Living in a safe, accessible home requires certain products implemented into the home to provide a safe, functional and comfortable home for our older adults and disabled population. Today I will provide you a list of my top 10 favorite Universal Design Products that will help make your home Suitable for YOU…
- Comfort Height or Wall Toilets– Most standard toilets are 14”-15” in height which is low for people to transfer on and off of. Using a comfort height toilet ranging from 17”-19” in height makes it easier for home-owners to use, and helps reduce fall risks. Wall-mounted toilets can be installed at the appropriate height for the home-owner and makes it easier for cleaning below the toilet seat.
- Safety Tubs/Walk-In Tubs-Stepping over a bath tub can be dangerous, and cause the home owner to slip or fall. Installing a safety tub, offers the home-owner the benefit of taking a bath safely. There are numerous types of safety tubs that are available. Walk-in tubs make getting into and out of the tub unproblematic. The doors are water tight, and the seat inside the walk-in tubs offers comfort and safety for the home-owner. There are also tubs that have a built in edge seat large enough to sit on and transfer your legs over the tub walls while sitting. This offers safety and ease for the consumers.
- Touchless Faucet-These faucets work with sensors. The touchless faucets use a presence sensor to detect when your hand is under the faucet. When you remove your hands the water will automatically stop. Touchless faucets are easy for people to use who have a weak grasp or no grasp ability in their hands. They also do not require much reaching to turn on the water, which helps with those that have decreased upper extremity range of motion or shoulder injuries/pain.
- Lever Handles- Let us talk a little bit about handles throughout the home. Using a lever handle is imperative for and accessible home. They can be operated with one hand. A tight grasp, pinching or twisting of the wrist is not required to use lever handles. Round handles are not considered accessible equipment. They require tight grasping and twisting motions to manage the door knobs.
- Freezer Drawers and Refrigerator Drawers- Freezer drawers are easily accessible for those in a wheel chair. They are easy to reach and open effortlessly. Refrigerator drawers are accessible as well and do not require much bending which reduces fall risks for the home-owners.
- Flat Rocker Style Light Switches-These light switches can be operated with an open hand, closed fist or an elbow. They do not require gripping or pinching like the toggle switches. They are easy to use and very accessible. A must have for your accessible home.
- Zero Clearance Shower Drains (Line Drains)- These drains help you eliminate the barriers and thresholds in showers. They are easily accessible for a wheelchair.
- Accessible Stove/Oven-The controls on these ADA complaint ovens are located on the front panel, making it easy to reach. With these ovens, reaching over hot burners can be avoided. They can be used with one hand as well.
- Front Loading Washing Machines-These great inventions allow loading and unloading from a wheelchair or a chair/seated walker. The controls are at eye level which adds to the accessibility of these appliances. Some front loading washing machines offer wide doors, which makes it easier for wheelchair users or chair sitters to reach the clothing.
- Pull Down Cabinets/Clothing Rods-I have to admit, these Universal Design Products are my favorite. They offer easy accessibility to dishes, kitchen items and clothing. They are very cool products. A must have!!!!
These are my top 10 favorite products that should be used in an accessible home. There are hundreds of other products to help you live in your home safely and functionally. Do the research. Get on the Web. Utilize these and other products in your home to make it easier for you to stay living there. Any questions about these or any other products, call me any time.
For Now My Friends, Stay Tuned and Stay Living Safe…