1-800-378-9128
Font Size
 
 

A Home That Welcomes All Guests

Picture of House

This is the time of year when Perry Como reminds us, "there's no place like home for the holidays." Many of us are cleaning and decorating our houses to welcome loved ones for meals and celebrations. "As we check lists for groceries, festive towels, and centerpieces, it's also important to make sure our homes are accessible for all family members and friends," noted Tricia Lewis of Society's Assets.

If your guest uses a wheelchair, have a place ready at the table so you're not making room when it's time to eat. Watch for table legs underneath to be sure they can pull all the way in. If your guest has low vision, check your lights. Direct lighting is best, especially in key areas like the dining table or bathroom. Avoid obvious mix-ups, such as having lotion right next to hand soap. When seating your guest, mention where things are; for instance, tell them their water glass is on their right. Be sure all paths are free of clutter or trip hazards. When you're decorating, leave enough room for a walker, wheelchair, or mobility aid to pass by. If your guest is hard of hearing, look directly at them when speaking. Don't shout, especially if they use hearing aids. Shouting distorts your voice and makes you harder to understand. Avoid extraneous noise, such as mood music, that can make conversation difficult. If you have the game on, switch on the closed captions.

The bathroom can be an embarrassing place to ask for help, so be proactive. If a guest has trouble moving, look for portable hand rails that fold around your toilet. Ensure there is room to maneuver their mobility aid. Put the paper within easy reach of the seat. Set aside a quiet space for when the commotion becomes overwhelming. Avoid a clearly personal space, like a bedroom, which can make the guest feel they are intruding. Consider unscented or flameless candles to get ambience without the airborne chemical fragrances.

Check your outside areas too. Be sure steps and walkways are completely cleared of ice. Adequate lighting after dark is a must. If there is no railing, have an alternate entrance available. For a wheelchair, look into renting a portable ramp. Threshold ramps are also an option. DIY ramps can be dangerous, so ask a professional for accurate advice to keep your guests and property safe.

Most importantly, ask your guests what would be helpful for them to feel comfortable in your home.

If you have any questions about home accessibility, equipment, or disability, reach out to an Independent Living Coordinator at Society's Assets, 800-378-9128. Or contact us through the website. With equipment to loan or demonstrate and connections to other resources, we are happy to help you make your home as welcoming as possible to all of your guests.