We all have some limitations. None of us can fly like a bird or roar like a lion. We cannot live well in very high altitudes, torrid climate, or underwater. Yet these normal human limitations do not stop us from living a full and happy life.
Some have a few more limitations due to genetics, accidents, or age. It is normal to develop limitations in seeing, hearing, speaking, and walking. These do not have to become limits on a full and happy life either.
It is really just a matter of knowing how to live with such limits, and how to help those we love live with those limits. Mobility limitation is something that can happen to anyone at anytime for countless reasons. Your 16-year-old quarterback of a son goes down with a big hit and ends up on crutches or a wheelchair for a while, and suddenly, mobility issues are no longer theoretical.
When a person loses their mobility even temporarily, it can turn their world upside down. Here are some of the ways you can put it right side up again:
Elevators and Lifts
Remember when you used to take the stairs two and three at a time simply because you could? When you suffer a mobility-related injury, taking those stairs suddenly feels like climbing Everest.
People with residential elevators never have to face this problem. If you don’t happen to have one, an elevator can be installed. You don’t have to sell the family home because your knee went out on you.
Another option is a stair lift that can be installed in most homes. This provides a chair that lifts a person up and down the stairs. No one solution is right for everyone. The important thing to realize is that there is very likely a solution that will fit your needs and give you back the freedom of accessing and possessing your entire home.
Rethinking the Walkways
That second floor is not the only thing that needs a rethink. You also have to rethink the pathways in the home where people move about. Perhaps the best way to do this is to think in terms of an emergency exit.
How quickly can you get through the doorways. How well can you weave around the furniture. What about if your house was full of smoke and your capacity to reason was severely compromised. Now, how well could you get out?
Let’s ramp up the level of difficulty by placing you on crutches or in a wheelchair. In the typical home, your chances of getting out in time just dropped dramatically.
You will want to take a few precautions including the following:
- Have a contractor widen all the doorways for easy access by someone with mobility challenges.
- Reposition the furniture so that a person using mobility challenges has a clear path.
- Remove potential obstructions like coffee tables from the middle of the floor.
- Remove throw rugs that tend to throw people with limited mobility.
There is a very good chance that the outside of your home could youse a ramp. It is important that everyone has the ability to get in and out on their on. In rare events, it is a matter of life and death.
Go Places Everyone Can Enjoy
When it is time to get out of the house and enjoy the world, be sure to book places that are accessible for everyone. That goes for hotels, parks, baseball games, the subway, and every other place you journey takes you. True, traveling this way will require a little more planning. But the result is that everyone will have a good time.
Remember that no one wants to be treated like an invalid. They also don’t want to feel like a burden. So help them feel as empowered as possible by going places where they can have the same access to the same events.
Mobility loss is often temporary. But in some cases, it is a permanent situation. That doesn’t mean it has to limit one’s fulfillment. To help a person get the most out of a mobility-limited life, make sure they have access to all parts of the home. Rearrange things so that pathways are safe. And do the kinds of activities that everyone can enjoy.