Whether you experience it yourself or you care for someone who is disabled, building a home that is disability friendly can be a huge undertaking, especially if you’re not sure what to focus on. Thankfully we’ve compiled a list of the main areas you’ll need to change to make your home accessible for yourself and guests.
Entering your home can be a chore if it is not disability-friendly, so this is the first and most vital part of making a home disability-friendly. A garden and driveway that uses loose or unsteady material can be hard to cross in a wheelchair. Instead, use smooth paving or concrete to create a steady, even surface, avoid deep gravel.
If the approach or entrance is stepped, consider installing a ramp into your home if you haven’t already. This may be a smaller ramp or a longer, winding one depending on the steepness needed to breach.
Hallways should be free from clutter and spaced to allow wheelchair access. You should keep shoes and other items that typically line hallways in dedicated storage. Ensure lighting is of a reasonable brightness and easy to operate so you aren’t left struggling in the dark.
Installing a ground-level bathroom in a house with more than one floor can be a real blessing for disabled or elderly home-owners. While you can install devices to help tackle stairs, sometimes the speed and convenience that a downstairs bathroom provides is essential.
A bathroom should be designed with a similar ethos to hallways – with clutter minimised and space maximised. Toilets should be fitted with safety rails and possibly a hoist. If you use a bath it should be fitted with the relevant safety features. A shower too, should be designed around accessibility. Walk in wet-rooms are accessible and far safer than other forms of bathing, so consider installing one if its within your means.
Your kitchen is the hub of activity in your home and also a source of fierce independence. To ensure you can use it independently, it may be worth lowering all of the worktops. You can also install a lowered sink. Ensure all appliances can be reached easily and that any difficult to turn handles are replaced with levers and simple controls.
While it may be advisable to move to a bungalow, there are many of us who won’t give up our homes. The main problem faced at home for most disabled and elderly users comes from the stairs. Thankfully, a good stair lift goes a long way to remedying the problem. Even in a home that has a complicated, multi-level staircase, you can use a platform stairlift to help you access the second floor.
Improving your home and incorporating these elements is an essential step for those experiencing disability or caring for a disabled person. These additions and adjustments will secure a home for future use, meaning you may not have to leave your pride and joy to move into more accessible accommodations.
Obviously every home and every disabled persons needs vary, these are just ideas and we hope you found them informative.
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