If you're a recent amputee, you've probably had your prosthetics provider or physician make recommendations for transforming your home into a modified, safer environment to improve your mobility and increase your peace of mind. If you find yourself struggling to reach items in your home, worrying about losing your balance, or having difficulty navigating from room to room, here are a few home improvement suggestions that will provide a sense of security - especially if you're still adjusting to your prosthetic.
Area Of Concern: The Kitchen
Remodeling your kitchen can be quite pricey, and drastic and immediate modifications are typically not in the budget for most individuals. However, you can make a few changes that will help. First, you might start by moving commonly used items where they are easy to reach, such as on lower shelves or in bottom cabinets. "Reacher" tools with extended handles are incredibly handy and relatively inexpensive for when you must locate and grab items from higher places in the kitchen. When it comes to your cabinets, you may want to consider special hinges that help make doors easier to open and shut.
Area Of Concern: The Bathroom
One of the top areas of concern when adjusting to life with your prosthetic is definitely the bathroom. Ultimately, you may consider replacing your existing tub or shower with a safety (also known as a walk-in) tub, which can be expensive. Depending on your own individual needs, you may want to consider this long-term solution down the road. However, if you aren't prepared for the investment quite yet, there are several simple modifications you can make in the meantime. A bath chair or bench is a must-have for most amputees, and you'll also want to research grab bars or handles for your bathtub or shower. A fall in the bathroom can be very dangerous and result in possible injury, so placement of these fixtures is key. You'll want to ensure that they're in the proper location according to your height, strength, mobility, and other factors.
Area Of Concern: Doors & Walkways
Surfaces such as the driveway can easily result in a slip or fall, and safety rails and ramps are invaluable for many amputees. You'll also want to make sure that walkways are well-lit (such as with motion-sensor lighting) and clear of clutter or any items that can pose a hazard. You'll find that most home improvement stores are knowledgeable and willing to help you outfit your home with such safety modifications, and they may even suggest long-term changes to your doors or walkways, such as paving a gravel driveway or widening an entrance. You may also want to consider eventual replacement of your home's flooring materials if they are slippery or slick. In the meantime, a simple grip rug can make a huge difference in an area that receives a lot of traffic.
If you have additional questions or concerns about home modifications, New Hope Prosthetics & Orthotics is here to help! Click below to contact us, or feel free to give us a call to speak with our staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out when it comes to your safety! We will do everything we can to make your home environment a place where you can reach your full potential, regardless of your situation.