Enjoying time outdoors is a key element in improving an individual’s and .
Whether it’s sitting in the sun, watching birds, or getting your hands dirty in the garden, the outdoors can bring endless joy to . More than that though, having access to the outdoors is necessary for safety purposes and for feeling a sense of freedom.
Unfortunately, many do not follow the and are not always accessible for individuals with .
If your loved one has , you may notice them having difficulty accessing and enjoying the outdoors. Luckily, there are adjustments that can be made to address the of your loved one’s yard space, oftentimes without significant .
Depending on your loved one’s needs and your budget, there are ways to make their safe and enjoyable.
From the inside, you can check if there is an to the outdoors.
are helpful tools in making it easier for individuals using such as wheelchairs, walkers, , or to leave the home. This might be a small only high enough to eliminate a small step out the door or a long that extends over multiple stairs.
are one of the most important features to add in order to make the . Make sure any height changes either on a step or are clearly marked, to help those with .
Having a is especially important as it is crucial that a walker or is able to leave the home in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
Another is a . If your loved one’s steps or door does not already have them, installing that are sturdy and accessible is essential.
Also, consider prevent a fall. next to the door. This can provide your loved ones something to steady themselves with if need be and
Sometimes stairs are unavoidable depending on the structure of the home. If a is not possible consider incorporating an outdoor stair climber or vertical lift to help your loved one avoid having to go up and down.
This may be a larger
but is likely more than having to relocate.
Older adults are more prone to dehydration and heat exposure. Make sure that your loved one’s outdoor
Consider installing an automatic awning to cover the area. Umbrellas over tables may be difficult for your loved one with to use. has plenty of shade throughout the day.
Some outdoor furniture can be difficult for individuals with . It might be too low, deep, or shaky. Assess your loved one’s furniture to see that they can get in and out of it safely and with ease.
If there are tables outdoors, make sure they are an appropriate height for a wheelchair as well. Bar-height tables won’t be accessible for .
Set up your loved one’s furniture in an
that allows space to maneuver between furniture with a .
Assess your loved one’s and sitting areas to ensure the ground is smooth.
Make sure there are no uneven surfaces in wood on a deck or There are even some materials available to make your deck anti-slip. . on a that could create
Ensure your loved one’s entry mat to make sure it’s low enough to not cause a fall, and that it has a
If your loved one with is spending time outdoors, ensure that there is an to the without .
If needed, use to point them in the correct direction.
If your loved one enjoys activities such as gardening, consider using raised garden beds or hanging flower pots. This will allow your loved one to continue to have access to the activities they enjoy while working within their comfort zone.
shouldn’t be an obstacle to making time outdoors part of .
Make sure there is a where you or another care provider can park to allow your loved one easy access to the vehicle.
If your loved one has difficulty transferring to a car, there are often options to assist .
Whether it’s at home or out in the community, having a charged cell phone or an emergency call button is key.
Making sure it can be accessed from anywhere will decrease the chance of your loved one racing to get up should the phone ring. If your loved one has a , make sure the volume is high enough to be heard outdoors.
Making your loved one’s accessible and safe can greatly improve their . It opens up doors to endless possibilities of engagement and ways to spend time together.
Making an accessible can be a key to allowing your loved one with the option to age in place safely.
Laurel McLaughlin has over a decade worth of experience in various sectors of the elder care field- home care, senior living, and non-profits. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is a certified dementia practitioner.
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