For Veterans who need a more accessible living space, outfitting your home for walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and other assistive devices requires forethought and planning. But it doesn’t have to involve major renovation projects or big budgets. Here are some fixes you, your family or a helpful handyman can do to help make your home safer to get around.
Take a look throughout your entire home. Where do you see the potential for falls, slips, trips or getting stuck? Enlist some help to remove these hazards. Remove all throw rugs and mats. These items can cause slips and falls, and walkers, canes and wheelchairs are apt to catch on them. Replace all door units and trim door frames if they aren’t wide enough to fit a wheelchair or walker through comfortably. You can also swap regular door hinges with expandable offset door hinges. These are designed to swing the door clear of the opening, which adds about two extra inches to the doorframe. You can buy these hinges at hardware stores or order them online. Install a ramp. Different length ramps are available at many hardware stores and online. They are portable or easy to install. Bring items closer to your level. High cabinets are hard to reach, even with mechanical reachers. Move everyday items, such as dishes and utensils in the kitchen or towels and toiletries in the bathroom, to lower-level cabinets. Or put everyday items in bins with handles. This way, you can pick them up and place them on