Welcoming a Wheelchair Bound Family Member into Your Home

Life for someone in a wheelchair presents challenges just about anywhere that person goes. The person is continuously required to do extra work, with some of it being physically exhausting, and other work being very mentally challenging for them.

With such obstacles in the outside world, the home can often be a sanctuary where a wheelchair-bound person can be comfortable and accommodated. However if they move to a new home environment, it is unlikely that this new place will be set up to accommodate their disabilities, and provide for them adequate comfort.

If you are welcoming a wheelchair-bound family member into your home to live with you, you need to be sensitive to these issues and do all you can to ensure their well-being. This will include doing some modifications to your home that allow for their unique and specific needs.

Here are things that you can do to modify your home so that your wheelchair-bound relative finds it easier to be comfortable there.

A Stair Lift

If your home is more than one floor and your wheelchair-bound relative needs access to the second floor, this is big challenge. Taking a wheelchair up and down a flight of stairs is not only very difficult, is extremely dangerous. Wheelchairs are heavy and a chore to maneuver up and down steps. When you add in the weight of the person in the chair, and the typical angle of stairs, chances are an accident will occur.

One great option for providing your wheelchair-bound relative unlimited access to the second floor, is one that is becoming increasingly popular. You could get a stair lift that will work flawlessly with any type of stairs, no matter their style or height. The person in the wheelchair is transported up the stairs while sitting on a chair like mechanism that glides just above the stairs. These electric devices are simple to operate and provide a degree of autonomy and confidence to your relative. Stair lifts are very safe and reliable and can be installed by service people in less than a day.

Modified Bathroom Shower and Fixtures

For someone in a wheelchair, the bathroom can be the most challenging room in the house. Typical bathrooms are not set up to accommodate them and as a result most of the things in it are simply not usable. Disabled people need an ability to clean themselves, which requires showers that have wide doors and that allow for the wheelchair to be rolled into it, or for there to be a bench in the shower where the person can sit and bathe. There also needs to be a handheld shower head and an ample length of hose.

The toilet also needs to be positioned so that the person in the wheelchair can get on and off it easily. Finally, the sink needs to be set in such a way that the person in the wheelchair can pull up to it and use it without the assistance of anyone else. Make sure to also install mirrors low enough for the person to see and do any personal grooming.

There is no doubt that having someone in a wheelchair come live with you, will mean you have to make changes to your home. However, this is really a small price to pay in order to ensure that you’re disabled relative is as comfortable as possible. After a short while, you will hardly notice the changes, but for your relative, it will make a world of difference.