Considering everyone when making adaptations

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Understandably, when home adaptations such as stairlifts, modular access ramps and through floor lifts are being considered, all the focus and attention is on the elderly or disabled person using them – assessing their needs and ensuring that the adaptations fulfil those needs.

But quite often, at least one other person is living with that individual – maybe a husband, wife, partner, child, or parent. This is generally the person or people that the individual needing the adaptation wants to stay at home to be with, and yet it can be easy to forget that it is their home as well. They need to continue living there too. Therefore, their needs also must be catered for when planning home adaptations.

Everyone must be taken into account. A stairlift, for example, needs to be the least intrusive possible for anyone walking up and down the stairs. They need to fit past it and not have to ride on the stairlift whenever they want to go up to the bedroom or bathroom and back down again. If a long ramp is installed, steps should also be installed, if possible, for ambulant people so that they don’t have to walk around the ramp every time they go in or out of the house.

Whilst loved ones want the best for the person who needs the adaptations, it is not in anyone’s interests for them to be getting irritated or annoyed because they are being inconvenienced, as the chances are that they will take it out on the person needing it, even if they don’t mean to or realise they are doing so.

The needs of everyone in the property need to be taken into consideration when the initial survey is carried out by the company supplying and installing the home adaptations. If the person needing the adaptation is elderly, they may also have an elderly spouse or partner who may struggle if a transformation such as a stairlift is placed in their way.

It may be that the user of the mobility adaption needs help from whoever they live with to use it – for example, to be transferred from a wheelchair onto a stairlift. In that type of scenario, the adaptation needs to work for everyone. Remember, the person living with the user is also (quite often) effectively their voluntary carer.

It is also worth bearing in mind the feelings of the loved one should the person needing the adaptation pass away or go into a care home. Nobody wants to remember their loved one is ill or unable to walk after passing away. They don’t wish to have permanent changes made to the house that they must navigate when they are no longer needed. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that adaptations are just that – adaptations to the home rather than permanent changes so they can be removed as quickly as they were installed.

This is, therefore, another reason why you must get a reputable home adaptations company to conduct a detailed and thorough survey of your needs and the needs of everyone in your home before you agree to anything. You should never be forced to make a snap decision on the day.

To find out more about how Obam could help you or a relative, please get in touch with our friendly, experienced staff, who can help you and chat about your options, either by calling 01427 787532 or by email on