Around one in five adults in the UK are disabled, which can often cause complications when it comes to living independently or accessibility in and around the home.
While many people live in specialised care centres or have a live-in carer, many others like to live independently; in fact, over one million of the UK’s disabled population live alone.
However, living alone can sometimes be a little tricky for people with certain disabilities, and day-to-day tasks can often present a challenge in various situations around the house.
Independent Living Made Easy!
At Into Independence, we specialise in making structures much more accessible and safe for disabled people looking to live independently. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at the various ways you can make each room in your home safer and more accessible for those with disabilities.
For those with disabilities or mobility issues, using the bathroom can be potentially hazardous. Bathroom tiles and flooring can easily become slippery when bathing or showering, and the flexibility required to navigate some bathroom layouts can sometimes be tricky for anyone!
Firstly, spacious walk-in showers are perfect for those who have larger bathrooms to transform. Creating a wetroom to wash in takes away any need to climb in and out of an enclosure.
There are also models available with low doors which can be suited to those with more restricting mobility issues who don’t have the space to create a wetroom. These models often feature a more traditional shower tray and drain, rather than a tiled floor base.
Additionally, securely fixing hand rails beside toilet, bath and shower areas allows for extra leverage when moving around the bathroom, providing a great deal of security in those potentially hazardous areas.
Walk-in baths are a fantastic solution for anyone looking to enjoy all of the comfort and relaxation of a bath, without contending with the struggle of climbing in and out of the unit. Instead, the owner can simply open a watertight door to access and exit the bath and simply make their way in and out as they please.
The kitchen is an important room in every home. Not only is it the best place to find all of those tasty snacks and treats, but it gives access to appliances that are a mainstay of our daily lives and routines. From washing and drying clothes to preparing meals each day, a functional and accessible kitchen is vital commodity.
Kitchens designed for those with disabilities and mobility issues come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, meaning an easy-access kitchen area is never out of reach.
Alternative Working Heights
For wheelchair users, kitchen suites are available with lower surfaces and fitted appliances. This means ovens, microwaves, basins and appliances can be comfortable accessed without overstretching or risking injury.
These suites are also available with wall mounted units and basin areas, meaning there is additional room for wheelchair access underneath the worktop areas.
Eating & Drinking Aids
There are a number of disabilities that can make eating a little tricky such as tremors, weakened grip and swallowing problems. Luckily, there are a number of great products on the market that make eating and drinking much more manageable.
Firstly, this cutlery set is designed for users with reduced grip. Both the fork and spoon have a ‘S shape’ handle which discreetly provides extra support when lifting and maneuvering the cutlery. The knife’s round grip allows it to sit comfortably in the hand, whether large or small.
This set of plates have a slanted interior base and a discrete protruding lip. These simple features make it much easier for users who have one hand to access food with either a fork or spoon.
Finally, for those who have swallowing problems, this mug featuring a cone-shaped interior makes drinking much simpler by removing the need for the user to tilt their head backwards while taking a sip, but still allows room for the user’s nose.
The Living Room
For most people, the living room is a relaxing space where we can unwind and catch up on our favourite TV shows and films, so it stands to reason that the features and furniture in the room should be comfortable and easy to enter and exit!
Here are a few great examples of living room furniture which make relaxing in front of the TV a easier and more comfortable.
‘Rise and Recline’ armchairs are great for relaxing and enjoying some quiet time in front of the TV. They also allow you to raise your legs and sit in a position which suits you best. If you have found it a struggle to get up from your armchair in the past, then a powered rise and recliner can make it much easier to get out of the chair whenever you like.
For portable seating assistance that you can take along to any seating area (even on holiday!), chair raisers are extremely handy. These handy products hold each leg firmly, adding an extra 4 – 7 inches of height to the chair seat – which makes all the difference to someone who struggles to raise from a chair unaided.
Nothing beats a long relaxing sleep in a comfortable and easily-accessible bedroom, and sleeping in a space that is difficult to access or leave isn’t relaxing at all! Again, there are some specialist products on the market that can make accessing and sleeping in your bedroom considerably simpler.
Here are just a few of the many great bedroom products that can help those with disabilities or mobility problems:
Adjustable beds are very popular for use in the home, and with good reason. With a wide range of models available in both single and double sizes such as ‘adjustable head and foot’ and ‘hi-low action’, you can be sure to find an adjustable bed that meets your needs and also provides plenty of space for two. Many double models split both sides’ control mechanisms, meaning you can control each side of the bed independently. Similarly, ‘combination beds’ also offer two adjustable sides, which allow users to enjoy independent function on either side of the bed for individual comfort and needs.
Beds to ‘Sit and Stand’
For those who have trouble getting in and out of bed, these models may be of better use. Rotating chair beds combine an adjustable bed with powered assistance to get in and out of bed. With a single push of a button the user can move between a sitting and lying position.These models are available in both single and double sizes, and each side can be moved independently.