Age, illness, or injury can leave a once independent person temporarily or permanently disabled. You now find yourself no longer able to move freely around your home and the simplest of tasks are far more difficult. There are some easy and inexpensive things you can do (or have someone do for you) to make life easier.

1) One thing you can do is to replace the doorknobs in your home with lever type handles. If you don’t have the arm strength to twist a doorknob easily, these can be a real blessing.

2) Have someone move the things you need most throughout the day down lower. Get a grabbing device for the things that are a little higher.

3) Install a higher toilet or get an elevated seat. Even if you are temporarily disabled, say from having surgery, you will really appreciate the elevated seat. Sitting down is one thing, getting back up is a another!

4) Speaking of seats, get one for the shower too. With a shower seat and a hand held shower head, it makes personal hygiene a lot easier and safer.

5) A hand held faucet for the kitchen allows you to fill things up without holding them over the sink. If you need a pitcher of water for instance, it’s easier to fill it up while it’s on the counter than to lift it out of the sink.

6) Grab bars can be installed just about anywhere. In the bath or shower, by the toilet, (remember the getting up part?) or by your bed for getting in and out of it. Any place you need to get up or down, in or out, or just to have something to hold on to, grab bars are the ticket.

If you use a walker, there are some accessories you can purchase to help keep your hands where they should be, on the grips. Trays for meals, clip-on cup holders and item bags that hang from the crossbar, let you take things with you without dropping them.

12) Chair lifts assist you in getting out of a chair. Some are cushions that can be used with most chairs and others have the lift built-in.

These are just some of the things you can do to make your home easier to live in. There are many more that require more money and possibly a licensed contractor. Grants are available if you know where to look. Do your research but be careful! There are many scams as well. If you purchase something to help you with this, use a pre-paid debit card.

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