For disabled people and those with other physical limitations, getting around the home can be difficult. However, there are many different types of equipment that can help you live a happy and independent life in your own home.
A stair lift is useful if you are unable to climb the stairs and they can be tailored to fit most staircases. You should measure the stairs and the person who’s going to be using the stair lift. There are several companies who make stair lifts and an organisation called Assist UK can help you make an informed choice.
A hand rail from the wall to the floor on one or both sides can also help. Ideally, the rail should extend beyond the stairs at both the top and bottom of the stairs. This gives you additional support when you step off the top or bottom stair.
Grab Rails and Half Steps
If you have steps at your front or back door, installing grab rails either side will allow you to maintain your balance better.
Bathroom Mobility Aids
Steps, poles and grab rails are good for helping you get in and out of the bath. If you are severely disabled, a hoist or bath lift would be very useful. It works by electrically lowering and raising you in and out of the bath. The charger will only lower you into the bath if there is enough electrical charge left to lift you out of it again.
Other bathroom mobility aids include bath seats, boards, chairs and stools which enable you to sit in the bath and adjust the level to suit. You can also buy adjustable toilet rails, toilet seats and toilet frames which can also help. Specially adapted shower cubicles for the disabled are available and you can also buy a self propelled shower chair.
Beds and Chairs
If you have to spend a lot of time in bed or in an armchair, there are many different types of equipment that can aid you. These range from rising mattress elevators, reclining beds, reclining chairs, high back chairs and chair and bed leg risers which means that you don’t have to bend down very far to get into the bed or the chair. Bed rails are also available. These slip underneath the mattress and are fastened by straps. These allow you to get out of bed more easily.
There are many mobility aids and fittings which allow you to lead as independent a life as possible at home and, although you may also require assistance from a relative or carer to a certain extent, these aids can increase your ability to do things for yourself.
Many of these aids aren’t available on the NHS but some are. The Direct Gov website can tell you more about what you might be entitled to and for more information on mobility fittings, the Disability Living Foundation is another useful resource.