When you find yourself in the position of having to provide care to your aging parents, it will become crystal clear to you how important elderly home safety is. So many elderly safety issues will pop up that have been present in your parents (or your) home for years that were never notices. All of a sudden, these issues will become very apparent as they relate to a loved one.
Be sure to check out 8 Tips For Elder Proofing A Home.
Adding A Ramp To Address Elderly Home Safety Issues Related To Stairs
Having a well designed ramp at your elder’s home – or at your home if your elder lives with you – can go a long way in increasing the mobility of your elder and providing them with a sense of independence. Opening up the outside world to elders living by themselves can have a tremendous impact on their outlook on life in general as well. In addition to increasing elderly home safety, a ramp can also be a huge help to caregivers as well.
That a ramp is “well designed” is obviously very critical. Any ramp you build or have built for your elder needs to have hand rails on both sides to prevent a potentially serious injury from falling off the sides. In addition, makeshift ramps are inherently dangerous and don’t improve elderly home safety in the least. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a simply piece of plywood with a couple of railings is going to be good enough. You’ve got make sure the incline is not too steep or uneven. A ramp that’s not anchored could easily collapse as well.
The best way to go about determining what kind of ramp is best for your situation is to check with your elder’s doctor or rehab facility. They’ll let you know if a ramp if your best bet in helping your elder with mobility issues. They will also let you know if they feel you’ll be able to utilize a portable ramp. Portable ramps can be much cheaper and you’ll have the ability to move them from location to location. They aren’t always the answer, however. Most situations will require that a permanent ramp that is connected with bolts, clamps and braces be installed.
Elderly Home Safety Can Be Expensive
While some people will try to go the cheapest / easiest route, it’s critical to follow the recommendations of a doctor (or qualified contractor in some cases) when it comes to issues of improving elderly home safety. While a professionally installed ramp can be expensive, there are some medical insurance policies that will cover at least a portion of the expense of installing a permanent ramp. Of course, this would be dependent on having a doctors prescription and medical justification for it. There are additional funding options as well, including community agencies, organizations and churches.
In addition to local funding options for a ramp, there is a federally funded project called ABLEDATA that provides consumers, professionals and caregivers information pertaining to assistive technology that is available. There are nearly 20,000 products in their database that include pricing, manufacturers, contact info. and product reviews from current owners of the various products. Included in this database are ramps of all types, including vehicle ramps, threshold ramps and building ramps. You can reach ABLEDATA at abledata.com.
Adding a ramp to your elder’s home can be a godsend to both your elder, yourself and any other caregiver that may be involved with your elder’s care. Just be sure you have it professionally installed so that it the installation is done correctly. Any well thought out elderly home safety plan demands it.