Nearly sixty-one million adults in the United States live with a disability, and 13.7% of those with a disability have mobility issues.
If you or someone you know needs their home to be more accessible, it doesn’t have to break the bank or get too complicated. There are ways to make home life a little safer!
Want to know how you can make your home wheelchair accessible? Keep reading! We’ll give you a few ideas.
Add a Wheelchair Ramp
Getting in and out of the house can be difficult if you or someone you love has a physical disability. Installing a ramp will not only make your home wheelchair accessible but easier to access for anyone with mobility difficulties.
You can find ramps for rent or purchase on websites like Mobilitypluscolorado.com. Most companies will help with installation as well. If you are building a permanent ramp, it’s a good idea to check if there are any permits required before getting started.
Consider a Home Stairlift
If your home has a basement or second story, installing a home stairlift is a great way to make it wheelchair-friendly. Stairlifts can be portable or permanent, depending on your needs. You can also think about installing an elevator to get from one floor to another.
If this kind of installation is not in your budget, think about keeping bedrooms and essential rooms on the main floor of your home. You may even consider purchasing a ranch-style home with few to no stairs.
Not all doorways are easy to get through with a wheelchair. To make your home handicap accessible, widen doorways where possible.
The legal minimum requirement for an accessible doorway according to the Americans with Disabilities Act is 32″ in width, with a maximum of 48″. The door must also open to 90 degrees.
You may also want to install an automated door that opens and closes with enough time for someone to go through with their wheelchair.
If you have rounded door handles, you may want to consider switching them out for lever-style doorknobs. These are much easier to open and close for people who may have hand dexterity issues.
Think About Installing a Smart Doorbell System
To avoid unnecessary trips across the house, a smart doorbell system allows someone with mobility issues to see who’s at the door. This type of doorbell can potentially even let them in with the click of a button.
A smart alarm system is also a good idea. Not only will it make a loud noise if someone breaks into the house, but it will notify the security company and potentially fire and police if there is an emergency in the middle of the night.
Try to Minimize Furniture
Getting around a home with mobility issues can be difficult if there is not a ton of space. Small things like moving furniture or finding a bed with enough room on either side for a wheelchair can make all the difference.
Dressers should be accessible from the bed, and nightstands should have all items someone might need in the middle of the night. If there isn’t enough room for a dresser in the bedroom, consider lowering closet rods to make clothing easier to reach.
Find wheelchair accessories that make carrying items from one end of the house to the other a breeze.
Rearrange the Kitchen
Rooms like the kitchen can be challenging for people with mobility issues. Try arranging the most used items to lower shelves and cabinets. You can also place the appliances closer to each other and close to the sink to minimize the need to move from one end of the kitchen to the other.
A standard counter is likely too high if you or someone you love is in a wheelchair. It might be a good idea to add a section of the counter that is approximately thirty inches or less depending on your needs. This type of work may require a kitchen remodel! Reach out to some companies to get an estimate and find out if it’s within your budget.
Update the Bathroom
The bathroom can be particularly hazardous to people with mobility issues. It’s too easy to slip and fall on wet surfaces without the proper installation. Wet floors can be particularly dangerous! Try to install slip-proof flooring where possible.
To make a bathroom accessible, it’s a good idea to install grab bars in areas where you or your loved one will need to lift themselves from one seated position to another. You can install shower chairs and heads that make shower safety simple!
If it is in your budget to renovate your bathroom, installing a bathtub or shower with an open lip is a good idea. You can also add a toilet riser for those who may have trouble standing up or sitting down. Toilet risers are generally inexpensive but can make all the difference.
Are You Ready to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible?
Making your home wheelchair accessible is the best way to make it safe for everyone. Whether you are buying a new home and want these improvements added before you move in or want to renovate an older house to be accessible, you can find resources and companies to help!
Are you interested in learning more about health and lifestyle improvements? We have articles waiting just for you on our other pages. Read about everything from CBD products to fighting seasonal depression!