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Independent living is a desire of many, if not most, people with disabilities. A number of devices can help people with disabilities perform daily tasks needed to stay living at home. Many of these devices are easy to install and low-cost. Often, products cost less at local hardware and plumbing or electrical supply stores than through disability-related product suppliers. These devices include:
An occupational therapist can visit your home and make suggestions about which devices might make your life easier.
Modifying an existing home to support a person with a short- or long-term disability isn't always possible. For instance, doorways and halls might be too narrow for a wheelchair to fit through. Or remodeling a bathroom or kitchen might cost too much. More and more, people who design and build homes are adopting principles of "universal design." This is not a style, but rather a concept of design that meets the range of functional needs of all types of people. This makes day-to-day living safer and also makes it possible for people to "age in place." Some elements of universal design include:
If you are not able to live on your own or need help with daily living, there are several options:
Content last updated: September 22, 2009.