Employees who have suffered injuries that involve extensive healing time or injuries that result in permanent disability often require home modifications to ensure best quality of life and recovery outcomes. Such modifications can involve anything from significant structural changes to the house to simple rearrangement of furniture. The ultimate goal of any home modification is to help injured workers reach peak mobility around their homes and allow them to retain as much autonomy as possible when facing the challenges of daily life.
To accomplish this goal, it is important to consult qualified persons to assess the extent of the injured workers’ in-home limitations and recommend modifications that will limit the possibility of additional injury and improve quality of life. A Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist can offer such recommendations. Such specialists, who receive their certificate from the National Association of Home Builders, possess the necessary training to help improve the living conditions of injured workers.
Because in-home falls are common among injured workers, preventative precautions typically must be taken, especially if the injured worker suffers from balance or coordination issues. Stairs, entryways, showers, and toilets prove frequent sites of such falls. Some appropriate measures to take include: installing a foldup aluminum ramp or permanent wood or concrete ramp; installing handrails/grab bars in bathrooms and other high use areas; renovating showers to make them wheelchair accessible; installing elevators or other lift systems; removing throw rugs in high traffic areas.
Another issue facing injured workers’ involves difficulty reaching or grasping important items in the home. Reach is typically an issue of height, which can be compromised by an injury requiring use of a wheelchair or any injury that limits arm range and mobility. Grasping becomes an issue when injury to hands, forearms, up upper arms results in a loss of strength or dexterity. In either case, the consequence is an injured worker who cannot secure in-home items that he or she needs. Some appropriate measures to take include: lowering countertop height in kitchens and bathrooms; fitting cabinet drawers and doors with handles rather than knobs; moving items necessary for daily life into low-to-the ground storage areas like cabinets.
When a worker faces an injury that involves long-term recovery or permanent disability, the physical and psychological struggles can be immense. One of the most important ways to return some semblance of normalcy to their lives is to make their homes as safe, comfortable, and as functional as possible. The above home modifications offer some suggestions regarding where to start. When all is said and done, however, each injured employee requires those modifications that will best his or her unique lifestyle and medical needs.
At Designed Living, we can assist with home modification needs no matter how big or small. Contact us today at (949) 353-5400 to receive concierge service on all your home modification needs.