|Date Added: September 09, 2009 02:09:21 AM|
I never thought about how many steps we had to access or home, or how accessible our home was on the inside. In fact I never gave a thought to accessibility until I began working with disabled adults. Even then I would look at their home and what needed to change in order to accommodate their disability, it was not until my father-in-law had a stroke that I began to take a serious look at our home and how feasible it was for him to come for a visit.
The front step to our house has three steps and a sturdy railing. Once inside the house the doorway leading to the kitchen area as well as the dining area is wide enough to accommodate a wheel chair, however the doorway to the bathroom on the main floor is too narrow for a wheelchair to pass through. This is unfortunate because there is a walk-in shower as well as a raised toilet seat in the bathroom.
My father-in-law is not confined to a wheelchair, however he does have left side impairment that causes him to be unsteady on his feet. The use of a walker does not help due to the weakness on the one side. We decided that he would be able to come over for a visit; he would need assistance getting in and out of the house and also in and out of the bathroom. We did need to take out the bathroom rugs for his visit. With the stroke victim you need to be careful with any types of irregularity in the floor surface, such as bathroom rugs create, because of the shuffling motion that is made with the feet. The shuffling will cause the bathroom rugs to bunch up and then the person will trip and possibly fall.
The change in my father-in-laws abilities caused me to assess not only our home but the home of my elderly mother. She has used throw rugs for years in her kitchen in addition to the bathroom rugs. She was reluctant to get rid of the rugs; but she was willing to let me put secure backing under them so that they would be less likely to slip. A few months later my mother needed to have a home are agency come in to help her with setting up her medications and to take her vital signs weekly. On their first assessment they told mom that she needed to remove the bathroom rugs for safety.
I used to think of bathroom rugs as a way to decorate the bathroom and to bring different colors into the room. I now see them as a possible danger for my mother as well as my in-laws. It is nice to have a warm dry surface to step out of the shower on, but you need to make sure that they are secure to the floor.
No Comments Yet.
You must be logged in to leave a Comment.