Making your home disability and mobility friendly for family or friends, can be a daunting prospect. There are lots of different areas and rooms in the house to consider and things that require planning before you do any remodeling or adjusting.
So, the question is: if you hoping to make your home mobility and disability friendly, where do you start? Well, read below for your beginners guide to a fully accessible home.
Let’s begin outdoors, as gaining access to the property in the first place is pretty crucial! If parking is limited around your property then consider investing in some accessible and handicapped parking signs to position outside your home – you can find some here. Having these on display means that other drivers will give you enough room to maneuver, to load a wheelchair into the boot/trunk of the car, and even lift someone into the car itself. They’re a worthy investment!
Consider how easy or difficult it might be to gain access into your home. If you have steps leading to your front door then you’ll need to consider a ramp. Is entry into your home easier at the back of your property? Consider all routes and ensure there is always a clear, wheelchair accessible path leading inside.
You also might need to consider handrails and non-slip surfaces too!
Ok, now we’re thinking of the inside of your property. Let’s think about the flooring. If you have carpet, would someone in a wheelchair be able to push themselves across it with ease? If you have a thick pile carpet, it the equivalent of pushing someone across a sandy beach!
Doors and doorways can be a little bit of an issue for someone in a wheelchair or someone who has a mobility issue. Removing heavy doors and their frames will allow for extra room, or even reversing how a door opens; this can dramatically change how easily someone can move from room to room, giving them independence.
If the doors aren’t a problem, then consider lowing door knobs and handles for easy access.
The kitchen is one of the easiest rooms you can modify for someone in a wheelchair or someone with mobility issues. Lowering kitchen worktops is a common solution, as is installing easier to reach kitchen appliances. If you want to install a new sink, ensure that the tap has an extension on it and that the sink has enough room underneath for someone in a wheelchair to sit comfortably while they use it.
Bathroom modifications range from nonslip floors, to converting your traditional bathroom into a wet room. You can install a shower with a lower “kerb” which means someone in a wheelchair can get inside easily, as well as having the shower head and taps etc at lower positions.
Ensure there is plenty of room for maneuvering around the toilet and, like in the kitchen – ensure that a wheelchair can be wheeled under the basin. Make sure the bathroom mirror is at the best height too!