Friday Reads: Home Accessibility

While reviewing our shelves recently, making sure that our books on home maintenance and repair were in good repair themselves, I came across an overlooked gem I want to share:  Home Accessibility, 300 Tips for Making Life Easier by Shelley Peterman Schwarz.

The author writes, “This book has been written for anyone who is experiencing either a short-term disability such as after surgery or while healing a broken arm or leg, or a long-term chronic illness such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, or cancer.  It is also for people who are challenged by sensory, vision, hearing, or tactile limitations: mental health issues including memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease; and for those who have had an accident, heart attack, stroke, or are getting older and find it more and more difficult to bend, reach, twist, and get up or down, in and out.”

After discussing basic concepts, Schwarz, who is wheelchair bound, goes through the house room by room pointing out how areas can be made accessible.  Starting with the front path and doorway, she notes such things as:  “Pathways and ramps should be 4 feet wide. (…)  Railings should be built to support 250 pounds at any point along their length. (…) For someone in a wheelchair to open a door, they will need 18 to 24 inches of clear space on the side where the door opens.”  Inside the house she advises about lighting, flooring choices, appliances, plumbing, safety and much more.  Each chapter includes a list of resources and products.

This very helpful little book offers many “affordable solutions to make your home safer and more accessible without costly remodeling,” which is sure to be of great interest here in Falmouth.  If you are looking to make your home easier to live in, or if you know someone with any of the issues mentioned above, be sure to check out this book.  These tips could be just the thing to make one’s life easier and safer or prolong one’s independence.  Why put up with hassles in your home when you know how to make it more comfortable and safe?  Accessibility improvements might make a welcome holiday gift for the aging parent who has everything and wants to remain in their home as long as possible.

Home Accessibility is shelved with the call number 643.087 SCH.  You can also ask at the reference desk where to find it.

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