Tips for Making a Home Wheelchair-Friendly
About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers. That number is set to swell with the aging population: Twenty years from now, 17 million U.S. households will include at least one mobility-challenged older adult, according to a December report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. How well has the housing industry accommodated this population?
“Very poorly,” said Bawden, chair of the remodelers division at the National Association of Home Builders and president of Legal Eagle Contractors in Bellaire, Texas. “I give them a D.”
Researchers at the Harvard center found that fewer than 10 percent of seniors live in homes or apartments outfitted with basic features that enhance accessibility — notably, entrances without steps, extra-wide hallways or doors needed for people with wheelchairs or walkers. Even less common are features that promote “usability” — carrying out the activities of daily life with a measure of ease and independence. This article goes on to describe several steps one can take to make an existing home more wheelchair friends, which helps with aging-in-place.
Source/more: Kaiser Health News