The desire to live out our golden years at home has always been nearly universal, with four out five seniors expressing the wish to remain at home and not move to a retirement community or assisted living facility.
This year has added new urgency to that desire as elder care facilities have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 40% of related deaths occurring in such places. Now, the wish to remain at home is further fueled by the fear of risking infection in close quarters.
With that as a backdrop, the demand for aging-in-place solutions is high, and while each family’s situation is unique, mobility is often a major hurdle to remaining at home. “Mobility,” of course, is a broad term, and solutions might be as simple as installing grab bars or as complex as a home remodel to incorporate a curbless shower,walk-in tub, wider doorways, eliminate steps or increase lighting. Some solutions might be temporary, to allow for rehabilitation from illness / injury, or permanent.
Here are some potential solutions to at-home mobility issues:
Stair lifts: The ability to safely negotiate stairs is often the first mobility issue encountered as we age. Stair lifts can make it possible for an individual to continue using all levels of the house and maintain their independence. Stair lifts have a small footprint, can be designed for straight, curved or multi-flight stairs, and can be easily removed when the need no longer exists. They are among the most popular improvements for increased mobility. Outdoor stairlifts are also available, providing ease of entering / exiting the home or just providing easy access to the joys of using the backyard patio.
Home elevators: A different solution to the same problem, home elevators have greatly increased in popularity. They allow a user to avoid stairs completely, and some can even accommodate a wheelchair. Again, the footprint for installation is very compact and requires only a single opening to be created in the ceiling/floor, so this modification is also easily reversed should the elevator ever be removed.
Platform lifts: Sometimes the issue is not getting around the house but getting in and out. A platform lift allows an individual with a wheelchair to access the home when outside stairs aren’t manageable. Platform lifts can be an excellent and compact alternative to a ramp, which sometimes requires a lot of yard space to meet current city / county codes.
Questions about the best solutions to allow your loved ones to remain at home? Contact Next Day Mobility.