Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Home a Danger Zone for Many Wheelchair Users: Study

  1. #1

    Home a Danger Zone for Many Wheelchair Users: Study

    Monday January 21 6:33 PM ET
    Home a Danger Zone for Many Wheelchair Users: Study
    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Nearly one in five people who require the aid of a wheelchair to move about their home fall and hurt themselves each year, survey results suggest.

    While indoor home modifications could help prevent such injurious falls, few of the people surveyed had made such modifications, Dr. Katherine Berg of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and her colleagues note.

    ``Home environments that facilitate independence and that make it easier to move around should be considered a basic need for disabled persons,'' Berg and colleagues report in the January issue of the American Journal of Public Health, journal of the American Public Health Association (news - web sites).

    The researchers surveyed 525 male and female wheelchair users over the age of 18 who were living at home.

    ``Overall, 37.9% of wheelchair users fell at least once (during the 12-month study period), and 17.7% suffered a fall-related injury,'' the researchers write.

    Typically, wheelchair users are encouraged to modify their homes to make wheelchair use easier and safer. Five structural modifications are recommended including bathroom and kitchen adjustments, widened doorways and hallways, and the addition of railings and easy-to-open doors.

    But few of the wheelchair users had modified their homes as recommended, the researchers found.

    ``Only 4% had all five accessibility features and 36.4% had none,'' they report.

    ``A higher percentage of the injured fallers (47.7% vs 34%) reported having none of the modifications examined (in the study),'' the report indicates.

    Although the survey data offered no way to determine the adequacy of the reported home modifications, the findings imply that making such modifications could reduce the rate of falls by about 44%, according to the authors.

    ``From a public health perspective, both safety and access would be greatly facilitated if home modifications became a reimbursable expense under Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurers,'' Berg and colleagues write.

    ``From a societal perspective, there should be greater movement toward barrier-free universal design environments,'' the team concludes.

    SOURCE: American Journal of Public Health 2002;92:48.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tara's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    400
    Who wants a house covered in Handrails and ramps? Of course they should recommend it but its terrible to have a house that looks like a senior care home facility. Its nice for them that they dont need to have it in theirs.

  3. #3
    My home is totally wc accessible and there are no rails or ramps anywhere and it doesn't look clinical at all. When people visit me they expect to see medical equipment cluttering all available floor space, really obvious or noticeable modifications, special this and special that all over the place sitting out like a sore thumb. I think these assumptions represent outdated stereotypes. Accessible home modifications can be very discreet and tasteful.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Dodge City, KS
    Posts
    209
    This article should focus on the fact that very few people can afford the needed modifications.

    Noel

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Dodge City, KS
    Posts
    209
    Seneca is right, no need for that insitutional look. I recently moved into my dream home which was specifically remodeled to be fully accessible and there is no clue that a wheelchair user lives there. When building think Universal Design, and build smart.

    Noel

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •