As you get older you may find it harder to manage in your home. However, you may be able to stay in your home for longer if it is adapted to meet your needs.
If you are having difficulty getting in and out of your property there are ways to make it easier. If you have difficulty climbing the steps leading to your front door, you could have a rail installed or you may need a ramp which can help you reach the front door.
If you have difficulty getting to the front door when someone calls, you could consider installing a door-entry intercom, where you talk to the visitor via an intercom link and then walk to the front ddor, or where you press a button to open the door. Another option is a key safe, where the key is held in a secure box that can only be opened by someone who knows the code.
If the facilities in your property – your toilet, bathroom, kitchen – are on different floors you may be finding it increasingly difficult to keep using the stairs. It may be possible to install a second banister rail on the stairs or to fit a stairlift to make it easier for you to get up and down the stairs.
Getting in and out of bed, or up from a chair, becomes difficult for many older people. Items called raisers can be fitted to beds and chairs to increase their height. You can also get powered riser-recliner chairs and specialist beds that raise the user into a position where they can stand or lower the user into a sitting or lying position.
Loss of mobility and balance can make it increasingly difficult to wash and bathe or to use the toilet in a standard bathroom. Adapted baths or bath lifts are available to make it easier for you to get in and out of the bath. It is also sometimes possible for level access showers, or 'wet rooms' to be installed.
Contact your local authority social work department for an assessment of your needs and to find out what assistance is available with adaptations to help you access your home.
Contact the Disabled Living Foundation for details of equipment available to make life easier in the home.
Ricability produces a range of consumer guides with practical information on choosing products for older and disabled people.
Disabled Living Centres stock a wide range of products that you can try to see if they might be useful. www.assis-uk.org
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An information guide explaining the types of adaptations and equipment that are available to you.
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