How to Make Your Home More Wheelchair Friendly
If a member of your family finds themselves with a physical disability, you need to look for ways to make your home more disabled friendly. It could be an accident, injury or simply the passing of time, but whatever the reason, your home should cater to everyone’s needs. Houses tend not to be built with any future conditions in mind, which means you’ll need to make some alterations. Here are 8 ways to make your home more handicap accessible.
1. Widen Doorways
For a doorway to accommodate a wheelchair it has to be at least 90 centimetres wide. If you’re lucky, there will be room to widen both the main entry and interior doors. It’s also possible to get around the problem of limited space by installing swing-away door hinges.
2. Install a Ramp
The main entrance to the house has to be made wheelchair accessible and that basically means no steps or threshold. The best way to get around this is to install a concrete, wooden or aluminium wheelchair ramp. If you choose wood, you’ll also have to make sure the surface is resilient to slipping by applying grit strips or coating it with sand paint.
3. Add a Step-in Shower
The main bathroom should be fitted with a specially designed bath and shower. Adding a transfer seat also makes it easier to move from wheelchair to bath. Handrails and grab bars can also be installed for extra safety and stability.
4. Install a Mobility Lift
If the installation of a stair lift isn’t possible, then there is another option that allows wheelchair access to upstairs. A home lift, from a company such as Terry Lifts, makes life much easier and also helps to keep the staircase unobstructed for other family members to use.
5. Make the Kitchen More Accessible
It may be necessary to make some changes in the kitchen. Everyday items can be moved to lower cupboards for easy access. Re-arranging the appliances so that they’re near to the sink and worktops will make kitchen tasks easier to perform.
6. Choose the Proper Flooring
For a wheelchair to be able to navigate at home you need to have the proper flooring. Hardwood flooring is one of the most durable and will last for years. Laminate flooring is also very durable. Vinyl flooring and ceramic tiles are also wheelchair friendly.
7. Replace Light Fittings
If light switches are too high, you’ll need to consider installing or replacing with remote control units. It’s also possible to lower them or install extra switches at a more accessible height.
8. Replace Taps and Door Handles
Elderly people and those with disabilities often find using knob handles very difficult. A quick fix is to replace them with pull handles. Bathroom and kitchen taps can also be very awkward for people with disabilities and these can be replaced with one lever controls that regulate both the flow and the temperature.
If a member of your family has recently become disabled making the necessary adjustments means they’ll be able to navigate their way around the home and lead as normal a life as possible.