps become a barrier that forces the homeowner to dependent on others to leave their home.

 

Being fearful of falling, or depending on others to leave the home often leads to the homeowner feeling isolated. Entry ramps can alleviate many of the fears and physical obstacles of steps by creating a safe way in and out of the home. Ramps can enable the homeowner to independently enjoy outdoor spaces, venture out into the community, and participate in family/social activities. 

 

Ramps can be  made of many materials, including wood, metal and concrete. It may also be possible to avoid a ramp all together by grading the yard and pouring a sloping sidewalk. The type of ramp and materials used will depend on many factors. HomeAid will educate you on your options and help you make an informed decision as to the type of ramp that best fits your needs. 

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Vertical Platform Lifts

Traditionally, ramps are used at entryways with steps if the homeowner uses a walker or wheelchair, or simply has a difficult time managing steps safely. However, depending on the situation a vertical platform lift may be a better option. Vertical Platform lifts require less space, are safer than ramps, and are not necessary more expense. Vertical platform lifts also have minimal impact on the curb appeal of the home. 

Vertical Platform Lifts are often desired over ramps in the following situations:

  • There is not enough space for a ramp.

  • The rise to the entryway is more than 3 feet.

  • The homeowner uses a manual wheelchair. 

  • The home is in a climate where there is snow and ice. 

  • Curb appeal is a concern. 

 

Many factors must be considered when evaluating the pros and cons of vertical platform lift vs. a traditional ramp. The experts at HomeAid will be able assist you in determining the best option for you individual needs.  

 

Please click on the logos below to learn more about the vertical lifts HomeAid offers.

 

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 Doors and Hallways 

Narrow hallways and doorways can make maneuvering within the home difficult and unsafe if the homeowner uses a walker or wheelchair for mobility. Narrow doorways can cause injury if the homeowner's hand is caught between the door frame and wheelchair or walker, and walkers can catch the door frame causing the homeowner to lose their balance and fall. By widening doorways and hallways homeowners can more easily maneuver within their home, which decreases the risk of falls or injury, and gives the homeowner more independence as they find their home to be more accessible.

 

Additional modification below may improve the safety and independence of the homeowner. 

  • Automatic door openers for homeowners that use a scooter or wheelchair.

  • Automatic door locks for homeowners that may forget to lock their doors.

  • Keyless entry at the front door so homeowners don't have to manage keys.

  • Installation of a pocket door in situation where a swinging door crowds a small space. 

  • A vertical split door when it is necessary to decrease the footprint of a swinging door. 

There are many options to consider with trying to improve the overall accessibility of a home that has narrow hallways and doorways. HomeAid can help you identify solutions that will allow you to maneuver within your home both safely and with greater ease. 

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Fall Prevention

Each year 3 million people over the age of 65 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries resulting from a fall, and 1 in 5 falls result in a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury. In addition, once a homeowner falls they often develop a fear of falling. This fear of falling often leads to a more sedentary life style, which can cause numerous health issues, weakness and general poor mobility. It's clear to see why the most important factor of successfully aging-in-place is minimizing the risk of falls. 

In order to truly minimize falls a complete home evaluation (inside and out) needs to be performed. Inside the home, consideration needs to be given to eliminating or minimizing thresholds, ensuring proper lighting in low light areas such as hallways and stairs, and eliminating trip hazards such as rugs, high profile carpet, and tight/cluttered spaces. Slip resistant flooring should also be considered in the bathroom and areas of the home that get wet.

 

Outside the home, uneven pavers and sidewalks need to be repaired, uneven decking needs to be replaced, and stairs need to have sturdy railing and be slip resistant. In certain situation stairs may need to be replaced by a ramp or vertical platform lift. If the homeowner like to spend time in the yard, consideration should be given to hazards such as uneven and sloping ground and exposed root.  

There are countless fall hazards inside and outside the home. HomeAid will help you identify and minimize those hazards so you can continue to enjoy the comforts of your home safely for years to come.