Lets take a look at some of the key things to consider when setting up an accessible home – for today and tomorrow.
Whether you or a loved one have a disability to consider, considering how you can make your home accessible is always a smart move. The sooner accessibility is a part of the planning, the better.
Let’s take a look at some key things you can do to ensure that your home will be accessible for all.
1. PLANNING AHEAD
As simple as it may sound, sitting down and considering all of life’s stages is essential when building a home or adjusting an existing one to fit your needs. You may be building your home in your thirties or forties, but if you plan to stay in it for good, you need to imagine what your needs could be decades from now.
Will you be able to go up and down flights of stairs or should you consider installing a home lift? Are your hallways and doorways wide enough for potential wheelchair needs? Just taking a few moments during the planning stages might save you a whole lot of hassle and money in the future, and perhaps spare you from another move in your golden years.
2. FUNCTIONALITY IS KEY
While ensuring that you have spacious hallways and a way of moving between floors may be rather obvious, there are more subtle ways to make your home environment functionable even for those with various disabilities.
Replacing doorknobs with push/pull bars, press lever handles, or automatic doors makes a world of difference for someone using a wheelchair or a walker. As does removing thresholds or installing ramps over ones that cannot be removed, as well as installing handrails in key areas of the home.
Which solutions fit your home depends on its design and your specific needs. The idea is to ensure that all the little functionalities that a home provides, which can easily be taken for granted by able residents, should be made as easy for those with special needs.
3. BE MINDFUL OF THE BATHROOM
Removing barriers to bathing and usage of the toilet is a must to ensure independence and privacy for all, which is why extra focus on the bathroom is recommended. Luckily, there is a lot that can be done to increase accessibility in the room where most home accidents occur.
Step-in-bathtubs without the tall sides, a toilet surrounded by sufficient handrails and a safety frame, and slip-resistant surfaces on the floor are just a few of the many ways you can minimize the risk for falls and injuries while ensuring that everyone can use the facilities.
4. AVOID SLIPPERY SURFACES
Just as the bathroom floor can be quite slippery, so too can tile, hardwood and other floor surfaces in the rest of the home. People using wheelchairs, canes, walkers, or other mobility devices can find it a struggle just to cross a room with the wrong type of floor. Smooth, even carpeting works well for many aids and devices, but here again your specific needs may require a different solution.
There are of course many more ways to make your home accessible, but we hope that these four tips give you a solid foundation to start from. Feel free to get in touch with our lift specialist at 081211312224 if a home lift turns out to be one of the remedies for your needs and we will help you figure out the best solution for your home.