If you or a family member has started to require the use of a wheelchair, or you’re a landlord who wants to make a property more accessible, you will need to make some home modifications to accommodate this. There are several things you can do to your home to make them a better environment for wheelchair users, including creating a bedroom on the ground floor and a bathroom, too. While this is a good place to start, the suggestions below are also things you will need to explore.
Most properties have steps leading up to the front and back doors, or at the very least, the base of the door is slightly raised from the ground. This will make getting in and out of the house difficult for those using a wheelchair, so having wheelchair ramps installed is a must. You can choose to have concrete ramps formed, or perhaps you would prefer to have removable ramps made up instead. Either way, these will be a must if you want your home to be wheelchair-friendly.
If you would prefer, you can get a mobility lift installed rather than a wheelchair ramp at the entrances to your home. These are exterior lifts, but you can also get mobility lifts inside your property as well. There are stairlift designs that are common choices for domestic homes, or you can get other designs that will not obstruct your staircase, which is better for those who have narrow stairways. You can find some great examples at Terry Lifts.
A wheelchair will take up more room naturally, and this can cause difficulty getting through some domestic doorways if they are narrow or you need to turn a corner to get in. If your home doesn’t have wide doorways already, this is something you will need to look at altering for whoever is using the wheelchair to avoid them getting stuck or not being able to fit through the door at all. A contractor should be able to widen your doorways. Use websites or ask around for recommendations to find one you can rely on.
Lower Kitchen Counters
You will also need to lower the kitchen counters to make it easier for a wheelchair user to prepare meals. This is essential for them to continue to live independently and makes it much safer for them to use everything from the stove to the kettle. Storing things like food and plates in lower cabinets is also another thing to keep in mind, as well as putting in kitchen islands with storage unit’s underneath that will make it easier for dining and meal prep.
Support in Bathroom
You will need to put support bars in the bathroom so the person using the wheelchair can lift themselves on and off the toilet. Lowering the toilet is another way you can make it easier for them to go to the bathroom. Consider having a wet room-style shower built in your home, too. This will make it easier to take in a wheelchair, and a specialist bathtub would also be ideal for when they want to take a relaxing soak.
There are other things you can do to make your property wheelchair-friendly, but these are all great places to start.