Disabilities that arise from old age, sicknesses, accidents, or any unfortunate events come with many challenges. While it may prove challenging to adapt, mobility around your house doesn’t have to be such a hassle.
Making your home handicap-accessible will not only enhance easy mobility but boost comfort and improve its value too. Because your home is a sanctuary, it should always feel like one – whether you’re in a wheelchair or not. The following six ways will make maneuvering inside your house easier.
1. Ramp It Up
Building a ramp in place of a staircase will assist not only those on wheelchairs but also those with mobility challenges. Because help may not always be there, ramps will grant them the extra support they need. Both indoor and outdoor ramps allow safe and reliable accessibility for people with mobility problems.
Choose a ramp style that fits your needs and budget. Collapsible storage is easy to store. If you’re worried about the remodeling cost, portable ramps will suffice – instantly transforming any steps into wheelchair accessible areas.
Widening your doorway is a critical remodeling project to make your home accessible. In this, you’ll need a contractor who will remove and expand the door frames. Where there’s a need, the contractor may also reverse how a door opens and closes. Further, consider lowering door handles and knobs, or, if possible, install automatic door openers.
While wheelchairs and walkers vary in sizes, many of them require ample space. Widening your doorways and hallways will serve a great purpose. Using offset hinges will help in swinging the door clear the opening and add a little extra space.
3. Consider The Flooring
Thick carpeting and rugs will only move wheelchairs and walkers a challenge. If that’s what you have on your floor, it could be time to shift to hardwood flooring or tiles. If tilling isn’t your thing, and you experience cold climate, then low-pile carpeting will suffice.
The bottom line is; ensure your flooring choice doesn’t pose any slipping or tripping threats. Floors on the bathroom should be especially skid-proof to minimize accidental slips. Tiles with glossy finishes aren’t suitable for showers and bathrooms. Instead, install grippy mats.
Being one of the most frequently visited rooms in your home, bathroom – shower, and toilet should be highly accessible. Rethink the bathroom size and shape. Ensure the entry is wide enough to allow wheelchairs and walkers. Ensure the sink, taps, and flushes are of reach to people sitting in the wheelchair.
Installing additional safety tools like grab bars will help prevent accidents. Ensure they’re strong enough to support the weight of whoever holds them when tripping. They also aid in mobility inside the bathroom.
Consider going for step-in showers instead of the traditional bathtubs to help minimize the space. Consider installing a shower seat for additional comfort.
For the toilet, install a toilet riser to make it easier for people with difficulty in bending, sitting down, or standing up.
5. Kitchen Accessibility
The kitchen is yet another area that can prove so limiting to people who are handicapped, especially those using wheelchairs. Being a busy and frequently visited room, granting easy access is vital.
Consider lowering the countertops to a suitable height, and that the appliances are on reach. Where possible, install under-counter cabinets, or roll-out storage units. Modify the sinks and taps to the correct height, allowing the wheelchair under them. Instead of turning faucets, go for lever faucets.
In-home stairways may not be necessary for people living in one-storied buildings. However, it comes in handy for those who aren’t able to use the stairs entirely. Apart from enhancing accessibility and mobility, the presence of stairlifts also improves the value of your home in case you’re considering reselling it in the future.
With the wide-range styles of stairlifts available, you can either go for ones meant for a permanent modification, or temporary fix.
Ready to Remodel?
Disability comes with lots of challenges, but mobility and accessibility don’t have to be among them. The above remodel tips will not only help boost accessibility but prevent possible accidents. Many of them will likely prove inexpensive – with the right materials and professionals. Give them a try and make it easy for your loved ones.