Whether you’re bringing someone home from the hospital or living with someone whose abilities are deteriorating, there are plenty of ways to make your home more accessible to them. It’s difficult though because there is no one size fits all, what is accessible for one disabled person, may not necessarily be for another. However, if you are looking to make your home more accessible then some universal adaptations can be used and will help most people.
Level Access or Ramp Access
Before you start looking at what needs to be more accessible inside the house, you need to be able to get in there first. If you have steps outside your house or even just one step into the door then a threshold ramp is the way to go to create level access that is easier for people to walk on and for wheelchairs too.
Many people don’t have the strength or hand co-ordination to operate the door handles, push heavy doors, or lock or unlock doors. Other people may have their hands full with walking sticks, crutches, or walking frames. Automatic door opening systems are really useful and the technology has advanced so far now that they are safe and secure too.
You don’t need to do much here to make sure that your floor space is clear and there is less of a risk of people tripping or falling. You could consider the actual flooring you have though as thick carpets and rugs are not ideal for wheelchairs, however, wooden flooring which provides a flat, firm surface is great for easy manoeuvering and it much easier to clean too.
Technology has meant that homes can be far more accessible for everyone and with smart tech and environmental controls things like heating, operating the TV, opening and closing the blinds, and switching lights on to name a few can all be controlled by your phone. More so than that, you can get smart systems that just know your preferences so you don’t even need to tell them what you want. This is a great way to make your home more accessible and while it might seem expensive at first, you will save on your energy bills and as this is the way the world is going, you may as well hop onboard now before you get left behind.
Again, there’s no point having accessible rooms if no one can get in them. For doorways to be classed as accessible, they should be wide enough to fit a wheelchair through comfortably. You could opt for a sliding door for easier access or open-plan rooms so that you’re not having to get in and out of doors all the time.
As mentioned, there is no one size fits all approach and your home needs to accommodate the people who live in it. However, these are some general ideas and may get you off to a good start.
Image | Source