Did you know that 26% of adults live with some type of disability? Most of these disabilities affect mobility, which can make it difficult for people to walk or climb stairs.
Living with a disability is difficult, but with a few simple changes, you can make it easier for you or your loved ones.
Read on to find out six ways to make your home more handicap accessible.
1. Entryways and Paths
Wheelchairs and walkers require extra room to comfortably move through a space. While widening doorways can be expensive, you can replace your hinges with offset hinges to add a few extra inches.
Likewise, consider your furniture placement. Make sure that you leave a wide path between items. In general, 32 inches is handicap friendly.
2. Ramps and Lifts
Ramps aren’t just for wheelchair users; they help everyone with mobility issues. Before you start building yours, check to see if you need a permit for one in your area. In addition, there are strict regulations about ramp lengths and slopes to ensure user safety, so be sure to hire a professional to construct it.
For those who have trouble climbing and descending the stairs, a lift is a great addition to make the whole house accessible. If you don’t have a walk-in shower, you can install a powered bathtub lift, too.
3. Grab Bars
Grab bars offer essential stability in dangerous areas like the bathroom. Follow ADA guidelines to install them around the toilet and shower. You can also add grab bars or railing near a bed.
Here’s some great news: Medicare can cover grab bars! Grab bars are classified as durable medical equipment like canes and stairlifts. All you need to qualify for coverage is a medical reason to install them.
4. Countertops and Shelving
Lowering countertops can help wheelchair users and those with limited mobility to keep everything within reach. Consider moving essential items from high cabinets to lower ones as well.
Start by learning more about disabled kitchens, but don’t stop there—lowering bathroom countertops is essential as well. In addition, replace tall bookshelves with shorter ones.
Carpets and rugs aren’t the best decor options in a handicap home. They’re tripping hazards, and it’s difficult to maneuver wheelchairs and walkers over them.
The best flooring for wheelchairs are tile and vinyl; they’re durable without being too slippery. Other options include laminate, hardwood, and even rubber. Be careful of carpeting, though—anything thicker than half an inch isn’t great for wheels, and wheels aren’t great for carpet padding either.
6. Handicap Furniture
You don’t have to do an entire home renovation to make your house more handicap accessible; you can simply stock it with the right handicap furniture.
Some great options include:
- Powerlift assisted recliners
- Shower benches or chairs
- Wheelchair-accessible desks and tables
- Doorstops and wedges
- Adjustable beds
Make Your Home Handicap Accessible Now
If you or a loved one needs a space that’s handicap accessible, it’s time to make your home improvement plan! Use these tips today to create the perfect home for everyone.
Want more helpful articles like this? Check out the lifestyle page on this site now to find plenty more home renovation tips!