Safety Handrails: A Showerhead Grab Bar is a Big Help
For people with limited mobility or who prefer to shower while seated, a handheld showerhead is a terrific help. And even better is a handheld showerhead on a sliding rail that allows for individual adjustment. But because those rails are often flimsy, grabbing one could be a disaster. Look for an ADA-compliant grab bar with a sliding handheld showerhead. Here are 20 additional tips for creating a safe home for older family members and guests.
Widen Doorways With Offset Hinges
Navigating narrow doorways is tough for someone using a wheelchair or walker. Doorways can be widened, but it’s a complex and costly job. An easier solution is to replace the existing hinges with expandable offset door hinges. These special hinges are designed to swing the door clear of the opening and add 2 in. of clearance. The hinge measures 2 in. x 3-1/2 in. and wraps around the door trim. You need at least 3 in. between the inside of the doorjamb and the adjoining wall for the hinges to fit. They use the existing holes and screws and come in a variety of finishes. Available online and at many home centers for about $5 per hinge.
Replace Toggle Switches With Rocker Switches
It’s easier for stiff or arthritic hands to press flat, rocker-style switches than to manipulate toggles. Rocker switches feature a big on/off plate that you can operate with a finger, a knuckle or even an elbow. Some rocker switches are illuminated to make them easy to find day or night. These great little inventions use a tiny bit of electricity from the circuit they’re on to light a small LED or neon bulb, and they install as easily as regular switches.
Photo provided by Lutron