A safe, comfortable and inviting bedroom for someone with Parkinson’s is achievable, no matter how small the budget. One resource, the nonprofit Rebuilding Together, provides critical home repairs and accessibility modifications for people with disabilities through its network of affiliates across the country. Or, find help to pay for a do it yourself update at disability.gov. Making your bedroom restful and easy to use can be fun. Some of our tips may help you enjoy it more tonight.
Room To Walk
Remove barriers and tripping hazards such as magazine racks and footstools throughout your home. The bedroom likely won’t suffer from one less ottoman.
Donate all furniture with casters or wheels. Chairs and tables must be sturdy enough to stay put, if you need to rest a hand on them as you walk by.
Daylight is healthy and key to safe movement. Automated blinds you can operate with a remote will let you control natural light without having to grip and pull drapes and shades.
Install so called easy lift shades, which have no pull cords and are designed to adhere the tops of window frames, tools free. Find them in most home stores.
Remote Controlled Lighting
For real ease and control, you could install lighting that you activate with a clap or your voice to replace lamps that may have hard to grasp switches.
Get a lamp with a touch sensitive base that you tap to turn on and off. National home stores sell them for prices starting around $40.
A Bed The Right Height
A safe, comfortable bed is one that allows you to place your feet flat on the floor while you’re sitting on the edge. Satin or smooth cotton sheets also make it easier to turn over, as you work to get out of bed.
Install a bedside handrail for support in pulling yourself upright, if you experience spontaneous losses of mobility or freezing. Many attach without tools and may be paid for using a Flexible Spending Account.
Slip Resistant Floors
Flooring that comes labeled “non-skid” (and removing loose rugs) can providea durable slip resistant surface. Wood, vinyl or rubber tiles may be more forgiving than nonporous ceramic tiles in case of falls and they feel more cozy in a bedroom.
Apply a nonslip finish to an existing smooth and level floor. The National Floor Safety Institute has a list of certified treatments.
Originally printed in MoreThanMotion, April 2016.