How To Modify Your Home For Wheelchair Users
Most homes are not made to accommodate people on wheelchairs, whether residents or visitors. It may not seem like a big deal at first, but things such as old age and accidents can make you wish your home were accessible to wheelchairs. Consequently, making your home accessible to wheelchair users should be something you should seriously consider.
Below are some tips to get you started.
First, you need to replace steps with a low elevation ramp. Alternatively, you can construct a ramp adjacent to the steps to offer convenient access to both wheelchair users and walking users. The ramp should be at least 32-inches wide. You should also use mini ramps for doorways that also have steps on them.
Construct Firm and Smooth Walks
Additionally, you should consider changing the walking areas to have concrete flooring in place of loose gravel or stones. This will ensure that wheelchairs can move easily around your home. Don’t just go for hard compact flooring, make sure it is smooth so that the wheelchair can move easily.
Widen the Doors
A considerable number of doors may not be wide enough for wheelchairs to pass through. Some major doors may be wide enough for wheelchairs, but other doors within the house may not. Make sure they are all doors are wide enough for a wheelchair to pass through.
Adjust Door Handles
For wheelchair users you need to replace doorknobs with door handles. You can also add strings to the handles to allow wheelchair users to close the doors easily when they pass through without having to turn around completely. You can also add a tennis ball to the end of the rope and cover the door handles with rubber for easier grip.
Avoid Loose Carpeting
Loose carpets and rugs are a no-no for a residence that has wheelchair dwellers. Make sure you use non-slip rugs and carpets if you decide that you have to use any around your home.
Arrange the Furniture Appropriately
You should also arrange your furniture in a way that allows access for wheelchairs. As with the ramps, make sure you leave a 32-inch gap between pieces of furniture so that wheelchairs can pass through. You should also ensure that your furniture, for instance tables, allow wheelchair users to use them properly.
Also, make sure that no power cords or other obstructions are in the way. Furthermore, furniture such as cupboards should have a configuration that allows easy access to wheelchair users, not just for people who can stand up.
Make Adjustments in the Bathroom
In the bathroom, you should construct grab bars and make sure you have used non-slip flooring. The flooring would even be better if it consisted of soft rubber rather than a hard floor. You can also use a hose system for the shower to give wheelchair users greater convenience. You can also use a toilet that is narrower and higher.
At first, modifying your home for wheelchair users can seem like a difficult task, mostly because you wouldn’t know where to begin. However, this guide should give you a good idea of areas to concentrate on during your modifications.
Generally, ensure easy access and movements both inside and outside the house. Additionally, make sure that the furniture and facilities like bathrooms feature a few extras to make them more appropriate for a wheelchair user.