Jul 24

The Americans With Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 and is celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year.

The infographic below is from last year’s 22nd Anniversary and outlines how the ADA defines “disability” and provides data about the number of Americans living with a disability. It also lists the various types of disabilities, education and employment information, and assistive technology devices.

In addition, a chart shows the historical disability milestones that have passed since 1880 while calling attention to significant sections of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Nearly 50 million Americans are living with some type of a disability. While that number represents approximately 16% of the U.S. population, it is expected to increase as a large number of Baby Boomers reach retirement age and beyond.

ADA Anniversary

Visit Disability.gov to find 2013 Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary Celebrations in your area.

For more information, and to see this Americans With Disabilities Act infographic in a larger size, visit Daily Infographic.

Apr 30

We often discuss fall prevention for seniors and older adults and have offered dozens of ways to make the home safer. It’s an important topic. It all boils down to tripping, slipping, and falling.

Here are three problem areas and solutions for seniors to prevent tripping, slipping, and falling:

1. Prevent Tripping – Remove Loose Carpets From Walkways

Loose rugs, carpets, and even electrical cords and cables may seem necessary but they are a main cause of people tripping in the home.

Slipping Tripping Falling

In this hallway there is not one but two throw rugs in the main walking area of the home. Tacking them down might help but if the foot hits on the exact edge, they won’t give and could cause a fall for sure. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid using these types of carpets. If you’re concerned about carpet stains, try treating the carpet with a stain protector like Scotch Guard in frequently traveled areas of the home.

Cost to implement: It costs nothing to remove loose carpets and next to nothing for fabric protector.

2. Prevent Slipping – Use Shower Strips or Bath Mats in the Bathroom

Bathrooms are where we find most slipping accidents because the shower floors are wet. Bathroom floors outside of the shower can be wet too.

The best way to prevent slipping in the shower is to use a bath mat or non-slip shower strips. Grab bars are essential but they just give you something to grab if you do slip. Prevent slipping from ever happening by adding a non-slip surface to the floor.

Slips Trips Falls

Outside the shower, bathroom floors become wet from water leaving the shower or tub. Here it is okay to use a throw carpet such as a towel-type bath mat. It will give you something to step on as you get out of the shower to absorb the water. For a walk-in shower, shower dams can be installed at the threshold to keep water in the shower area.

Collapsible Water Retainer Shower Dam

Cost to implement: Cheap. Bath mats and shower strips costs less than $20. Collapsible shower dams cost a little more but they work well at keeping water in the shower and make cleaning the bathroom floors easier.

3. Prevent Falling – Add Handrails to Outside Steps and Walkways

Walkways in and out of the home with just a few steps can be the major cause of falling, especially for older adults who have trouble seeing. Make sure these areas are well lit at night and each step is clearly visible.

Outside Step Railing

Here is an outside entrance we modified by adding a wooden handrail. As you can see, the steps all look the same and it’s difficult to see where one step ends and the next begins. To make this more problematic, the steps were made of stone with hard, sharp edges. Falling on these steps could be a disaster. The area was also very wide and there was only a handrail on one side.

Railing on Stairs

We matched the wood and color and extended it all the way across the front of the house making the entire porch safe from falls. A second handrail leading up the steps offered two areas to hold on to for added safety. The result looks great and matches the home perfectly.

Cost to implement: It depends on the size and style needed. If you have a large area to cover and need custom wood or iron railings it can be costly. But it’s also possible to have it done without spending more than a few hundred dollars. Not only is it worth it, it can be an attractive add-on to your home.

Apr 30

Those who are building a new home with an eye on the future and possibly retirement are probably aware of the universal design principle that calls for at least one bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor. For others, if you plan to remain in your current home as you age, if all of the bedrooms and bathrooms are upstairs, you’ll probably need to install a stair lift or home elevator.

Residential Glass Elevators

Those who fall into the second category generally opt for a stair lift for getting up and down stairs. But there are quite a few benefits to installing a residential glass elevator:

– No transferring from a wheelchair to a stair lift and back again

– Less stressful on the caregiver and person using the stair lift

– Increases the safety and usability of a home

– Cheaper than moving, especially when you add up all the costs associated with a move

– Adds to the value of your home

– Allows you to remain in your own home

– Elevators are a cool, home design centerpiece

We really like the “cool” factor of a home elevator and we’ve been using them for years. But we favor a new line of residential glass elevators that we’re excited to showcase for our clients who want to remain in their own homes.

Glass Home Elevators

One of the disadvantages of standard home elevators is that they can be a bit claustrophobic. With glass elevators, you can see out when riding up or down. Glass elevators are great for caregivers because they can also see if somebody is inside.

Probably the best part about the newest models of home elevators is the easy installation. After measurements are taken, the residential glass elevators are custom manufactured at the factory to fit the home specifications. They are transported to the installation location and can be carried through a normal door opening and quickly assembled.

Because of the innovative, pre-designed manufacturing process, they have a small 4-inch pit and fit under a standard ceiling space.

For many people, a stair lift offers the safety and convenience of getting up and down stairs instead of walking, and will be beneficial for years to come. But depending on the disability and need, glass home elevators can offer significant features without incurring much more added cost. It’s important to properly evaluate the needs of the user.

The most important aspect is to find the best solution for remaining at home to age-in-place. If you’re interested, we’d be more than happy to discuss the pros and cons of riding in style at home.

Want to ride one? Call us at 866-902-9800 so that we can arrange a private ride in any of the four beautiful models located at our manufacturer’s West Hollywood Showroom – shown by appointment only.

You can also call us for more information about residential glass elevators or visit our website at:

Jan 13
Be Nice...One Day I'll Be Changing Your Diapers

While it’s a pretty funny shirt, it’s a fact of life that we all grow old one day, and many of us will rely on our children to take care of us.

It’s always been this way, but with people living longer, it will be ever more important in the coming decades.

Some question whether Social Security will carry on, or how long retirement funds will last before they dry up.

If money becomes a serious issue, it will be imperative that many seniors live with their children.

Aging-in-Place is a great option, but if we’re going to be living past 100 years old, at some point we’ll need to find a place to live where somebody is around to take care of us.

The best thing is to start planning early and discuss every option with friends and family. So many people are afraid to discuss aging and how they will live when they’re in their 80s and beyond. This isn’t something that can wait until the last minute. Don’t be afraid to talk about the future. Do it now while you can.

And be nice to your children. Because you never what the future holds. :-)

Dec 14

On September 15, 2010, the law regarding ADA Pool Accessibility requirements changed. Under the new legislation, public and commercial swimming pools are now required to be accessible to people with disabilities on, or before March 15, 2012. This access can be in the form of Pool Lifts that can be operated by the person with the disability or a sloped entries.

Pool Lifts

Swimming pools with more than 300 linear feet of wall must provide two means of entry, with the primary means being either a pool lift or sloped entry. The secondary means of entry can be a pool lift, sloped entry, transfer wall, transfer system, or pool stairs.

Swimming pools with less than 300 feet of wall only need to provide one means of entry – either a pool lift or sloped entry.

Of course there are plenty of other requirements and it’s best to check for compliance way in advance to ensure there won’t be any problems with your pool.

Some of the exceptions include wave pools, spas, and wading pools.

The U.S. Department of Justice has more information on their website regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act at: www.ada.gov.

There are a variety of pool lift options available. Some are stationary, while others are mobile and can be wheeled in and out of storage either daily or at the end of the season. And you don’t have to have a public or commercial swimming pool to take advantage of the accessibility features of pool lifts. They work great for family pools too.

We have several examples of pool lifts on our website at: www.AccessibleConstruction.com/services/ramps/ada-pool-lifts

Give us a call at (866) 902-9800 if you have a public or commercial pool and you need a pool lift for compliance before March 15, 2012.

Dec 9

The Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard website offers state-by-state data about Long-Term Services and Supports for seniors, caregivers, and people with disabilities.

Below is the map that shows data by state. To find additional information, ranking data and other downloads, click on the map or visit the website at: www.LongTermScorecard.org

Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard by State

The State Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Scorecard allows seniors and people with disabilities a way to discover performance by each state across a variety of indicators including:

1. Affordability and access
2. Choice of setting and provider
3. Quality of life and quality of care
4. Support for family caregivers

The LTSS website not only helps seniors, caregivers and families easily find much needed information, it also helps states and policymakers track efficiencies and needs.

The first state LTSS scorecard was developed by AARP‘s Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund, and The SCAN Foundation.

Oct 31

Some disabilities progress over time. This means that installing a stair lift may be fine for now, but in a few years it may be difficult to use. Choosing a home elevator might be a better option, and installing a Telecab Elevator can minimize construction time and cost.

A Telecab Elevator is a two-stop residential elevator for home use with a 500 lb. weight capacity that is equipped with windows and interior lighting. A Telecab is sometimes called a “vanishing elevator” or “shaftless elevator” because it does not require an elevator shaft for installation. Because there is no shaft, it decreases the time to install and reduces the cost.

Telecab Elevator

Telecab Elevator parked downstairs during installation

The unique design of a Telecab allows it to disappear from sight when it’s on another floor. It can be installed virtually in any room in the home that allows enough space for the cab above and below.


Telecab traveling upstairs into the ceiling and out of the way downstairs

If the unit is parked upstairs, simply choose the down button from the main floor to call it downstairs. When it arrives, walk, or roll in with a wheelchair and take it up to the top floor. It recesses into the ceiling where it is out of sight downstairs.

Telecab Elevator recessed into the floor

Telecab Elevator view from the upstairs bathroom recessed into the floor to create more space upstairs while the cab is parked downstairs

If you’re upstairs and need the space, the Telecab can be parked downstairs. Simply call it at the touch of a button when needed to transport you downstairs.

Telecab parked upstairs in the bathroom

Telecab parked upstairs in the bathroom

Telecab Elevators are a safe and convenient way to live independently in your own home. They eliminate the need for stairs, or stair lifts, and provide comfort for the user and caregiver. By reducing the stress and strain associated with wheelchair transfers to and from a stairlift, it increases the quality of life for the user and caregiver.

Telecabs come with a variety of configuration options including cab and window panel colors, cab interior size, or a second door to enter and exit a different location on another floor.

If you’re considering a home elevator to avoid the hassle of a stairway, a Telecab Elevator might be a convenient and economical way to stay safe in your home.

Oct 5

Back in August we showed a Modular Ramp installation for a client that needed a wheelchair ramp to get up his stairs. In this instance, a straight ramp wouldn’t fit because we needed too much ramp length and there wasn’t enough space. So we installed a switchback Modular Ramp that traveled back and forth, providing enough length to decrease the slope angle.

What we didn’t show was that the other side of the house had an even smaller area, making it impossible to install any kind of ramp. No problem. For really tight spaces a vertical Platform Lift or Porch Lift is often better than a wheelchair ramp.

Porch Lift

Porch Lift at the bottom position

Vertical Lifts are great because they require minimal effort on the part of the wheelchair user or caregiver. Simply open the gate at the bottom, roll in, close the gate behind you and push the button. The lift rises up to the next level and out you go at the top. They also promote independent living because there is no need for a caregiver to help push up a ramp. The user can do everything at the touch of a button located on the control panel.

Platform Lift

Platform Lift at the top position

Platform Lifts are safe and reliable and can be installed both indoors and outside. They have a 750-pound weight capacity and come with a non-skid deck surface. They are recommended for commercial and residential applications and offer an ideal way for companies to come into compliance.

Vertical Lift view from the top landing

Vertical Lift view from the top landing

If safety is a concern, Platform Lifts can be safer than ramps depending on the physical condition of the user or the caregiver. They require little or no physical strength as the motor does all the work and problems going too fast down a ramp or falling backwards are eliminated.

When you don’t have enough space for a wheelchair ramp, consider going vertical with a Porch Lift or Vertical Platform Lift.

Sep 28

This year’s Medtrade Expo in Atlanta, Georgia will be held from October 25 to October 27, 2011.

Medtrade is the largest home medical equipment tradeshow in the US and provides an opportunity to review new products, network with industry manufacturers, and learn about the latest trends and practices that will help you better serve your patients.

Medtrade 2011

One of the highlights of the show is The Medtrade Accessible Home in partnership with Accessible Home Improvement of America and Nationwide Homes. The Accessible Home features the newest, most advanced home healthcare products and showcases them just like patients would use them in their own home.

Shower Body Dryer

Tornado Body Dryer

Accessible Construction is proud to be representing the Tornado Shower Body Dryer in this year’s Medtrade Accessible Home. The shower body dryer allows for hands-free drying which is ideal for people with balance problems, arthritis, need privacy from a caregiver or just like to have the latest gadget.

New for 2011 is the Retail Design Center which will display Homecare Products, and Home Modification Ideas, as well as Retail Design Ideas and Opportunities. The Retail Design Center offers solutions for your clients but also retail opportunities for new business.

Shower Dam and Weighted Shower Curtains

Shower Dam and Weighted Shower Curtains

We will have a collapsible Shower Dam and Weighted Shower Curtains on display in the Retail Design Center, which provide the ideal solution for keeping water in the shower and off the bathroom floor.

Offset Hinges

Offset Hinges

We will also have residential and commercial Offset Hinges on display that allow you to widen doorways by up to two inches just by replacing door hinges. What used to take a half-day of construction can now be done easily at a fraction of the cost.

If you’ll be in Atlanta this year for Medtrade, make sure you spend some time at the Medtrade Accessible Home and the Retail Design Center.

Medtrade 2011
Georgia World Congress Center
285 Andrew Young International Blvd.
Building B, Halls 1-3
Atlanta, GA 30313

Sep 21

One common fear for seniors and people with disabilities is getting burned by water that is too hot while taking a shower or running water in the sink. This is especially true for people with dementia or that have lost the feeling in their hands.

These LED lighting shower and faucet lights just might help save somebody from water burns. While we don’t sell these, we’ve seen them before and think they’re a great idea. You can get these at ThinkGeek and the price is pretty good.

LED Water Lights Prevent Burns

On the left is a lighted shower head and on the right is a lighted sink faucet. The lights are LEDs and change color depending on the temperature of the water. A blue light signifies the water is cold but if the water reaches a temperature of 89 degrees F (32 degrees C) the light changes to red.

Not only do these look great and add a touch of fun to taking a shower or doing the dishes, they’re fully functional and might keep a loved one from getting burned by hot water.

To find out more or purchase an LED lighted showerhead or faucet, visit ThinkGeek.

LED Showerhead Light

LED Sink Faucet Light

If you’re only concerned about water that is too hot and don’t need the colored lights for a visual aid, we have an anti-scald shower valve on our website.

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