Category: Home Accessibility Modifications

Using Home Furnishings to Improve Home Safety

home furnishings home safety

Home means a lot of things to a lot of people. For many of us, it is a place of safety and comfort. But, how do you make sure your home is still safe when you or a loved one is living with limited mobility? Fear not, because EZ-ACCESS is here to help. September is National Home Furnishings Month, and we’re here to provide you with ideas on how to not only keep your home stylish, but also add functionality and safety for individuals with limited mobility.

Door Threshold Ramps

For older homes, many doors may be difficult to access using a power chair, mobility scooter, manual wheelchair or other mobility aids. Door threshold ramps are an ideal solution that provide an easy transition between doors and other uneven surfaces throughout the home.

Portable Ramps

Individuals living with limited mobility are still as active as they can be, and that means traveling. Portable ramps from EZ-ACCESS are easy to carry and lightweight, but sturdy enough to withstand repeated use. While designed for travel, our portable ramps can also be set up at home to make entering and exiting your home easier.

Wheelchair Lift

A more permanent solution that can be installed in your home, wheelchair lifts make it easier to access porches and decks when there may not be room for another mobility solution like a ramp. EZ-ACCESS’ Passport Vertical Lift is designed for easy installation and can handle weights of up to 750 pounds to make sure your home is accessible, no matter how much space you have.

At EZ-ACCESS, it is our mission to provide accessibility solutions that make your home better and easier to navigate. To find out which ramp might be best for your home, please use our ramp selector tool. And, if you’re ready to make a purchase, you can use our dealer locator tool to find a vendor who sells EZ-ACCESS products near you.

 

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2

home safety evaluation

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we started this two-part series on home safety evaluations.  In the previous blog post, we covered home safety evaluations for the entryway, floor and electrical.  If you’re visiting this page from the previous post, read on to continue your home evaluation with kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

Kitchen

When evaluating the kitchen, keep in mind that most kitchen injuries are caused by reaching for something.  Look at how your loved one will access and operate common appliances like the fridge, microwave and stove.  Controls placed at the front of the stove prevent your loved one from reaching over burners.  Also, take a look at the ventilation in the kitchen.  Poor ventilation can lead to kitchen fires.

The next step in the kitchen is to review countertops.  Are countertops at the right height to allow your loved one to complete their tasks?  Do you have the most commonly used items on the countertop to avoid lifting and carrying?  Are utensils easy to grab without moving around the kitchen?  Check for all of these items when examining the kitchen.

Bathroom

According to the National Institute on Aging, 80 percent of falls each year in seniors over age 65 occur in the bathroom, making this one of the most important rooms you will evaluate today.  Just like rugs, you’ll need to make sure bathroom mats are secure to the floor, and just like the kitchen countertops, make sure all commonly used items are easily reachable.  You’ll also want to examine the tub and toilet areas to be sure there are enough grab bars and proper footing.

Basic Maintenance

Basic maintenance is another commonly missed issue.  Many falls in the home occur because the individual is trying to change a light bulb or complete other standard home maintenance.  The easy fix for this is to make sure your loved one has a sturdy stepladder.

For more on home accessible solutions and proper home evaluations, reach out to our EZ-ACCESS customer service team.  Our customer service representatives are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to home accessibility and would be happy to offer advice or connect you with a home accessibility expert in your area!

Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 1

home accessibility evaluation

Happy April Fool’s Day!  We, at EZ-ACCESS, are taking this opportunity to remind you that accessible home safety is no joking matter.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released statistics stating “one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year and 20-30% of these falls lead to moderate or severe injuries” so take action now.  Evaluate your home or the home of your aging loved ones for safety concerns and get these issues address immediately.

Here are a few tips for evaluating a home today:

Home Entryways

For entryways, you are focused completely on what it takes to get into the home safely.  Take a close look at how well lit the entrance is, how easy it is to get to the front door, how easily can the individual unlock and use the door handle and what the welcome mat situation is.  A common hazard we come across is welcome mats that easily shift around, making them easy to trip on.

Inside the entryway, predict what your loved one will be doing.  If they take off their shoes and hang up their coat, evaluate how they can safely do this.  You may consider adding a sturdy bench.

Concerned with your home entry?  Check out EZ-ACCESS’ line of door threshold ramps for smaller transitions, semi-permanent ramps or wheelchair lifts for higher entry solutions.

Floors

Just the floor alone can be highly dangerous.  If your home has wood or tiled flooring, the surface can often be slick, and if you’ve placed throw rugs or mats down, go ahead and call the ambulance.   When it comes to rugs or mats, either use adhesive strips to stick them to the floor or remove them entirely.  For carpeting, make sure the carpet is in good shape and not balling up or rolling in areas.

Electrical

While you are down evaluating the floor, make sure to check the outlets, cords and extension cords.  We typically discourage the use of extension cords or cords running under walkways as these can be dangerous tripping hazards.  If you’re willing do a little electrical work on the home, consider installing outlets at mid-room level for easy access, less bending and less cord hazards.

Also, use this time to evaluate the indoor lighting.  Check that hallways and doors are well lit, and that light switches are accessible and easy for your loved one to use.

Continue walking through your accessible home evaluation by reading our next blog post “Home Accessibility is No Joke: Home Safety Evaluation – Part 2,” covering kitchens, bathrooms and basic maintenance!

Adding Independence & Accessibility In Your Home

There are several modifications you can make to help add accessibility to your home.

There are several modifications you can make to help add accessibility to your home.

 

EZ-ACCESS offers a variety of products to help those with limited mobility to maneuver in, out and around the home. Adding a wheelchair ramp to the entrance of your home is one of the best ways you can make your home safer and easier for those in a wheelchair or scooter to enter and exit.

In observance of Senior Independence Month, we want to share some solutions to help ensure that the inside of your home is easily accessible for seniors and those with limited mobility. Some are inexpensive, do-it-yourself projects while others will require professional work. Evaluate your home to see where improvements can be made to make your home easier for everyone to move through. You may only need to make modifications in one room or the entire house!

Bathroom Accessibility Improvements

The bathroom can be a challenging room for those in a wheelchair to maneuver through. Bathrooms are typically small and often have many obstructions that make it difficult to get around. Something simple like raising the toilet seats will make it easier for someone to get in and out of their wheelchair if they need to reach the toilet. Bath tubs and showers can also be dangerous because of the wet surfaces and lack of stable places to use for support. Adding grab bars to the tub and shower will make it easier for someone using a wheelchair or scooter to make the transfer from their chair to the tub. You can also check out our accessibility accessories to find items that make bathing easier and safer.

Home Modifications for Accessibility

More changes can be made throughout the home to make it easier for those with limited mobility. These modifications, however, will require more work. The typical width of a wheelchair is 32” or 36”. Widening the doorways to accommodate this size opens up more of the home to those in a wheelchair. Kitchen countertops and cupboards can also be lowered to allow someone sitting to easily access or reach something.

If you are looking for more ideas on how you can improve the layout of your home to accommodate to those with limited mobility, contact EZ-ACCESS. If you have the ideas but are searching for the right products, you can find them in our online catalog.

Reducing the Impact of Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

EZ-ACCESS wants to help you with products that can make improve mobility for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

EZ-ACCESS wants to help you with products that can make improve mobility for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 22 percent of Americans report having a disability, and the most common disability was rheumatoid arthritis. RA is a debilitating form of arthritis that can cause limited mobility, frequent pain and decreased activity. Although it is ideal to seek treatment for rheumatoid arthritis early on, we know it may be difficult to recognize the symptoms right away.

EZ-ACCESS is here to show you how different types of ramps can help with limited mobility caused by RA. We strive to help everyone with limited mobility and those who suffer from debilitating diseases and conditions.

Suitcase Singlefold Ramp– This type of ramp is perfect for people who are on the go and need help climbing small sets of steps and getting into the house. It is portable and made of durable aluminum to last through any weather condition. You can leave it at the entrance of your home or bring it with you into town or on vacation.

Tip: Make sure you are with someone who is able to carry the ramp, so you don’t overwork your joints.

Pathway Modular Access System– If you are confined to a wheelchair because of rheumatoid arthritis, the Pathway Modular System is right for you. Instead of having to build a wood ramp outside of your home, this system from EZ-ACCESS is an easy setup for almost any home. It will give you easy access to the world outside of your home. You can feel even more independent with a ramp system permanently a part of your home.

Tip: Contact your local EZ-ACCESS dealer to see if they have installation included with your purchase.

Transitions Angled Entry Ramp– Never worry about tripping over the lip of the door with your walker again. RA can make it extremely difficult to lift your legs, and you surely don’t want to suffer a fall.

Tip: Always have someone assist you when walking out the door to avoid a fall.

EZ-ACCESS wants to help you have unlimited mobility, so you can experience life without boundaries. Contact us today, so we can help you find a dealer, or find one here.

Planning for a Winter Emergency

It's important to be prepared for a winter emergency when the weather is cold and the snow is flying.

It’s important to be prepared for a winter emergency when the weather is cold and the snow is flying.

 

For many of us, it would be great if winter were over after we had finished unwrapping presents for the holidays and opening bottles of champagne to celebrate the New Year. Unfortunately for those of us that feel that way, we still have several months of cold, unpredictable weather ahead of us. EZ-ACCESS wants you to be prepared for the winter should the weather turn nasty, as this is especially important for individuals with limited mobility.

Keep a Supply of Non-Perishable Food

It’s always been true that Mother Nature is fickle and can be unpredictable. During the winter months, you could see a situation where your town is buried under snow that makes travel impossible and creates a winter emergency for several days (just ask Buffalo, New York). If you find yourself in this situation, you’ll be thankful to have items like canned soup, peanut butter and packaged pastas like macaroni & cheese. These are foods that have long shelf lives that will keep you fed until the weather improves. Most of them have the added benefit of being easy to prepare, which is a plus for those with limited mobility.

Have a Plan to Shovel Driveways and Ramps

If you have limited mobility, it’s going to be difficult to get out a shovel to make sure you can get in and out of your home. Finding a friend, family member or neighbor to help clear snow away is going to be essential to ensuring that access points are clear of snow and ice, which can be especially dangerous if they build up on your ramps or lifts that allow access to your home.

The first step in handling any emergency weather situation is being prepared and having a plan of action. EZ-ACCESS has the residential ramps that can make sure you can get in and out of your home, regardless of the weather. Contact us to find out how we can help set one up for you today.

Everyone’s Accessible Home Sweet Home: Adding Wheelchair Accessibility

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EZ-ACCESS has a lot of products to help our clients get in and out of the home. In fact, adding some form of wheelchair ramp to your home’s entrance is one of the best ways to make your home more accessible for those with limited mobility. But once inside, what can you do to make sure those with limited mobility can easily navigate your home?
There are several ways to make changes to your home to increase its wheelchair accessibility. Some of these are do-it-yourself projects that are relatively inexpensive, but others will require professionals to complete the work. You may not need to do all of these, but here are some ideas that might help you.
Bathroom Accessibility Improvements
In the bathroom, something as simple as raising the toilet seat’s height can make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to get in and out of their chair if they need to use the toilet. Another way to improve safety in the bathroom is to add grab bars to the tub or shower, which will make it easier for someone in a wheelchair or scooter to transfer from the chair to the tub.
Home Modifications for Accessibility
Throughout your home, other changes can be made to make it easier to navigate for someone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter, but these will require a bit more work. Doorways can be widened to accommodate the width of a wheelchair, typically to 32” or 36”. Kitchen countertops can be lowered to allow more access and make for an easier reach for someone with limited mobility. Finally, lowering cabinets and widening doors may mean that electric outlets have to be rearranged
If you need ideas for ways to improve your home’s layout for individuals with limited mobility, contact us at EZ-ACCESS. If you have already got ideas, or want to look at the products we already have to make it easier for people to move around, check out our online catalog.

Top Tips for Home Accessibility

home accessibility modifications
At some point, many of us will experience the need for more accessibility in our homes.  There may be differing levels of needs based on whether you are using crutches, braces, a walker, a mobility scooter or a wheelchair, but home accessibility adjustments will still be necessary to make navigating the home safe and easy.  Here are some home accessibility options of varying costs that will get your home ready for any mobility device:
Exterior Door Accessibility
Let’s start with how you enter your house.  Does your mobility device allow you to enter safely, without assistance?  If not, you may need to consider a portable ramp if your situation is temporary.  If your situation is more permanent, then you’ll need either a modular ramp or a platform lift, depending on the setup of your front door.
Interior Doorway Accessibility
Once you’re in your house, are the interior doors wide enough for your mobility device?  If you are using a wheelchair, you will need at least 32” to clear the space safely.  If you don’t have 32” of width, all is not lost.  You have options in swing-away door hinges, removing the door entirely or removing the woodwork around the door and replacing with a wider door.
Bathroom Accessibility
Many of us consider the bathroom as one of the most important rooms in the house.  This is also the room you will need the MOST maneuverability in.  After you get through the door using the tips above, how are you going to use the shower, toilet and sink?  If using a wheelchair, you will need a 60” diameter circle to reach bathroom fixtures.  You may want to replace your tub or shower with a roll-in shower and remove your base cabinets to provide knee space under the sink.  If your bathroom is entirely too small, you may want to consider relocating the bathroom to the corner of a bedroom or borrowing space from a connected room to make the bathroom bigger.
Kitchen Accessibility
In the kitchen, counter top height and sink access can be a problem.  If your needs are permanent, we recommend removing base cabinets and installing lower counter tops for food preparation areas.  When you are removing your sink cabinet for easier access, you’ll want to insulate pipes to avoid burns as well as replace any hot and cold faucets with a single-lever faucet with an extension arm for easy access.
If you need additional help deciding what to do with your entrances and exits, let EZ-ACCESS help!  Join us next week when we address funding options for accessibility modifications!