Dorothy had a stroke. She was hospitalized for a few weeks, then she went to a rehabilitation facility for a few more weeks to build up her strength. She couldn’t wait to get home. Likewise, her family was eager to have Dorothy home. They counted the days until she could return. (51)
When Dorothy did come home one Friday afternoon the neighbors had to lift the wheelchair up onto the front porch, Dorothy couldn’t fit her wheelchair into the bathroom, the light switches were too high, the shower was inaccessible, and Dorothy couldn’t get out of her favorite recliner. She was heartbroken. (101)
They say that Home Is Where The Heart Is, but when faced with injury, disease, or advancing age, living at home can be quite a challenge. You and your family face obstacles that you never had to think about, and day to day living tasks can become difficult or impossible. (151)
If staying in your home is what you want, then there is good news on the horizon. The good news is that there are a host of solutions to the problems that you may be facing. First, there’s the home itself. As we have all discovered, homes are made to be tinkered with. In order to allow wheelchair access, doorways can be widened or custom hinges can be installed to change the swing of a door. Countertops can be reconfigured to allow improved accessibility. Flooring can be modified to increase or decrease friction. Cabinets can be moved, ramps can be installed (either custom or pre-fab), and furniture can be modified or rearranged. (263)
Adaptive equipment can also eliminate obstacles to independence. An elevator or stair glide system can enable you to get to other levels of the house. Tub or shower benches can allow greater independence with bathing. Beds or chairs can be raised or lowered. Lift chairs can help make getting up or reclining back an effortless process. Toilets can be modified to improve accessibility. And, of course, grab bars (either wall mounted, or floor to ceiling mounted) can be life savers. (343)
Additionally, in home nursing and therapy services are available, as are community resources to help with transportation, in home personal care, respite care, home modification, or financial management needs. Wading through the options available to you can be daunting. Advice from a professional in the industry can often times save you time, energy, and money. But it’s important to know that there are many ways to optimize living at home. (413)
For more information on how you can thrive at home, call the professionals at Optimal Living Consultants, Inc. 303/834-5077.