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  • Writer's pictureMy Handyman of Savannah

5 Ways to Make Your Home Accessible, with a Handyman, for Aging Parents

In an ideal world, our parents would enjoy a stress-free retirement, staying active and healthy until their final days. Sadly, this isn’t always the case for many of us, as we continue to struggle with high costs of living and a challenging job market. Many adult children find themselves moving back home to provide care for aging parents. Whether you are providing short-term care or have made arrangements to move in permanently, making your home more accessible is a great way to ease the strain on everyone involved. Consider these 5 tips when hiring a handyman who can help with renovations so that your parents can continue to live there with ease. 1) Ensure Safe Pathways The first step in making your home more accessible is to ensure that there are no hazards on the pathways between rooms. For example, carpets that are worn or frayed can be a tripping hazard for anyone, but especially for people with limited mobility. Cords that are not properly tucked away can cause someone to trip, and it may be difficult for parents to move them. A good option is to install a wood or tile floor, or you may be able to hire a handyman to install a rug that is easy to clean and low-maintenance. When it comes to the pathways outside the house, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure there is nothing hazardous on the walkways, such as loose boards or uneven ground. Second, you want to make sure the walkways are wide enough for wheelchairs. Ideally, walkways should be a minimum of 36 inches wide. Third, you want to make sure you have a ramp that is safe for you and your parents to use. Ideally, the ramp should be made of a slip-resistant material and have handrails on both sides. 2) Install Wheelchair-Accessible Showers Having a wheelchair-accessible shower can be an important addition to your home. Having a shower with easy-to-maneuver controls and a gentle slope from the head to the bottom of the shower can make a huge difference in the lives of your parents. You can add a wheelchair-accessible shower by replacing the shower with a new one that is designed for wheelchairs. You can also modify an existing shower by adding a wall-mounted bench to replace the standard shower bench. A wheelchair-accessible shower gives your parents more freedom to shower when they want, as well as who they want. The water won’t rise to a level where your parent can’t keep their feet under it, and they can stay in the shower as long as they want. Having a wheelchair-accessible shower can make a big difference, both physically and emotionally, as it gives your parents more independence. 3) Create Aisles and Paths With Coir Mats Or Tiles If a room in your home is being used as an extra bedroom or a craft or office space, you may want to create a path through the room to make it easier for your parents to navigate the space. One way to do this is to use coir mats or tiles, which are designed to be easy to move around. Coir mats are made from natural fibers and come in a wide variety of colors. They are also available in many different sizes, and you can create an aisle as wide or narrow as you want. For a room that is being used for daily living, such as a kitchen, you may want to install tiles, which come in a wide variety of colors and styles. They are often made from ceramic or vinyl, so they are easy to clean. You can install tiles along the walls or in a path that connects different rooms in the house. 4) Add Handrails And Stair Rails As your parent’s mobility declines, it may become necessary to add handrails to both the upper and lower floors of the house. Having handrails along the railings of stairs will help prevent falls down the stairs and make the stairs safer for everyone. If you have wooden stairs, you may want to consider installing wood stair rails; if you have carpeted stairs, you may want to install metal stairs rails. Having a handyman install handrails and stair rails can make a big difference in your parents’ daily lives. Having handrails on all the stairs makes it easier for them to navigate the house and makes it safer for everyone. Having stair rails can provide a helpful barrier, keeping people from falling backwards on the stairs. 5) Install Lever Doors And Fencing If your home is on a level that doesn’t have an accessible entrance, you may want to consider adding a lever door to make it easier for your parents to enter and leave the house. Having a lever door is easier for your parents than opening a traditional door and can make it easier for everyone to come and go, especially in bad weather. Having a lever door is also a good idea if your home is on a level that does not have an accessible entrance. You can add a lever door by installing a new door or replacing an existing door with a lever door. You can also add a lever door to an existing door by installing a lever lock, which will replace the inside doorknob. You can also hire a handyman to install an accessible gate at the bottom of your stairs. Conclusion From ensuring safe pathways to installing wheelchair-accessible showers, there are many things you can do to make your home more accessible for aging parents. These renovations can be costly, which is why hiring a handyman can be a great way to make your home more accessible while saving time and money. A handyman can help with renovations that make your home more accessible, such as installing wheelchair-accessible showers or installing lever door or gate.

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