As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a time to gather, give thanks, and make sure everyone feels welcome, including our loved ones with mobility challenges. Over 10% of American adults face these challenges, and it’s important to ensure they feel comfortable and included in our celebrations.
Understanding the Need: Leaving accessible spaces to join us for Thanksgiving can be daunting for guests with mobility issues. It’s our job as hosts to make their experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Expert Insights from VELA Chairs: We’ve partnered with VELA Chairs, an expert in creating accessible environments, and their Physical Therapist, Thea Johansen, to bring you top tips for an inclusive Thanksgiving celebration.
1. Open the Dialogue:
- Ask and Listen: Start by asking, “How can I make your visit more comfortable?” This simple act of communication can significantly impact the comfort of your guests.
- Entry Made Easy: Consider installing temporary ramps for smooth access into your home.
- Clear the Way: Rearrange furniture to ensure clear paths and remove rugs that may hinder mobility aids.
- Guided Assistance: Offer to show guests with mobility needs the best routes to essential areas like restrooms.
3. Seating Considerations:
- Comfortable Chairs: Opt for chairs with armrests for added support.
- Wheelchair-Friendly Table: Adjust table heights to seamlessly accommodate guests in wheelchairs.
- Space for Maneuvering: Ensure there is enough room for moving mobility aids or transferring to and from seats.
4. Anticipating Needs:
- Ready Assistance: Coordinate help for arrivals, seating, and restroom visits.
- Supportive Environment: Create a setting where assistance is readily available if needed.
Thanksgiving is about gratitude, family, and inclusivity. By taking these thoughtful steps, you can ensure that your celebration is comfortable and welcoming for all your guests, regardless of their mobility challenges.
Let’s make this Thanksgiving a memorable one for everyone in our community. Share your inclusive Thanksgiving tips and experiences in the comments below or on our social media channels!
Special Thanks: A big thank you to VELA Chairs for their valuable insights. For more information on creating accessible spaces, visit vela-chairs.com.