While living every day with severe hearing and vision loss, or learning how to cope with your new loss and be self-sufficient in your own home, adapting your living environment to accommodate your daily needs becomes paramount.
Among other rooms in the house that have varying hazard levels, the bathroom stands out as one of the most dangerous home environments for those with vision loss.
The bathroom regularly has slippery floors, handles, walls and other surfaces that a deafblind person might have a difficult time noticing. Moreover, standard bathroom amenities need to be replaced with adequate pieces that will help the deafblind individual stay safe and use the bathroom easily on a daily basis.
Here are the five essential bathroom adaptations for deafblind people.
Clean and Simple
The easiest and most affordable adaptation is regularly making sure your bathroom is clean and clutter-free in order to avoid the risk of slips and falls. One of your worst enemies is clutter, and it can accumulate quite fast if you’re not careful.
The first thing you need to do is to declutter your living environment, including the bathroom, and leave plenty of room for easy and safe maneuvering. Be sure to memorize where your bathroom necessities are and always put them back in their place after use. Remember, organization is key.
Start with the Flooring
When looking to introduce adaptations to your bathroom, you should turn your attention to the floors first. The floor can be the most dangerous part of your bathroom, so you want to make sure you introduce non-slip flooring, as well as non-slip mats in the shower and bath.
Another great way to increase the overall safety of your bathroom is to put non-slip fabrics on the edges of your bathroom amenities as well in order to be able to grab every surface without the fear of it being wet or slippery. Make sure you cover the vanity, and the bathtub.
Choose the right Amenities
Speaking of amenities, they need to be able to accommodate your specific needs. This means that you should choose sturdy and durable white baths that contrast the surrounding design, making them easier to locate and use. Likewise, you want to outline the vanity in a distinctive color in order to avoid slips and falls.
If you have storage space or electric appliances, such as the washing machine, in your bathroom, make sure you highlight all of the important areas in hues you can easily discern. You can even put markers on handles and buttons in order to be able to use your appliances with ease.
Colors and Contrasts
In order to transform your bathroom into a safe, warm, and friendly environment, you will need to use colors and contrasts to your advantage. It’s important to divide your bathroom into sections and give every detail its own distinctive color, or even group several different things under one hue.
This will allow you to use the power of contrasts to your advantage, and navigate your bathroom safely. In order to make contrasts work, you want to make sure the bathroom is adequately illuminated at all times.
Install Safety Features
Finally, if your loss is recent and you're still coping and learning to get around on your own, you may feel safer installing safety fixtures. Be sure to install handrails in the bath, the shower, and around the toilet and the sink. You also want to mount a durable seat in your bathtub in order to minimize the risk of injury.
Depending on the severity of your condition, you might also want to cover the rails and other safety fixtures with easily distinguishable color markers as well in order to avoid missing them by accident.
Living with vision and hearing loss doesn’t have to be an arduous task; in fact, by following these essential tips, you will have no problem transforming your bathroom into a safe, and serene oasis you can enjoy for decades to come.
Catherine is a passionate home design consultant from Melbourne. She loves making homes beautiful and buildings sustainable, but she also like sharing her advice and knowledge with people.
That is why she is also a regular contributor to the Smoothdecorator blog. Besides all this, she loves reading and enjoys a superhero movie from time to time.
Home security is an important issue. It doesn’t mean that you necessarily need it, but it's one of those things you like to have just in case. People think that by buying a quality door with strong locks they will stop intrusions, but the truth is that burglars are smarter than that. Those with disabilities are especially targeted because the burglars see them as weak and unprotected.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) registers 285 million visually impaired people on the global level. There have been many technological solutions to help them with their daily activities and keep them mobile. This so-called assistive technology has been present since the 1960s and was focused on helping with personal care and mobility.
Assistive technology depends on the information collected from the person’s surroundings. Then that data is transmitted to the visually-impaired person through the audio or tactile format and both. This technology has improved over the years with the development of the sensor system, like for the Smart Cane.
When it comes to home security, the visually-impaired require a little bit more finesse, but the basics stay the same as for everyone. If you live with the visually-impaired person or are one, here are some security measures to take into consideration.
Always Lock your Doors
You must always lock your doors, no matter if you’re at home. Burglars always look for the most convenient way to enter someone’s home. In order to make sure that the doors are locked use locks that you can register by touch.
For example, if the lock is vertical that means that the doors are locked. Adding some heavy protection like deadbolts to the front door will also help, and if you leave in the house you should install them on the back entrance too.
Before you open the door, you should always know who you're letting into your home. Camera and microphones connected to the doorbell are very common today in the apartment buildings.
You can connect the feed to your smartphone or tablet and answer the door from any room in the house. Even though you may have problems with visually identifying the person, you will be able to recognize them by their voice.
Use Bright Tape for Home Alarm Systems
Home alarm systems can be tricky. They require a certain reaction time from the moment you entered your home and until you reached them. In order to be effective in the shortest period of time and shut down the alarm, you should make a signalization for yourself.
The bright tape is an ideal tool to leave directions for yourself in order to press the right buttons. If you frame the control panel with the bright tape you will locate it more quickly and enter the appropriate passcode in time.
Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Burglars are not the only danger that may come your way. Even though we feel the safest in our homes, that safety bubble is not perfect. Accidents happen and the most common ones are created by fire.
It’s hard to predict these accidents and that’s why installing fire and carbon monoxide alarms are the best safety measure you can have. Make sure that you check their functionality regularly since they operate on batteries which need to be changed.
Emergency Panic Buttons
An emergency panic button is designed to give you a quick respond of your home security system if you feel threatened. The button is located next to your bed and the moment you press it the sound alarm will turn on.
Sirens will alert your neighbors and security personnel, sometimes even the police, depending on your alarm system.
Clear your Path
If you need to escape from your home, in case of fire or to run away from the intruder, you have to clear the path beforehand. Remove rugs and carpets from your home which can trip you on your way out or make you slip and fall.
Keep the furniture out of the way and don’t leave clutter by the door. All stairs should have handrails to keep you from falling down and injuring yourself. Cords and wires should be nailed to the wall and out of the pathway. Keeping your home clean and tidy will prevent tripping and injuries.
Motion Sensor Lights
Usually, people use motion sensor lights for the entryways, yards, around the house perimeter and any other critical spot outside the home. Visually impaired people can also use them inside their home.
It’s a useful intruder detection system and you can have it installed only for those purposes. Indoor and outdoor LED lights are inexpensive and effective solution varying in color and brightness.
Wander alarm is a specifically designed device for detection of movement. It’s intended for windows and doorways, but can also be used for pieces of furniture like bed and chairs. It has a wireless motion sensing system with the range of 4.5 meters.
It can release a chime or send a signal to the receiver up to 30 meters away. The system uses two 9V batteries which should be changed regularly for it to be operational.
Secure the Windows
If your windows are old, you will have to replace them in order to secure them better. Even though alarm system will cover all entrances including the windows, you should make sure that all windows are locked. I
f you live on the lower levels, and can’t install the burglar bars, keep your windows closed. If you need additional security, install the sensor lights just above the windows. That way you’ll be alerted if anyone is trying to enter your home.
Use Light Timers
Light timers are a nice trick to create the illusion that you are at home. You can control them over your smartphone or just set the timers when you want lights to turn on. This will certainly make it easier for you if you come home when it’s dark so you wouldn’t trip and fall.
All this may seem complicated for someone who is visually impaired, but it can quickly become a routine for you. The most important thing in a person’s home is the safety and with this advice you will secure your environment.
Having somebody you love experience memory loss and is now dependent on you can turn your life around and it has an impact on the whole family.
Providing them with support and understanding on itself won’t be enough, it is essential to know how to help them. They need to learn how to cope themselves and regain some independence and here are some tips on how to achieve that.
When you hear that somebody you care for has dementia, you will probably be frightened at first. But then you’ll have to deal with the problem.
To do this, you have to know as much as you can about the illness in question. You have to be informed, so visit a doctor who can answer any question you may have. There are support groups you can join, where you can learn from other people’s experiences and get some practical advice on what to do and how to behave. Also, there are many websites you can visit which are dedicated to the issue.
Stick to a Routine
Organizing your life will be much easier if you make a good schedule and follow it. Both you and your loved one will benefit from developing a routine, since it will make it less stressful to adjust to the new situation.
Also, it could help you with your caregiving duties and make it less likely to forget anything important.
You should know that you aren’t perfect and can’t do everything on your own. It’s perfectly acceptable and normal to ask for help from other family members, friends and neighbors. You won’t be able to spend every moment of your time caring for the person with dementia, so you will sometimes need other people to take over some of your responsibilities or all of them when you need a break.
Sometimes you’ll feel overwhelmed and simply need somebody who understands you. This is where the support groups could be helpful. Also, contact social services to find out if there are resources available to you. Perhaps you can get counseling or maybe even professional in home care to take over for you once in a while.
You will sometimes lose your nerve and get frustrated if your loved one can’t remember something or if they have problems communicating, but don’t get upset or angry about it.
They don’t do it on purpose, it’s the illness. Talk to them in a calm voice and with a positive attitude. Even if they don’t know what you are talking about, they will understand your body language. Always talk to them with respect and affection, and don’t argue with them.
Use short and clear sentences and simple words, and keep your tone low, calm and reassuring. You can even joke, but never at their expense.
Manage the Medicine
Medical treatments are an essential part of your loved one’s everyday life. It’s your responsibility to keep track of all the doctor appointments or any medication they should receive. You have to make sure they don’t get ill or get any condition which can complicate the one they already have.
Keep them in good shape, take them outside and try to keep them on their feet as often as you can, or hire home care to keep your loved one in as good shape as possible.
Take care of Yourself
If you want to be a good caregiver, you need to feel good first. Don’t get too caught up in your duties to forget self-care. Eat regularly and keep your diet balanced, exercise a few times a week and visit your doctor as often as necessary to remain healthy.
Don’t feel guilty if you need some time for yourself. You are more than a caregiver, you are a person with their own needs and feelings and you need to see to them.
When your loved ones get ill and dementia takes over, there’s not much you can do about the illness itself, but you can make life more bearable for the person you care about. Nurse them with understanding and affection they deserve and never let the illness make you forget who that person was before dementia and all the good things they did for you and with you.
About the Author:
Olivia Williams Jones
Editor at High Style Life
w: https://highstylife.com/ e: email@example.com
No matter if you are living alone or raising an army of kids (that includes your husband), everyday life, and family life in particular, can be extremely taxing on your emotional and psychological well-being. That’s why your bedroom, and your kids’ bedroom, needs to be a kind of peaceful oasis, a place where you can unwind and shed off the stress of the day. However, for most people the bedroom is just a place where they go to bed after a long, hard day.
But what if you could optimize its layout, equip it with elements that support health and vibrancy, and ensure it is safe, healthy, and pleasant to be in? Here are the five essential changes you want to make in your bedroom today to elevate your quality of life.
Clear the clutter
Clutter around the bedroom can accumulate rather quickly, and it is not just that it’s unsightly to look at, but it can be downright dangerous in terms of health and safety. The mess around the room poses a great threat to people living with disabilities, as one can easily trip over clothes or toys.
Even if no one in your family is living with a disability, you still want to regularly and thoroughly declutter the bedroom, throwing or giving away the things you don’t need in order to support safety and health by not letting dust and various pests to make the mess their new home.
Label and organize
Both parents and children can greatly benefit from keeping their bedrooms organized, and their stuff neatly packed in labelled boxes and drawers. This will not only support healthy and positive habits, but it can be extremely time saving for those with vision loss.
Labelling the things around the bedroom in bright colors will help anyone with eyesight problems to find their way around the room more easily, and it just helps keep stuff in its place.
Maintain healthy airflow
Air quality is one of the most important elements in a healthy bedroom environment, and not many people devote their time and attention to elevating the quality of air in their homes in general. Without constant airflow and purification, you are allowing mold, allergens, dust, and harmful bacteria to settle in around the bedroom.
Allowing this to happen can severely impact your long-term health and quality of life, so installing a HEPA air purifier to eliminate air pollutants, gases, allergens, and all other hazardous elements is one of the most important steps in creating a healthy sleeping environment.
Avoid sharp edges
Contrary to popular belief, knives, scissors, and other sharp objects have no business residing in the bedroom. There are plenty of other suitable places around the house where you can keep sharp things, such as the kitchen or a drawer in the living room, but keeping them in the bedroom can put your kids and yourself in unnecessary danger.
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and they happen more often than you think. You want to exercise safety at all times, and keep sharp objects away from children, only allowing them to use them under guidance and constant supervision.
Bedroom Hygiene 101
Finally, bedroom hygiene is as important as air quality, and maintaining a clean sleeping environment by changing the sheets and pillowcases regularly, approximately every week, is the first step. This way you will eliminate harmful dust mites, mold spores, and bacteria that could otherwise damage your health.
Secondly, be sure to vacuum thoroughly every week to eliminate dust and dirt that might have settled down on the floors, and don’t forget to clean the room with homemade cleaning products. Making your own cleaning products is not only healthier because of the absence of harmful chemicals, but it is also infinitely lighter on the budget.
Your bedroom should be a place of peace, positivity, and serenity, a true oasis and sanctuary amidst the troubles of everyday life. Be sure to implement these essential tips and you will have created your very own oasis the entire family will love.
Many times when people find out out someone is deaf or hard of hearing, the first question is usually:
"Can you read lips?"
Why? Why do people assume that all of "us" can lipread? Maybe you don't realize how hard it is to lipread and master it?
Let me explain:
Only 30% of what is said can be seen clearly on the lips. (And that's by skilled readers too). That's 3 out of 10 words! Most of it is guesswork.
Here's an example of how it's done.
Photo Transcript can be read here.
Pretty difficult right?
Don't forget there's eye fatigue and headaches that goes along with heavy lipreading.
How to Help
You can help ease the strain and stress by helping us out by:
How did you do? Harder than it looks eh?
One final suggestion:
Instead of asking:
I'm still looking for writers, bloggers, and vloggers to join my site!
Want exposure for your writing, teach others, or share information, but don't have the knowledge, or don't want the hassle, of running your own website. Leave that to me!
You'll get your own "Page" here, without the hassle of upkeep. Take a look at my guest post guidelines for a rough idea of what I do here. Submit once a week, once every other week, or once a month and gain over 5,000 pageviews a week.
Contact me and let's open a discussion!