8 Tips to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

8 Tips to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

If you or a member of your household must use a wheelchair to get around, you may benefit from modifying your home. Designing all the necessary wheelchair accommodations is a process, but you can save time by making some basic adjustments.  The key is to consider how you can promote independent living and provide a safe, easy to maneuver living space. 

Home Entrance. The first alteration you should make is at the entrance to your home. If you have room, build a wheelchair ramp for each entrance of the house. The costs of constructing a ramp vary depending on size and materials. When designing your ramp, make sure the pathway is wide enough, and consider adding handrails, a non-slip surface and a cover. You can also opt for a vertical platform lift if a ramp would turn your home’s exterior into a congested nightmare. 

Stairs. For anyone confined to a wheelchair, navigating stairs can be a frightening experience. In order to simplify the task, install a vertical platform lift or stairway lift at every staircase in the home. This will not only provide full accessibility, it will give the wheelchair-bound individual a feeling of independence. Stairway lifts should swivel, which allows the operator to safely get in and out of the chair. 

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Floors can also be problematic if you travel from room to room on wheels. If your house is decorated with carpets and rugs, it may be time for a change. Tile or hardwood flooring is ideal, but you can also use a low-pile carpet. Install rubber ramps to make thresholds safer, and cover any exposed cords on the floor. At http://wellcomehome.iweb.bsu.edu/suggestions.html, you can find more suggestions for making floors wheelchair-friendly in your home.

Doorways. One of the most difficult areas to navigate while in a wheelchair is through a doorway. You can provide a safer and more pleasant experience for yourself or your loved one by widening the doorways in your home. Remove frames, take the doors off, or reverse how a door opens, and you will instantly turn the doorway into an approachable space. 

Doorknobs.  Lower doorknobs or install automatic door openers for added accessibility. The bathroom can be a danger zone for anyone using a wheelchair. You can secure this area by installing a walk-in bathtub or lowering the threshold for the shower.

Other. It’s also a good idea to add conveniences such as a temperature control unit, safety bars and a pivoting chair. Here are several other wheelchair-proofing ideas.
Kitchen.  You can make numerous changes in your kitchen as well. Lower the countertops, install appliances that are easy to reach, and provide roll-out storage units. You can also install a sink that allows the individual to roll his or her wheelchair underneath it. Adjust the location of all controls and outlets, and use rocker switches for lighting. 

Phones. Replacing corded phones with cellular units or cordless handsets may also make life easier for anyone restricted to sitting in a wheelchair. When it comes to making your home more wheelchair accessible, you need to consider how the individual lives on a daily basis. 

December 11, 2017
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