By: Jim Whittington, Business Development & Accessibility Specialist at Lifeway Mobility

At Lifeway Mobility, we understand that accessible housing is vital to the independence of individuals with limited mobility.  Since 1991, we have been providing home modification solutions that make your home safer and better suited to your needs.  Our experts have an average of 19 years in the field of accessibility, and will evaluate your needs, provide smart solutions, and supervise every aspect of the home modification to help improve home accessibility.   

Home Modifications to Increase Safety and Decrease the Risk of a Fall

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 older adults (age 65+) fall each year.  Many of these falls can be prevented by making the home safer and more accessible.

Three common areas of concern are getting in and out of the house, getting up and down the stairs, and bathroom safety. An accessibility assessment of the home environment followed by modifications including grab bars, ramps, stair lifts, and tub cut-outs, can increase home safety and reduce the risk of a fall.

In and Out of the House

Many times, individuals with limited mobility have trouble getting in and out of their homes due to the hurdle of stairs and concern over the risk of falling. Fixing loose or uneven steps, adding lighting, installing railings, and removing clutter are all ways to increase safety.  Some situations call for a ramp or stairlift.   Lifeway Mobility provides and installs ramps, exterior stairlifts and railings to help increase safety. Both ramps and stairlifts are available for rental as well as purchase.

Up and Down the Stairs

For those with limited mobility or balance issues, the stairs can be difficult to navigate and can present the risk of a fall.  One of our clients contacted us after a fall on the stairs in his home while going down the stairs from his second floor to the main floor of his home.  After the resulting stay in the hospital, he chose to install a stairlift for increased safety and to avoid another fall. This not only decreased the risk of another fall.  This choice provided peace of mind, and increased independence. To hear the story in his own words, click here.

Removing throw rugs, picking up clutter and installing railings are other suggestions for decreasing the risk of a fall.

Bathroom safety

The bathroom is an area with a high risk of a fall, with the potential for wet, slippery floors and lots of transfers.  A simple, budget-friendly and effective way to decrease fall risk in the bathroom is the proper installation of a grab bar or safety pole.  This can provide help to safely get up and down off the toilet, or in and out of the tub or shower. Lifeway offers a range of solutions to reduce fall risk, including grab bars, floor-to-ceiling safety poles, barrier-free, accessible showers, and walk-in tubs.

Our consultants can show you options to meet your needs, customized for you, your home, and your budget.  

Other ideas include adding a transfer bench or shower chair in the tub or shower and adding non-slip strips on the floor of the tub or shower.

Evaluations – Key to Preventing Falls at home

For all these scenarios, the key is an evaluation of the home to determine which solution fits best. 

An evaluation of the home environment along with an assessment of the individual is key to determining which modifications will increase home safety upon discharge.    “A home safety assessment with individualized safety modifications in conjunction with an exercise program can reduce the likelihood of a fall and keep people at home,” says Tracy VanOss, clinical professor of Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT.

Lifeway Mobility offers a free consultation, either in the home or performed remotely, with a home accessibility expert.  This consultation includes looking at the home and discussing the individual’s needs, their budget and reviewing options to increase home accessibility.  This allows an individual to make an informed decision as to what modifications will work best for them.

Get More Information about Lifeway Mobility

If you need help, Lifeway Mobility is here for you and your family.  To contact Lifeway Mobility with questions or to set up a free consultation, contact Jim Whittington by phone at (847) 514-0838, or by email:  jim.whittington@lifewaymobility.com.  To learn more about Lifeway Mobility, visit our website at www.lifewaymobility.com