People of any age can have trouble getting around the house – a teenager
recovering from a sports injury, a baby boomer in rehab from a heart attack or
surgery, an elderly person with arthritis or balance problems. Whether your
limited mobility is temporary or permanent, there are many things you can do to
make your home safer and your life easier.
Modifying your home can be as simple as rearranging some furniture or
putting in a few handrails in strategic locations. This room-by-room guide
focuses on simple solutions to creating a safe haven. But it also includes more
substantial measures that can be worthwhile if you have long-term mobility
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Building entrances can be safety hazards, especially in bad weather. And
when it’s difficult to get around, even a step or two can seem like a mountain.
Make sure the path from the street to your front door is well lit and clear of
If you have stairs, make sure there’s a sturdy handrail -- on both
sides, if that helps. “Adding a second banister on the other side can make a
huge difference, especially if one side of the body is more impaired than the
other,” says Carla A. Chase, EdD, assistant professor of occupational therapy
at the Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services in
Even if there’s just one step that is difficult to negotiate at the front
door, consider installing a grab bar. You can also rent a ramp for walkers and
wheelchairs if you need a temporary solution.