Home adjustments can be one of the easiest ways to help someone adjusting to life with a disability feel more comfortable. There is no shortage of new challenges when you are in a wheelchair, and it can be frustrating to feel entirely helpless even in your own house. Traditional updates may have been inconvenient for others, but contemporary accessibility is adjustable and works for everyone. Luckily, the modifications you can make to your property can transform the house into an entirely accessible, wheelchair-friendly home. Below you’ll find some of the most important considerations for updating a home to be more accessible.
Automated lifts and elevators are the two options you’ll have for navigating a multi-level home in a wheelchair. Lifts are less expensive, but they can be more cumbersome. While these residential elevators take up just 7sq of surface area, they are a bit more flexible in terms of design and integration. In homes where the stairs are too narrow or the landing is not wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, an elevator can be the perfect alternative. Rather than being confined solely to a staircase, the residential elevator can be installed in another part of the home, even leading directly to and from a bedroom.
Wheelchairs vary in size, so measurements must be done before updating any doors. Wheelchair-accessible doors are at least 32 inches wide. To update the garage, consider the length of the vehicle with its doors open and the wheelchair ramp extended; you’ll also need to add accessibility ramps to all entrances and exits, as well as adjust the swing of the door so it opens to the interior rather than exterior.
A roll-in shower will make it easy for anyone in a wheelchair to bathe independently. You may also want to install a seat in the shower or tub to improve comfort and range of motion. Safety tubs are another option that feature automatic filling and draining. A swinging door ensures there is always easy entry and exit. Shower controls that allow the user to turn water on and off without getting wet are important, and you should also include anti-scalding values to ensure the water temperature can never be turned too high. Grab bars, a raised toilet seat and touchless sinks with lower countertops with plenty of leg room should also be installed. Adjustable height is one alternative to full-scale replacement, which enables other family members without disabilities to use the new bathroom just as comfortably.
Voice-activated or remote-controlled lights are essential for any home that has a family member in a wheelchair. Motion-sensor lights may be placed in areas that are frequented the most, such as hallways, bathrooms and bedrooms. Being able to turn lights on and off in other areas of the home without physically moving to them is also important, and this can be done with the installation of smart bulbs that rely on an app and WIFI connection. Simple updates like this are cost-effective and can benefit the entire household.