“How to make a home much more friendly to seniors using wheelchairs or walkers” – California Healthline

Home caregiver comforting senior man in wheelchairThe housing industry has failed to accommodate an aging population, experts say. (iStock)

by Judith Graham

“When Dan Bawden teaches contractors and builders about aging-in-place, he has them get into a wheelchair. See what it’s like to try to do things from this perspective, he tells them.

“That’s when previously unappreciated obstacles snap into focus.

“Bathroom doorways are too narrow to get through. Hallways don’t allow enough room to turn around. Light switches are too high and electrical outlets too low to reach easily. Cabinets beneath a kitchen sink prevent someone from rolling up close and doing the dishes.

“It’s an ‘aha moment’ for most of his students, who’ve never actually experienced these kinds of limitations or realized so keenly how home design can interfere with — or promote — an individual’s functioning.

“About 2 million older adults in the U.S. use wheelchairs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; another 7 million use canes, crutches or walkers.

“That number is set to swell with the aging population … ”

Continue reading this article at California Healthline, click here.

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