The Philippines is not exactly handicap-friendly. While we may have parking spaces for handicapped, we hardly have any other facilities to make mobility easier for people who need assistance in mobility. Forget about getting into the LRT/MRT/Megatren if you need a wheelchair or crutches. Sure there are elevators, but once you get to your desired floor, it would be difficult to get into the train itself. And even then, you need assistance from another person. Ditto buses. Taxis or private cars are the way to go, but even then, it’s not easy.
At home, we don’t usually plan for something unexpected like losing the use of a leg or getting a stroke. Not to mention that we try to maximize the lot area that we have by building vertically. That’s why when we encounter problems later on that would necessitate assisted mobility, we are at a loss on what to do.
I’ve come across a site that offers home elevators. While this may sound like overkill to some people, let me assure you that if you are in the situation of needing it, you’d be thankful there’s this option. I mean, good for people who only need to navigate one floor of living space but what if your home consists of several floors. Vertical buildings, remember?
Another option, especially for those homes who do not have space for the aforementioned home elevator but has an existing staircase are stairlifts. These contraptions are fitted onto the banister of the stairs and may help with people who have difficulty going up, especially if assistance is not always available.
Granted, this type of lift is not for people who need the wheelchair to get around all the time. In such cases, the wheel chair lifts seem to be more useful. It is certainly more versatile, as it can be used both indoors and outdoors. The manufacturer also claims that the cost is comparable to putting a ramp.
While I’m guessing that a cost of these are likely out of the reach of the ordinary Pinoy, it’s comforting to know that now there are options, and that there’s a chance for people with some difficulties in mobility may be able to muster a bit of independent living, even if it’s just in their own homes.