You may have experienced a life-changing event, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your day-to-day activities, even from a wheelchair. You can, in fact, make your home wheelchair-friendly thanks to a few steps. These tips can make life easier for you and would help you, a relative, or even a friend in need have a much better time using their wheelchair at home.
What To Look Out For?
Before we proceed with anything else, you have to consider that making your home wheelchair-friendly may require you to spend a little money on renovation. It actually depends on the kind of renovation that needs to be done, but it's better to give you a heads up so you can prepare your budget.
The renovation costs depend on the part of the house you want to make wheelchair-friendly. However, common goals are the following:
- You should be able to access the front door.
- All the frames in the house should be wide enough for the wheelchair.
- Flooring should not be obstructive to wheelchair movement.
- The bathroom should be able to accommodate the wheelchair.
- The kitchen should also be comfortable enough for movement.
The front door is perhaps the most important part of the house that must be accessible to wheelchairs, but it follows that all doorways must at least be wide enough for the wheelchair as well. Here are some guidelines that you should follow when dealing with doorways:
- It's best if a ramp is installed on the doorstep. This is especially true when there are stairs in the house, as railings and a ramp can make life easier for those with wheelchairs.
- Door frames should also be widened to be comfortable enough for wheelchairs to cross and rotate in. If you think doorways are too narrow, there might be some slight renovations required. It's sometimes enough to remove the door frames themselves.
- If you rely on peepholes, it's advisable to install a lower peephole in the front door as well, so that people in wheelchairs can easily view visitors.
Navigation around the house can be difficult for those with wheelchairs if the house has inadequate flooring. Here are some tips to follow in order to make your flooring reliable:
- Try to go for hardwood. Hardwood flooring is beautiful, classy, and extremely durable.
- Laminated flooring can also help supplement the original flooring of your house. It's not immune to scratches, but they can be removed with the right cleaning material.
- Ceramic tiles are also an optimal choice for bathrooms as they are water resistant. However, if you're specific with designs, ceramic tiles can also be an option for your other rooms as well.
- Vinyl flooring is another classy and durable choice, and it's also easy to install just like laminated flooring. It's also water resistant, which is a plus.
When it comes to bathroom accessibility, it's best to remember that they should be comfortable and accessible enough so people with wheelchairs can use them much more efficiently. Here are some reminders:
- There should be at least 1,500mm of free space for full 360-degree turning.
- The toilet bowl should have at least 1,200mm of space in front of it. It's also recommended that there are rails around the toilet for easy access.
- The wash basin should also be lowered to accommodate for those using wheelchairs.
- The bathing area itself should also have rails so that people can hold them to avoid slipping.
Given that the kitchen is where food is made, it's only natural to have it accessible for people with wheelchairs as well. Incorporating a new kitchen plan is similar to modifying the bathroom. Here are some reminders:
- There should be at least 1,500mm space for turning, so people with wheelchairs can access various parts of the kitchen.
- There should be lower work surfaces, including the sink, so that people with wheelchairs can cook and eat with ease.
- The storage units should be placed near the floor, so people with wheelchairs can have easy access to them. The same goes with appliances, which should also be lowered.
- Switches and sockets should be within arm's reach, just so using them can be easier as well.
Always remember to consult a renovator or a construction expert to find out just how much it costs for remodeling parts of your house to be more wheelchair-friendly. It's extremely easy making your home wheelchair-friendly thanks to a few hours of cooperation and planning. Thanks to your new Ease of Mobility, you can finally spend your days in comfort as items and objects around your house are now built to accommodate you in your new life.
Kevin has always enjoyed helping others. While working for Ease of Mobility, he has enjoyed creating living solutions for the elderly and those with mobility issues like himself. Ease of Mobility is a caring company that provides mobility aids such as wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and more. When Kevin isn’t using his experience with a wheelchair to help clients, he is playing basketball or cooking.