Why is Accessibility Important?

07/19/19, 10:40 AM


What is Accessibility?

It refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with mobility issues. Accessibility issues can be permanent or temporary for any age group.

What mobility aids are used to improve accessibility?

  • walkers
  • canes
  • wheelchairs
  • crutches
  • ramps
  • carts
  • scooters

What Makes a Living Environment Fully Accessible?

Interior designs that create a fully accessible living environment are not just about a 3 foot wide door and one level living.  There are many accessible features that allow easier movment within a living space.  The main areas that tend to create problems for someone with limited mobility are the washroom and the kitchen.  There needs to be enough space for a 5 foot turn radius to allow easy mobility.  There are also many design features within each of these spaces that can make life easier, such as a low-threshold shower, raised dishwasher, or open concept living, etc.

Many people believe that they are invincible. Just like teenagers - adults, boomers, and seniors are in denial about their bodies and future. People often say "that won't happen to me" or "I have many years before I will have to use that!" However, people don't think about the "what if" scenario.

We need to realize that the future is unknown. Everyone hopes to never need a mobility aid but they may have a knee or hip replaced at some point in their life span.

Most joint replacements on the lower body require patients to be in a wheelchair temporarily. This recovery time can be frustrating and can be lengthened simply because of mobility issues in the home.

Also, most joint replacements have a life span of 10 years. So in reality, once you have had a joint replacement, you will most likely have another one!

According to the Annual Canadian Joint Replacement Registry of 2013:

  • Over 50,000 people had a knee replacement in 2013
  • Over 40,000 people had a hip replacement in 2013
  • Average age for joint replacements is between 55 and 85

Living in a fully accessible environment allows you to age-in-place and have home care come to you.  

You will not have to move again unless you need long-term care.

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