Disability is a physical or mental impairment that limits a person’s movements, senses, and activities. It may be present since birth or may occur during a person’s lifetime. Disability is an umbrella term and covers any form of impairment that might slow down or lead to complete inability of doing household tasks.
Being able to function like a regular person within the confines of your home is the number one concern of disabled individuals. If the patient is physically handicapped, he might face difficulty in rising from bed, or getting into the chair, from from chair to toilet and back, reaching for objects kept at height, reaching for items kept in the kitchen cabinets, using common furnitures like couches and recliners, climbing any form of staircase and the list is endless. Disability in the form of visual impairment or complete blindness, also hinders the daily chores. Being with a caregiver, all the time, or being under a 24 X 7 medical supervision, becomes impractical at a certain point. There will come a point in every disabled person’s life, where he/she will have to get back to their own feet, at least to manage their daily living at home. This is the point where the latest technologies and modern day bio-physics come to play.
Household mobility aids are created to make life easier for the mobility challenged and also to help those with dexterity problems. Various mobility products are now in the market which can be used to increase mobility within the household. Such daily living aids allows individuals to travel between rooms, take showers without dangerous bathroom accidents, go up and down the stairs and many other simple tasks that everyone takes for granted. The market identifies the needs of the disabled and continuously comes out with mobility products that will greatly benefit the disabled.
Importance of mobility aids
Without a doubt, personal safety and independent living are the topmost reasons for the innovative mobility aids that we see today. Innovators are continuously looking to improve the lives of disabled people and provide them with devices that may work as daily living aids in order to make everyday a little bit easier. Not only are these disability aids now being widely used, they are becoming an important part of thousands of individuals’ lives who are benefiting everyday from some form of household mobility aids.
These mobility products are designed for the handicapped, as well as the senior and elderly who have lost the control of one of more muscles in their body and have difficulty getting around. Some people have difficulty with the smallest of tasks which we take for granted, such as bending down to pick up a dropped towel, washing plates, walking up the stairs or even just turning a key. These mobility aids provide make such tasks easy again for disabled individuals and allow them to lead a normal life.
Modifying the home to suit the disabled family member
- Bedroom and Dressing: The bedroom should be equipped with alarms and monitors for emergencies. The patient should have an adjustable backrest with head cushions. A patient helper over bed pole hoist can be installed, for the person to grab hold and sit up on the bed. Grab rails and wedges can also be installed at the side of beds, to help the patients to get up. An overbed / chair table will help the patient to take his meals or to some laptop or paper work easily.
- Bathroom: The bathroom of disabled person must be installed with bath and shower boards, bath mats, bath cushions, grab bars, bath seats, bath steps, and shower chairs and stools.
- Sitting room: chair raisers, cushions, leg and foot rests. Various folding and non-folding walking frames and walkers with the variation of availability of wheels are also available. The wheelchairs are now available in the form of power chairs which are remote or battery operated.
Useful aids for daily living
There are innumerable amounts of mobility aids that are now available in various stores and locations. These are specifically create to address certain common issues faced by disabled and mobility challenged individuals. Some of the most commonly used and sold items today are:
- Wheel chair and scooter ramps: They maintain access to home and increase the quality of life. It helps the smooth and safe transition of wheel chairs over steps and doorways. These come in various sizes and range from lightweight and portable to heavier ramps, specifically designed for heavy duty use.
- Stair lift chair : This mobility aid device is created for individuals who have stairs within their house. This electric mechanized device allows the individual to be transferred up and down the stairs while being seated on a wheel chair.
- Bathroom chair : These chairs are specifically designed for bathrooms to assist in handicap mobility. They are water resistant and have non slip handles and wheels. It allows for easy transfer to and from the bathtubs. Custom designed swing doors are often required and preferred in order to allow such chairs to be accessible.
- Shower seats and stools: These are height adjustable stools and are made for people who cannot stand in shower. These are foldable and can be attached to the wall beneath the shower, to be opened as and when required.
- Mobility scooters : are very convenient disability aids that allow individuals with weak walking abilities to move around over extended periods of time.
- Bed mobility aids : Several custom adjustments can be made to beds in order to make it more comfortable for a disabled individual. Adjustments may include adjustable back rests, side railings, leg raisers or attached bed tables.
- Grab rails : These mobility aids can be installed in virtually all parts of the house. Simple railings can make it much easier for the mobility challenged to move around all over the house.
- Key extenders and turners : A small key may be impossible to use for some people. A key extender may be attached to a regular key to extend the surface area of the key. A key turner may also be used to get a better grip on the key.
- Grips : Grips may be put over things like a door knob, on tables, or even on the floor. The non-slip feature of this disability aid allows a person to get a better grip on slippery objects and ensures safety around the house.
Accessibility within one’s home is the most important thing to all individuals. Increasing mobility through disability aids gives more freedom to a person and allows them to do daily tasks with little or no help from others. Simple daily living aids like the ones mentioned here and many more contribute to a much better and safer home environment for disabled people. Everyday there are new mobility aids that are being discovered which makes it a little bit easier to complete daily chores.