When thinking about home modifications ask yourself these simple questions:
Can I move from my house to the street with ease?
Can I move around my home easily and safely?
Can I use my kitchen easily and safely?
Is my bathroom convenient and safe?
Does the furniture arrangement in my home suit by needs?
How conveniently can I do the laundry?
Are all controls in the house accessible and easy to use?
Universal Design ... considers human needs and abilities throughout the life span, serving the entire population regardless of age, stature, size or physical ability. Everyone benefits. Some features include:
Lighting targeted for specific tasks
Color selection to define spaces for people with visual problems
Reinforced walls for grab bars and stair rails
Electrical outlets withing easy reach while sitting or standing
Thoughtful kitchen and bath designs
Adaptable/Adjustable ... modifications are those that are specific to the needs of the individual as a result of changing physical and mental conditions. Some examples include:
A portable shower seat
Adjustable counters and sinks
Adjustable closet rods
Locator lights on switches
Sliding shelving at appropriate heights
Adaptive equipment such as reachers, raised toilet seats, personal care aids, transfer aids and home accessories.
Permanent ... modifications are not adjustable or easily removed, but can greatly increase independence, quality of life and ease caregiver responsibility. Some examples include:
Transfer or roll-in shower
Low pile carpet for ease of wheelchair or walker mobility