For those who use a wheelchair, it can be challenging to navigate through different areas in the home with ease.
It’s important to consider ways to make your home more accessible and simple for people of all abilities to live comfortably.
Whether you have recently begun using a wheelchair, you’re preparing for your future, or you want to make your home more accessible, here are five ways to make your home wheelchair accessible.
Consult A Mobility Expert
Before we get into our list, it’s important to mention that you should always consult a mobility expert before you begin any home-design changes or modifications. An expert will be able to guide you through what you may need to fit your needs and give you specifications for your particular equipment.
#1 Install Ramps and Lifts
One of the first things you need to do to make your home wheelchair accessible is to install ramps and lifts. This helps to ensure that there are no barriers to entry for wheelchair users and that those who use them can easily get from room to room. Here are some things to consider with ramps and lifts:
- Ensure that entry points in your home are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or mobility chair.
- If your home has multiple floors, consider putting a lift in to help wheelchair users get upstairs independently.
- Install ramps or lifts at entry points to allow wheelchair users to access doorways and rooms easily.
It is best to install ramps on the home’s exterior and interior. They should have a gentle slope and be made of non-slip materials, making it much easier to navigate and giving adequate support to the wheelchair.
#2 Modify the Bathroom
The bathroom is an essential part of any home. It’s very important to consider how accessible the appliances in your bathroom are to ensure they’re usable for wheelchair users. To make your bathroom more accessible, you can consider things such as:
- A walk-in shower
- Walk-in bathtub
- Support handles by the toilet
- Grab bars around the bathroom
- Sink at an accessible height
These things can help wheelchair users to independently use the bathroom, making it much easier for them to feel at home in your house and use the facilities at their own will.
#3 Create Accessible Kitchen Appliances
When you use a wheelchair for mobility, completing tasks such as cooking can be difficult when all the counters are raised, and appliances are kept on difficult-to-reach shelves. Modifications can include:
- Lowering the counter height
- Installing pull-out shelves
- Ensuring that the appliances are easily accessible
- Lowering any appliance switches
These can be expensive modifications as they often involve re-modelling. However, they’re long-lasting solutions that can offer wheelchair users a much higher quality of life and independence.
They also help reduce the risk of injury and falls, allowing those who use mobility equipment to feel comfortable in the space.
#4 Modify The Bedroom For Mobility
The bedroom is an important home area where you will spend most of your time.
Whether you’re coming home from a long work day or you’re settling in for a cosy weekend, it’s always a good idea to have a bedroom which works to fit your needs and offers comfort.
Some modifications you can make to make your bedroom more accessible and comfortable for those who use wheelchairs include:
- Lowering the bed’s height to make for a simple transfer from chair to bed
- Having grab bars to help support transfers
- Installing an electric lift & rise bed to offer comfort
- Getting accessible closets and chests of drawers
Installing a lift or sling can also make it easier for the user to get in and out of bed without needing help. Ceiling lifts can be helpful additions, but it’s always best to consult a mobility expert before making serious modifications such as lifts and harnesses.
#5 Widen Hallways & Doorways
The final way you can make your home more accessible is to think about the general ease with which wheelchair users will be able to navigate your space. Widening hallways and doorways is an excellent first step to ensure people can effortlessly move around your home in their wheelchairs without running into obstacles or finding obstructions due to small passageways.
There are many ways to start thinking about making your home more accessible to those who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
By implementing these modifications, you’ll be able to create a home that is both comfortable and functional for wheelchair users – allowing you and your loved ones to move around independently with ease.
We hope this list of 5 ways to make your home wheelchair accessible has helped you discover new ways to embrace an accessible, diverse lifestyle in your home.