Some physical disabilities come along as we age. At times, it is due to accidents that can cause significant injuries leading to disabilities. Physical disabilities affect how you perform daily activities, and at times, your home can feel uncomfortable.
Whether you are considering changes due to accommodating mobility equipment or to accommodate handicapped friends/relatives, you don’t have to be stressed over the changes.
With a few practical but straightforward modifications and help from a professional, you can conveniently make your home more accessible. Here is a look at ten tips to help you in your quest for handicap accessible homes.
10 Tips for Handicap Accessible Homes
The flooring solution you install in your home holds a significant effect not only on its value and aesthetic appeal but also on its accessibility. For instance, carpet and rugs create a warm feel, and with varying exquisite designs availability, you can create a unique look that seamlessly blends with your décor. However, in mobility terms, carpets and rugs are not as user-friendly to persons using walkers or a wheelchair compared to laminate floors, ceramic tiles, and hardwood floor solution.
Hardwood floors and ceramic tiles are more accessible, allowing you to maneuver from one room to the next with little to no barriers. Moreover, ceramic tiles and hardwood floors are easy to clean and maintain, meaning that even a person with a disability can comfortably keep their homes clean with minimal effort.
2. Check the doorway
Does your doorway have steps? Well, this is among the most overlooked yet significant factor that affects how handicap access your home. The simplest way to enhance its accessibility is by installing a ramp. As your local building codes could affect how your home should be constructed, it is advisable to seek professional assistance before you build a ramp to ensure you are in adherence to the set standards.
3. Consider the door size
Is your door wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair or a walker? It might skip your thoughts, but installing double doors or wide-enough doors to facilitate smooth wheelchair movements is a significant step toward handicap-accessible home.
4. Install grab bars
When you are recuperating from an injury, your stability is not at its best. The same applies to the elderly or handicapped individuals. With grab bars, you can enhance your home’s safety as they help you to comfortably find the much-needed stability as you navigate through varying activities. Grab bars are especially useful in the bathroom where you can easily slip as you shower or as you bend and stand as you use the toilet.
5. Rethink the knobs
Turning knob handles can be quite a challenge, especially with hand coordination difficulties. Replacing the knobs with lever handles eliminates the need for turning, easing your home’s accessibility.
6. Declutter your home
Start by rearranging the furniture and leave enough space between the furniture pieces. Conceal cables such as TV cords that can be a hazard, leaving the room clear and spacious enough to accommodate any traffic needs.
7. Revise your kitchen layout
Apart from ditching the knobs for lever handles, you can make the kitchen more accessible by going for low counters but with enough space under sink and stove to accommodate a wheelchair. Moreover, if your kitchen is not on open layout, you can renovate it to ease traffic flow, especially noting that the kitchen is one of the most used rooms in most homes.
8. Consider stair lift
If your renovation efforts to build a ramp seem overwhelming, you can always opt for a stair lift. With varying options in the market, you can install a permanent or an on-go stair lift to eliminate the stairs obstacle.
9. Consider step-in tubs
Getting into a standard bathtub can be quite an inconvenience for the handicapped. Moreover, with the risks of falling due to the slippery nature of wet and soapy floors, especially tiled bathroom floors, bathing can feel like a life-threatening endeavor. This can be eliminated by installing a step-in tub that is easy and safer to get into. You may also include a seat to help the individual move from the seat to the bathtub.
10. Install toilet seat risers
In addition to the grab bars or handrails, you can go a step further and install toilet seat risers and safety frames. The installation enhances comfort and safety for a person who might find it hard to balance as they sit and stand up from the toilet without forgetting the safety.
General Ideas for Other Accessibility Solutions
Making your home handicap accessible can benefit from all the efforts, regardless of how insignificant it might seem. For instance, measures such as automatic door openers, cordless handsets, motion sensors, and wireless intercoms to mention a few come in handy. With such measures, you limit unnecessary movements such as going to pick the phone, checking who is at the front door, moving all the way to the wall switch to turn lights on, and struggling to turn the doorknob/handle among others.
Keeping up with life changes can be somewhat overwhelming. However, as you strive to make your home handicap accessible consulting an expert is recommendable. With their professional input, you can tailor a plan that best fits your need without breaking a bank.