If you or a loved one has recently undergone an amputation, you know the importance of home modifications for amputees. While stairs used to be part of your routine, they are now an obstacle that can test your ingenuity and patience. Thankfully, making your home more accessible and safe doesn’t require a ton of money or time.
Overall Home Improvements for Amputees
When it comes to things amputees need, there are some simple tips to keep in mind.
- If possible, consider adding more storage throughout your home to help maintain clear paths for optimal mobility.
- Amputees and housework don’t always go hand-in-hand, so don’t be afraid to make outside arrangements with a friend or family member to clean your space.
- Rearrange your furniture or add end tables to provide more support in your pathways.
Adapting Entrance and Living Area
Home adaptations for amputees in the entryway and living area can make a big difference in the safety and comfortability of your home:
- In the case that you’re in a wheelchair temporarily and you have stairs leading into your home, you could invest in a short-term ramp.
- If you have a large number of stairs or stairs that are steep, consider investing in a more permanent ramp.
- Another useful item for leg amputees include handrails to provide stability on uneven terrain or on stairs.
- Make sure the outside lighting is sufficient to help prevent falls or accidents when it’s dark outside, and consider investing in a motion sensor.
- Regarding doors: 1) upper limb amputees should consider replacing rounded knobs with a door knob or lever door handles; 2) use hinge adjustments to create more space in your door pathways, this is especially helpful for wheelchair access; 3) you can even consider removing the doors altogether if it’s easier.
Kitchen Improvements to Increase Mobility
Amputees at home can also make kitchen adjustments:
- Use lower cabinets for items that you need on a daily basis and keep most-used items on the countertop.
- Use your kitchen table to prep food from a seated position.
- Kitchen equipment for amputees includes gel pads that you can place under plates or bowls to prevent them from sliding.
- For larger changes, consider adding pull-down shelves or removing lower-level cabinets to better accommodate a wheelchair.
Housing for amputees also includes bedroom adaptations:
- “Touch on” lamps for your bedside table make it easy to turn the light on and off at night without having to walk over to the light switch each time.
- Keep your assistive devices within reach so it’s easier and safer for you to get in and out of bed. This can include getting out of bed with or without your prosthetic devices.
Bathroom Modifications for Amputees
Amputee shower accessories can make the process of showering and bathing significantly safer. Here are some easy tips to get you started:
- Install a shower chair for amputees and a set of grab bars to make your bathroom more accessible. Explore many different options at a range of price points.
- Add a non-slip mat (or multiple) to make the showering process and getting out of the shower safer and easier.
- Switch your showerhead to a handheld option to make showering more flexible and comfortable.
- Create an easy-to-reach shelf that can house your soaps, and using liquid soaps in large bottles is usually the easiest.
- Install grab bars next to the toilet.
- Use a night light to make sure that you can see in your bathroom in the dark.
- If you’re open to larger changes, you could modify your tub to create a walk-in shower, lower the sink, or remove under-cabinets to better accommodate a wheelchair.
Although there are difficulties that come with being an amputee, with the right adjustments in your home, you can live a safe and happy life. If you’re interested in learning more about adjusting to life with a prosthesis, our team at PrimeCare Orthotics & Prosthetics is here to help. We proudly serve Las Cruces and surrounding areas. Please contact us to learn more about how we can serve you!