Tips for living with someone with a disability

When you don’t have a disability, it can be easy to take simple things for granted. Things like showering yourself, walking through the house, or getting to your bedroom after a long day. If you’ll soon be living with someone with a disability, this post is for you.

Here are some tips to make your home welcoming if you’ll be living with a family member or friend with a disability:

Cut the junk

Now’s the time to have a big spring clean and remove some of your junk. This could mean getting rid of some of the old furniture you never use, removing rugs that can be difficult to navigate with crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair, and moving and knick knacks that could cause someone to fall.

This is also a good time to sell any electronics or furniture you never use. You may also want to ask your friend or family member if they’d like to get rid of any old belongings and clothes so they can minimise the amount they need to store.

Consider a stair lift

If your bedrooms are upstairs, this is bad news in terms of independence for your loved one. A stairlift can make life easier as you’ll be able to leave the house knowing your loved one can still get around safely and independently without you. While stairlifts do require an upfront cost, you may be entitled to rebates and other programs, and it can also help increase the value of your home for people with disabilities if you ever plan to sell.

Consider your bathrooms

Bathrooms are the most dangerous room in the house for everyone. But this is particularly true for people who have a disability. Not only is it full of hard surfaces that they can land on, but it’s also slippery- making it even more difficult to navigate. Consider installing a handrail or two. These no longer need to be installed into the wall- instead, there are powerful handrails with suction cups available. You can also use non-slip mats in the shower and bath to help them stay safe.

Communicate regularly

Living with someone with a disability means putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine how frustrating it must be to no longer have the same independence that you once enjoyed. Make it clear that you’re available to talk whenever they need, and let them know you’re there to help them.