home modifications for chronic conditions

Home Modifications For Those With A Chronic Condition

Learn why home modifications are critical when looking to improve safety and comfort for someone living with a chronic condition at home.

For those living with chronic conditions changes in function are often a part of daily life. And while this is often a challenging and overwhelming experience, there are solutions that can help ease discomfort and maintain a sense of normalcy in one’s daily living. 

In this blog post, we will discuss why home modifications are not just a treatment but a necessary addition to making sure those living with a chronic condition can stay safe, comfortable and independent at home.

Some of those chronic conditions that home modifications can help includes:

  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Parkinson’s
  • Arthritis
  • Multiple Sclerosis

All of these chronic conditions can lead to changes in function that often require home modifications to provide support or maintain independence. 

Home modifications can be simple, like adding handrails in the shower or grab bars next to the toilet. Other times they may be more complex, like lowering countertops or installing an elevator. Although  modifications are complicated in nature, everyone can and should have the option to find tailored solutions that fit their exact needs, wants and style. 

Home modifications can be tailored to support those with chronic conditions by:

  • Increasing safety
  • Making the home more accessible
  • Supporting mobility
  • Conserving physical energy
  • Improving independence

Ultimately, the main goal for many living with a chronic condition is to be able to remain living at home for as long as possible. Remaining at home is often the preferred choice not just because it’s more comfortable and familiar, but home-based care is also typically more affordable than other care facilities.

older adults sitting at kitchen table

Increasing Safety

Safety is a high priority for those living with chronic conditions. The truth is, chronic conditions offer enough challenges on their own and experiencing an injury can be an overwhelming situation. 

By implementing home modifications one can increase safety before an accident happens. The table below includes some ideas for home modifications that can directly make the home safer as a chronic condition progresses.

Making the Home More Accessible

Another common outcome of home modifications is they make the home more accessible. Depending on the mobility device one is using or may need in the future, modifications make it possible to access all areas of the home one needs to reach.

This can include multi-level living, safe access to the bathroom and more. 

More than just mobility devices, though, chronic conditions can also affect one’s ability to use their hands. This may mean they have limited access to doors, faucets, or even the light switches. 

Some modifications that can ease these situations includes:

  • Installing ramps
  • Widening doorways
  • Installing lever handles on doors and faucets
  • Using a virtual assistant to control the lights, television, and more
Are you hoping to make the home a safe place to age? Click the link to schedule a complimentary home safety checkup with a licensed health expert. They'll be able to build a personalized roadmap to you or a loved one's home safety. 

Supporting Mobility

With many chronic conditions, mobility often becomes more difficult over time. This may include walking, going up or down the stairs, getting on or off the toilet, or getting in and out of bed. 

Some of the home modifications that makes independent mobility easier includes: 

  • Elevators
  • Stairlifts
  • Toilet Raisers
  • Bed Railings
  • Bed Risers
  • Adjustable Beds

hand holding onto a grab bar

Conserving Energy

Home modifications can also help those with a chronic condition that may deplete their energy. For example, installing automatic doors can help save energy if opening a traditional door is difficult or installing a stairlift can help those who have difficulty getting up or down the stairs. 

Home modifications that conserve energy may also include: 

  • Shower chairs 
  • Raised toilet seats
  • Bed Railings

Improving Independence

Lastly, one of the biggest goals of home modifications is to improve the independence for someone with a chronic condition. When one finds out they have a chronic condition, there can be a lot of fear about what the future holds. However, with the right home modifications, it is possible to remain in the home with a sense of independence.

This can include improving the ability to perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and using the restroom. It also means having a home that is safe and free from environmental hazards.

For example, someone with Parkinson's may need grab bars installed in their bathroom to prevent falls. Or, someone with arthritis may need a ramp built so they can enter and exit their home without assistance.No matter what you or a loved one may face, the important part is to plan early and make sure the home is ready for what is needed. 

Home Modifications and Making Sure The Home Is Ready 

There are endless possibilities when it comes to home modifications, and the needs of each person will be unique. Here at Jukebox Health, we are here to help.

If you have more questions about the home modifications that are most appropriate for a specific condition, please contact our Client Care Team. They can answer your questions and connect you with an occupational therapist who can conduct a free home safety checkup to pin-point safety risks within the home. 

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