Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International


House Remodeling


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Preventing Falls

Living with a chronic condition requires a lot of adaptations. The one thing you don’t want to cope with is the effects of an injury that could have been prevented. Falls are the second leading cause of death from accidents for people of all ages and more than 200,000 people suffer a fracture of the hip each year from falls. For some, it may be impossible to continue living alone after suffering a serious injury.

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Many of us arranged our kitchen back in the days when we were physically capable, so what did it matter if we had to walk extra steps or carry heavy pots? Now, however, we have a finite amount of energy and strength, and we need to assess whether the kitchen meets our needs. Take a few minutes, sit down, look around and evaluate your kitchen.

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Most closets are organized too high for someone in a wheelchair or for someone who is vision impaired. The best way to achieve “low oriented” closet space is to unload the closet and take out all the original shelving and hanging rods. Next the disabled person should get in front of the empty closet and describe where the clothes and other items should be placed for daily living. Then put shelves and rods in the places where the disabled person needs them.

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Safety in the Bathroom

Sit down for showering. Difficulty with transfers, poor balance, and fear of falling affects people’s ability to bathe safely. For those who need to access a bathtub to bathe or shower, a bathtub transfer bench which rests partly inside and partly outside the tub enables one to sit down outside the tub and gradually slide over to the inside. Some models come with a backrest, adjustable height legs, and various seat sizes and types.

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Grab Bars

Grab bars are useful in many locations. For example, if a stairway has a chairlift, it is a good idea to place grab bars at both the top and bottom. Or, even if there is only a step up of a few inches at a doorway, a grab bar will help the disabled achieve the extra stability needed to enter or exit their home.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336), signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990, is first and foremost a civil rights law that establishes a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.

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