If someone in your home is disabled or has limited mobility, proper accessibility throughout the home is crucial for their safety and well-being. Many homes aren’t designed with enough room to accommodate a wheelchair, making it challenging to access different parts of the house. If you want to make your home suitable for a wheelchair, there are a few important tips to follow to create a more functional setting for yourself or a loved one.
Widen the Hallways
The hallways are often used the most because they connect to different rooms in the home, but they can be too narrow for most types of wheelchairs. Widening the hallways to 36 inches will offer more space and prevent the wheelchair from scuffing up the walls.
Add More Lighting
Illuminating the most used rooms of the home can offer increased safety and can prevent the individual from getting into accidents. Low lighting is considered a hazard and can prevent the individual from feeling confident navigating the setting. Consider installing voice-activated lighting, which can make it easy to turn lights on and off without having to reach for the light switch.
Rearrange Your Furniture
Change up the layout of your furniture to ensure wheelchairs can get around easier. Consider pushing couches and chairs away from the entryway of each room to make the space easier to access. Some shelves may also need to be lowered to allow the individual to reach the items they need.
Consider the Different Obstacles
When making changes to your home to make it more suitable, consider the different obstacles that are present. There may be rugs on the floor that are a hazard, or one of the corners may be hard to maneuver. Making a list of the different obstacles can allow you to determine what changes need to be made and what’s the highest priority.
Incorporate a Ramp Near the Front Door
There should be a ramp near the garage or front door of the home to make it easy to roll a wheelchair into the house. If steps are present, they should be eliminated or modified to accommodate the wheelchair and prevent the resident from having difficulty leaving or exiting the building each day.
Add a Stairlift
A stairlift can offer a high level of convenience and accommodation for two-story homes. There are a variety of options with stairlifts that are available to accommodate different types of multi-level homes.
Eliminate Bathing Barriers
There may be a few obstacles present in the bathroom, including tiles on the floors or tall bathtubs. Consider installing a step-in tub for added safety, which makes it easier to get in and out of the bath. The tub should also have a slip-resistant finish for added traction. You can also consider vinyl flooring to prevent the floor from getting too slippery when it gets wet.
Handrails are extremely useful in different parts of the home and can provide extra stability for those with poor balance. Install handrails in places like the bath, near beds, and close to chairs. The handrails can make it easier to sit down or stand up without the risk of falling. The rails can offer the individual more independence and mobility when getting around throughout the day.
Knowing how to create a safer and more accessible setting for wheelchairs in your home can make it easier to spend time in the space without feeling challenged. With a few minor modifications, you can transform the setting and allow it to be safer.