If you were to make a checklist of your priorities when doing home upgrades, you’d probably make sure to consider style, finishes, colors, and materials of any products you bring in. While these are all important considerations, how many of us think about how a product enhances our home’s safety or accessibility?
There’s a misguided notion that safety and accessibility products are strictly for the benefit of the elderly and consist mostly of dull metallic mobility chairs and bath bars. These products, however, can help create independent living for people of all ages. Whether you’re coping with a mobility-impairing upper body injury for an indeterminate period of time or dealing with a common condition that limits dexterity (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome), there are many ways you can make your home safer and easier to move around in. And safety and convenience in the home benefits every member of the family.
Check out these products that help enable safe, independent living:
- Touch-on/Touchless faucets and Touch-on lamps – We present to you – as seen in the photo above – Exhibit A that safety and accessibility does not have to take a back seat to style. These faucets and lamps combine sleek, striking aesthetics with easy functionality that doesn’t require straining impaired extremities trying to turn small, tight knobs and switches to operate them. We tend to take these things for granted, but someone coping with limited hand movement due to age or injury sure doesn’t.
- Magnification and glare reducing lighting – This type of lighting helps reduce visual strain, yet stands out only in how polished and contemporary it looks.
- Grab bars and non-slip mats for the bath – Stability is especially important in the bathroom where sudden falls or stumbles onto hard surfaces can be devastating. This isn’t an issue just for people with mobility impairments. Even the able bodied can slip and fall in a bathroom. Install these easy-to-grip products to make bathroom navigation a snap for virtually anyone.
- Reachers and Grabbers – We tend to take the full use of hands and arms as a given, but anyone recovering from upper-body surgery can find themselves coping with muscle weakness or reduced reach. Leg or back injuries also make it difficult to bend for commonplace items. In these cases, reachers/grabbers are quite the lifesaver, as they come in a variety of lengths and can lift up to 5 lbs. of weight
- Wheelchair/threshold ramps – For many, access to a building or room is the most important safety and accessibility issue they’ll have to deal with. If you or a relative is limited to a wheelchair or rollator, these ramps are invaluable. They smooth transitions from outside to inside and from room to room, which is crucial in independent living. Some are even portable and easily stored away if you’re just catering to a mobility-impaired visitor for a limited time.
- Rollators and Wheelchairs – These are the most traditional and recognizable mobility devices, but that doesn’t mean you only have traditional choices available. The Home Depot has a wide selection of vibrant colors, diverse styles, and functionality options that let you tailor the device to any individual.
For more help on making your home more safe and accessible, visit The Home Depot’s Independent Living page. You will find expert tips and guidance on how to transform virtually any room in your home.