Home Improvement Needs Escalate for Seniors and the Disabled
While home improvement in general can be a very vague term encompassing nearly any modification to the home to either make it better, more convenient, or increase the market value, home improvement for the elderly and the physically challenged stipulates a much clearer set of requirements. Accessibility is the key factor here, and the issue is becoming critical in countries like the United States, where more than thirty seven million people have some kind of physical limitation.
Why the Disabilities Act Just Isn’t Enough
The need for providing an environment that is clear of obstacles and undue step elevations is gaining attention as more people than ever require this kind of accessibility. As the baby boomer generation slowly but surely slips into the senior citizen bracket, it will only become more urgent if the issue is not adequately addressed - and soon. The heart-rending stories surrounding inadequate efforts abound: amputees unable to go up steep ramps, arthritic patients unable to even turn on the water faucets, and even survivors of trauma who come home to find that the doorway is less than welcoming.
Passed several years ago, the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, was an attempt to make life easier by introducing several guidelines for home improvement for the elderly and the physically challenged; and even construction norms for new buildings. Though this did help a great deal, it was evident that a lot more needed to be done; installing a bathroom for the physically challenged at the top of a narrow stairway wasn’t exactly following the spirit of the law.
The Changing Face of Accessibility
What is normally considered to be an easy maneuver for a physically able person can sometimes be a nightmare for someone in a wheelchair. There are many real life examples of the inadequacies of the ADA. Fortunately, there are private enterprises that are now entering the void left by the government; they provide a unique service that assesses the challenges faced, and suggest the necessary home improvement changes for the elderly and the physically challenged. They can bring about so many improvements that a formerly impossible place to live in can dramatically change to become perfect for the physically challenged.
Heroes to the Nation’s Challenged
These service providers are bound to proliferate rapidly across the national homescape to help millions of homeowners make accessibility modifications to their homes. Though they are few in number as of now, this type of service is sure to be widely available in the near future - judging by how well the existing companies are doing.
On the whole, legislation needs to change, and fast. If America is going to be ready to handle the vast numbers of the elderly and the physically challenged that will soon be a reality, it needs to be decisive and move with the speed this challenge calls for.