Posted on June 20, 2010
As people get older, they have differing ideas about how they want to spend their time. For some it’s the golf course or learning to paint, for others it means spending a lot of time with grandchildren and watching them grow through their interests.
If there is one thing people share about the aging experience, it is the desire to remain independent. After working hard and rearing a family, older people don’t want to have to depend on others unless it’s necessary.
How many times have you heard someone say, “I don’t want to be a burden?”
Fortunately, it is becoming easier for men and women – living alone or with others – to remain in their homes even if their mobility is compromised.
Newer buildings often have wider doors to bathrooms and bedrooms, to make it easy for someone to take a wheelchair into those rooms. And there are ways to easily raise the height of a toilet seat.
In housing complexes designed for elders, kitchen counters and bathroom sinks can be lower, for the convenience of wheelchair users.
But most folks don’t want to leave the home they’ve enjoyed just because of age. For one thing, the home they live in is probably paid for.
If you don’t live in an elevator building, steps leading to the house are probably an obstacle. And building a permanent wheelchair ramp is not always practical or desirable. For some homes it’s not feasible, either because of the design of the house, the nature of the property or even restrictive zoning codes, such as historic districts.
It’s possible, though, to have a ramp that leads directly to the stairs but does not have to be permanently attached. A modular ramp that you can rent or buy is a good solution for people who’ve recently had surgery, for example, or long term, for those who are managing chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes.
Standard house components like thresholds can also pose a threat or make a home impassable for wheelchair users, but threshold ramps installed in the house can overcome what has become an obstacle to residents who want to remain in their neighborhood and among their friends.
Another way to remain in a home without a fully updated bathroom is having a portable shower, which could even be used in the kitchen; it hooks up to any faucet. This often provides the ideal solution for residents who do not have a full bathroom with showering facilities on the first floor of their homes.
As millions more Americans age, more products that make aging in place possible are coming to the marketplace. Whether investigating products and manufacturers online or via the trusty telephone, consumers should purchase these products – or rent them – from reputable dealers, merchants, and/or manufacturers. It makes sense to ask for – and check – references, with previous customers and the Better Business Bureau. Elder Affairs agencies, local Centers on Aging, and health agencies often provide resources also.
Amramp is a national organization with local, factory-trained professionals and with local inventory located throughout the country. To learn more about Amramp’s modular steel wheelchair ramp system, call toll-free at 888-715-7598.