Practical Solutions for People Living at Home with a Disability
My business is specifically geared around living successfully at home with a disability. But more than this, I know first-hand what it means to have a disability. A number of years ago, I broke my back and now I’m in a wheelchair. However, life does go on and with the right aids and assistance, you can have a great life.
Just as disabilities range from one end of the spectrum to the other – so do the aids and options available out there. Whether your disability is your legs and spine or something else – there are many solutions for you to help make your everyday life easier and the lives of your carers easier too.
- Financial Support via NDIS
Most of us know that NDIS is up and operating and allows those with disabilities to access a range of services, from financial support through to planning and yes, even building and construction financial assistance. To access the program, you need to be eligible and then need to apply. The link to this official website may prove very helpful for you: https://www.ndis.gov.au/applying-access-ndis or ring 1800 800 110. Additionally, there are a number of other support organisations and mechanisms in place to assist with living, working and enjoying your life.
- Products abound
There is a huge range of products to help with day-to-day living. These incorporate everything from cleaning and laundry aids, to clocks, timers, fixtures, car and jar openers, food preparation utensils right through to walking or hearing aids, dressing aids, remote controls, switches (at the right height), wheelchairs, eating support mechanisms, vehicle modifications, intercoms and, of course, emergency call systems. There is software for those who cannot type but still need to use a computer. The list of options is endless; you need only chat with your occupational therapist, support person or carer.
- Services abound
Whether you need assistance with your motor skills, functional assistance or something else, there is a range of services you can access. There are services for assistance with cleaning, with the provision of (almost) home-cooked meals, physiotherapy, speech therapy and so much more. The advancements in technology mean that many disabilities can be almost overcome with exceptional options, possibilities and choices. Not everything can be fixed, but the world of disability support is certainly improving with leaps and bounds. Included in these services are businesses like VIP Access which perform home and work modification services; so you can have a home or workstation which meets your specific needs.
- Smart options through technology.
A big game-changer for people with disabilities is making the most of advanced appliances and technology. You can have a remote control to handle lights, even attached mechanical devices to assist you to walk or write. Hearing devices can be linked through systems. Your bed or wardrobe may be set up to be more electronically-controlled so that with a remote or button you can make your bed go up or down, or even have clothing shelves come to you. Certainly, you should be avoiding old-fashioned landlines to have mobile or VOIP services that means a cordless handset. For most disabilities, there are a number of innovative, smart and progressive options available. No more do you have to suffer in silence or make do. Innovations are constantly being implemented which benefit both the disabled and also the elderly. In fact, it’s likely some of these concepts will expand out further beyond this group to include many more people. Given the potential for such a diverse customer base, many inventors and manufacturers are taking up the cause as they see a larger client base may be possible.
- Adjust the rooms you live in.
This is the area that I work mostly with clients to provide solutions. In primary rooms, such as bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom we can action a number of changes (minor and major) to make life easier for the disabled person. In bathrooms, grab rails can be inserted. The toilet height adjusted for your specific needs. In fact, the entire room can be modified specifically for your needs. Often OTs (Occupational Therapists) will give us specifications and we design a room specifically for the client’s needs. We are, of course, always considering the aesthetics of the modification; so that it’s not only practical but doesn’t detract from the room. The shower area can be adjusted for a wheelchair or mobility impaired with a hobless shower. Sinks at the right height or perhaps push or sensor-controlled levers for the basin. Where hands cannot grasp, a push lever can be installed. Air conditioners may be needed for comfort and air circulation; particularly if you’re spending a good amount of time indoors in our warm Queensland summers. Doorways may need widening or door styles adjusted. Non-slip floors (especially in the wet areas of bathrooms and kitchens) may be necessary for safety. Kitchen counters may need heights adjusted, or perhaps simply having smart designs that allow for those with other impairments. Rails, handrails and ramps are just the beginning of what can be done to make your home as comfortable and practical for you as possible. There are options for ramps, lifts and mini lifts to make life easier. When we work on designs, we also consider others in the household you may not share your disability, allowing for flexible and adjustable options that will suit all members of the home.
- Be prepared for emergencies
Emergencies can occur at any time, and with every person, disabled or otherwise. One of the best ways to deal with emergencies is to have a plan and be prepared. Every person has different needs. For those with younger children or pets, their emergency list may be different and larger. Think about the loss of power. What will happen if you cannot get a lift to work due to this scenario? Is there a more manual override to accommodate you? If lights go, or even you have a fall, or cannot reach your devices, what is the emergency plan? Many of us have emergency numbers in our phones, but what if we lost our phone or it was out of charge? Are those numbers elsewhere? Are your friends and family ‘trained’ on how to help you in a crisis? Whilst thinking about emergencies is not always pleasant, it certainly makes an emergency less serious. Because also you have a plan, there is less stress for the disabled person. It’s wise to put a code on the special needs equipment that you have and a guide on the usage and how to move each assistive device when an emergency occurs. Furnish your checklist along with a personal assessment sheet and distribute to your chosen network(s). Have a copy in your emergency kit(s). In some emergency situation, your support network may not be able to help you so ask other people for assistance by telling them that you have special needs and what they may need to do to help you. Always have a personal alarm with you, one that releases a loud noise to call attention and can be linked to emergency services, such as the ambulance.
When it comes to the household (and workplace) modifications, please consider VIP Access. As licensed and experienced builders, we have building solutions for you. As a person myself with a disability, I know first-hand what people with disabilities experience; so you’ll receive not only a professional, quality service but one with patience and empathy. We are a registered provider through NDIS with a tonne of experience knowing what NDIS will (or won’t) approve and how to provide a quote within their guidelines. Call us today on 07 3807 4309.