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Preparing Your Home for Guests with Limited Mobility

Edited by Kirk McDonald |
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Limited Mobility Shouldn’t Limit Holiday Fun

Preparing for holiday guests with mobility challenges is easy. “Modifying your home can be as simple as rearranging some furniture or putting in a few handrails in strategic locations,” according to this article.

Below are just a few.

Overcoming Outside Obstacles

Make sure the path to your house is well lit and clear of objects, especially snow and ice in winter regions. Rent a ramp for walkers and wheelchairs if you need a more stable alternative to your stairs.

Cook Up Solutions for the Kitchen And Beyond

Invest in a reacher. These clever, inexpensive tools have multiple uses around the house, including the kitchen. Your guests can retrieve items without bending over and from high shelves without using a footstool, which can be a safety hazard.

For the holidays, place desserts, hors d’oeuvres, picture frames and presents in places your mobility-challenged guests can easily see and reach them. 

A More Livable Living Room

Four small adjustments can make a big impact in your living room:

1. Move anything that makes it more difficult to get around. If a guest uses a walker or wheelchair, allow extra room around furniture. Ottomans and coffee tables can be hazards, so make sure they are out of the way.

 2. Chairs and sofas shouldn’t be so low that guests have to drop into them or strain to get up. Simply adding a pillow for height can be a temporary solution.

 3. Take up the rugs. Throw rugs and limited mobility don’t go well together. Roll them up and move them out of the way to prevent tripping.

4. De-clutter. For smooth moving, get rid of clutter and make sure electric cords and telephone wires aren’t tripping hazards.

Give Overnight Guests the Best

Make their bedroom easily accessible. If your bedrooms are upstairs, consider converting a room on the main floor into a guest bedroom, if only for a few days.

Falls Aren’t Festive

Bathrooms are hot spots for falls and injuries. Fortunately, many bathroom safety measures are simple and inexpensive:

Low-pile, non-skid bathmats can prevent falls on wet, slippery floors. Non-slip mats or appliqués are also helpful in the tub/shower.

Have a happy and safe holiday season from all of us at Motivo!

Learn more at




David Freeman. Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD Home Safety Tips for People With Limited Mobility WebMD Feature.””

DIY Home Health and Safety. Avoiding Falls: Making Your Home Safe if You Have Limited Mobility.

Carla A. Chase, EdD, assistant professor of occupational therapy, Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services, Kalamazoo.

Tracy L. Van Oss, DHSc, assistant clinical professor of occupational therapy, Quinnipiac University School of Health Science, Hamden, Conn.

Harris, Janie (2007). Adapting Your Home for More Accessible Living. Available electronically Texas Cooperative Extension/Texas A&M University System: “Adapting Your Home for More Accessible Living.” from

National Institute on Aging: Falls and Fractures. Reviewed on April 06, 2010. © 2010 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.