People with wheelchairs still have to deal with inaccessible public buildings or sections inside such structures. Unfortunately, this is true for far too many people even in their own homes.
The good news is that you can make some relatively easy changes and tweaks to make your house entirely wheelchair accessible. The following are the top five:
Ramps At Home Entrance
Most homes have enough space for a wheelchair ramp at each door; if yours does not, you may consider adding a vertical platform lift at each entrance instead. (While some people may be able to do this work on their own, it’s typically better to hire a full-service contractor with knowledge in accessible design.)
Make sure each ramp is broad enough for your wheelchair to get over. Handrails, as well as a non-slip surface and a cover, are also recommended.
Stairway Lift For Each Stairway
If you reside in a two-story home and are considering relocating because you can’t negotiate stairwells, consider installing vertical platform lifts or stairway lifts at each of your home’s staircases. To make it easier to get in and out of the chair, stair lifts should swivel.
It’s also crucial to choose an elevator that will work even if your house loses electricity. This small adjustment will boost your self-assurance and independence.
Floors & Thresholds Easy To Move Over
Thick carpets and rugs that make it tough to move about or thresholds that is difficult to cross might be the issue with some of your house’s flooring. The ideal option is to have tile or hardwood flooring installed throughout your home, although low-pile carpeting is still an option. Install short rubber ramps if there are any thresholds that are a hazard. Remove any exposed cables from the floor as well.
Widen Any Narrow Doorways
You shouldn’t have to avoid any rooms in your home just because the entry is too tiny for your wheelchair. By enlarging doors, you’ll be able to go around your house more simply. The procedure entails removing doorway frames, removing doors, and, in certain circumstances, changing the direction in which a door opens.
You should also install automatic door openers or, alternatively, lower all door knobs. Again, you might want to engage a contractor to help you with this since doing it correctly is crucial.
Making Bathroom Accessible
Bathrooms may be particularly difficult for wheelchair users. For one thing, bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in the house, making it difficult for persons in wheelchairs to manoeuvre about comfortably.
There’s also the difficulty of getting into and out of a bathtub. Installing a walk-in bathtub is a good idea. If you take a shower, the shower threshold may need to be lowered. In cases when the bathroom is really small, you may need to hire a contractor to expand it for you.
Above all, being in a wheelchair should never force you to make concessions or accept half-measures. You are entitled to the same level of access to your home—and everything in it—as everyone else. That involves making sure the changes you make are done correctly and will endure a lifetime.
Contact Empowered Liveability now to learn more about how our accessible SDA Housing Melbourne and universal design solutions for Disability Housing Investment can make your home completely accessible and improve your quality of life.