Until the early 90s, several federal laws governing civil rights for individuals with disabilities were greatly unenforced by federal and state governments. However, The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed by the federal government in 1990. It overhauls the country’s building practices and its perception towards citizens with disabilities. Today, assisted living and wheelchair-bound work synonymously for many retirement communities. Find out how it can help your loved one.
How Assisted Living Helps Your Wheelchair-Bound Loved One
In some settings of senior care that include independent living and in-home care, support and amenities for wheelchair users may somewhat be limited in comparison to those you can find in assisted living. Below are some common features of assisted living that help promote a safe and fulfilling environment for those who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids.
- Personal Care Services: Offering an extensive system of personal care support and basic help with mobility to residents, assisted living communities can reduce the stress of living with a disability, especially for individuals who are living on their own.
- Safety and Accessibility: Facility building codes alleviate the need for home modifications for those who have just started using a wheelchair in the home or who may have a need to do so in the near future, ultimately saving the troubles, time, and high costs associated with home modifications.
- Built-In Accessibility Aids: Accessibility aids provided in assisted living greatly contribute towards the responsibility of team members, with maintenance and costs of these features often included in the monthly rental. Aids that are commonly offered include wall-mounted call systems, emergency response systems, mounted grab bars, and others.
- Common Space Accessibility: Building codes optimize shared common spaces for wheelchair users inside communities, creating an easily accessible nearby space of community interaction without the need for commute or regular transfers to and from a wheelchair.
- Transportation: Vehicles used at assisted living communities to transport residents with wheelchairs are optimized to provide easy access, and residents are transported to their destinations by personal drivers. Residents also have access to transportation assistance so they can travel in safety on every ride.
- Physical Therapy: Assisted living offers on-site therapy services which help residents with low mobility to improve on their limitations so they can be relieved from pain through guided exercise and professional assessments.
Mobility Access in Assisted Living Communities
Determining which assisted living community is ideal for you as a wheelchair user depends on various factors, including the level of dependence you have on your wheelchair as well as your age and comorbid conditions. Wheelchair accessibility may be legally required in all senior care environments, but for reasons of ethical responsibility and safety, there may be certain restrictions imposed by assisted living communities on the level of mobility that they can cater to. Those who are permanently bedridden or require more than one person to help with transfer assistance may not be able to meet certain assisted living criteria. Those with these needs may achieve greater benefits in a nursing home.