A need for care presents those affected with major challenges. Everyday life changes and with it the demands on the living environment. Only over time do people with physical or mental limitations find out what barriers exist. However, there are also classic furnishing traps in the home environment that need to be avoided. Today, we reveal to you which stumbling traps are lurking at home and when a barrier-free conversion is worthwhile.
Furnishing traps in the home environment: Why it is so important to question the living environment
People who have lived in their house or apartment for a long time don’t always see the problems that arise when the need for care increases. This is because a carefree time was possible for many years in this very living environment. If physical limitations creep in or a care degree already exists, for example a recognized care degree 3 or more, the effects are usually much more noticeable. Now is the time not to fall into old patterns, but to actively question the living environment. This has several advantages. First of all, it helps to break down barriers. Navigating the premises becomes easier with a few adjustments. In addition, aids such as walkers can be used more effectively. If people in need of care decide to make alterations, this can also minimize the risk of falls. In many cases, people in need of care are confronted with gait insecurities in everyday life. Last but not least, there is of course the good argument that independence can be partially maintained with just a few adaptations. This is also important for self-esteem and independence in everyday life.
What are the furnishing traps in the home environment?
They seem harmless, but can decisively increase the risk of injury: Furnishing traps. They can be eliminated with just a few simple steps.
1. carpet edges
Carpet edges virtually invite tripping. It becomes particularly critical when people in need of care can no longer lift their feet completely. This is the case, for example, when paralysis exists. The use of walking aids can further increase the risk of falling with regard to carpets. In the best case, carpets are removed from the living space altogether.
Electronic devices are especially at home in living rooms. Lamps, televisions and co. can lead to a cable tangle. They should be tucked away in a cable channel or at least bundled and placed well to one side.
3. high doorsteps
High doorsteps have the disadvantage that they can become a tripping hazard and make it difficult to pass with walking aids. If they are located in the transition to each room, this can create a confusing fall hazard.
4. ill-conceived living concept
Particularly in old age and with physical limitations, it is important to implement a well thought-out living concept. This means that things for everyday use should be easily accessible. In the kitchen, for example, frequently used plates should not be stored in the top cabinet. If there are aisle difficulties, it is necessary to leave the walkways clear. Side tables, vases and the like make it difficult to navigate.
5. insufficient light sources
Lamps and light switches illuminate darkly located living rooms and bedrooms. They can be operated at night to make a safe trip to the bathroom. If necessary, you may need to upgrade at this point. Motion detectors that have been linked to a light source are particularly recommended. These switch on and off automatically.
Conversion measures to help
When the need for care increases, simple measures are no longer sufficient to cope with everyday life. In this case, renovation measures are an option. They can make a decisive contribution to removing barriers and maintaining independence.
● Remodeling measures on stairs: Managing stairs is a major challenge for people in need of care. Outdoor grab rails help to overcome gait insecurities. If climbing stairs is no longer possible, outdoor ramps are a good option. This allows you to safely enter and exit your home even with your rollator. Stair lifts can be installed indoors.
● Remodeling measures in the bathroom: Special caution is required here, after all, many accidents take place in the bathroom. No wonder, because wetness is also involved here. A raised toilet, a level shower, grab bars in the bathtub and on the toilet, and possibly a bath lift simplify hygiene measures.
● Remodeling measures in living spaces: A large part of life takes place in living spaces. In addition to eliminating trip hazards, widening doorways and leveling door thresholds can be useful here.
How to apply for a grant for remodeling measures
People in need of care often have to dig deep into their pockets for remodeling measures. Understandably, there is a lot of concern when it comes to meeting the costs. Fortunately, there are several places you can turn to. If you meet the requirements, you will receive a grant that can be used to finance the conversion measures. For example, the nursing care insurance fund provides 4000 euros for conversion measures so that you can adapt your living environment to the new care situation. You submit an application for this, which is then checked for plausibility. If you are able to keep your job after the need for care has arisen, the Integration Office may be able to help. With a view to “accompanying assistance in working and professional life”, it steps in to secure your job despite the need for care. Social welfare agencies in many federal states and municipalities have a budget for support programs. It is best to inquire locally whether there are funds available to support barrier-free living. However, special attention is paid here to your assets. After all, only those truly in need should receive the benefits. Another alternative is the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW Bank). It too can approve a grant for barrier-free conversion.
It is best to seek advice
The decision for a conversion in the home environment is not always easy. Many cities and municipalities offer housing advice centers. Senior citizens’ offices also have information on this important topic.