1.1. Home Care Safety and Easy Access
Home Care Safety and Easy Access
If you're new to caregiving, you might not have had time to think about home safety or what you can do to make it easier for the loved one you're caring for to get around at home. Many standard features that most of us take for granted in the home can be major barriers or even dangers to the elderly and individuals with disabilities. Doorknobs can be difficult to use for anyone with limited hand strength or impaired motor skills; throw rugs can be a hazard to anyone who has difficulty lifting their feet when they walk; and an overcrowded kitchen can prevent someone in a wheel chair from preparing their own meals. Fortunately, safety and easy access go hand in hand, and some minor, often inexpensive changes to a home can go a long way toward improving both.
To get started thinking about home safety and changes you might want to make, visit the Easter Seals Web site for an excellent guide to home safety and easy access housing. The site includes information on low-cost ways to make your home more accessible for individuals with mobility problems and also provides an easy-to-use home safety checklist.
AARP offers many tips that frail individuals, individuals with disabilities, or caregivers can use to help make decisions about home modifications to improve safety and independence.
A wealth of information on home safety and modifications is available from homemods.org. This Web site includes a section entitled "Home Modification for Caregivers," which has variety of fact sheets, resource lists, and other useful publications.
Accessible Design is run by Paralyzed Veterans of America. Also PVA staff will field technical questions on accessible design. Call 1-800-424-8200
Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST - Covers issues for consumers as well as professionals. Click on Resources.
©2004 National Family Caregivers Association and the National Alliance for Caregiving