Making your home accessible for people with limited mobility can be a big undertaking. There are, however, some quick and innovative fixes that can make a home more accessible. Here are some ideas:
Doorways have to be 32 inches wide to be wheelchair accessible. If your doorways are a tight fit, there’s a quick and innovative way to make them more suitable. Swing-away door hinges can widen doorways by up to two inches, making them a must-have purchase for people using wheelchairs and walkers.
2. Bathroom Enhancements
There are many available bathroom enhancements that can make bathing more accessible. Installing a tub transfer seat is a quick fix for homes with bathtubs. These seats are mounted on the wall, and allow people to more easily transfer from their wheelchair to the bathtub. They are comfortable and secure, and many varieties fold up when not in use.
3. Safety Rails
For an economical yet important addition to the home, add safety rails. Safety rails, also known as grab bars, can be installed throughout the house to provide stability to people with limited mobility. They are most commonly placed in the bathroom, often in the bathtub and around the toilet. Safety rails can be placed anywhere, however, from the kitchen to the hallways.
4. Light Switches
Standard light switches are often placed too high for people in wheelchairs. There are a number of techniques to make switches handicap accessible. Lighting can be controlled in a number of innovative ways, like via remote control units, voice command and motion activation. Switches can also be lowered to an appropriate height.
Ramps are one of the most important considerations for people in wheelchairs, and they are a must when making a house handicap accessible. At least one outside entrance to the home needs to have no steps. There are a variety of ramp options available. For a quick but temporary solution, purchase a portable ramp. These won’t last forever, but they are a great way to increase accessibility until something permanent can be built.
When building a permanent ramp, there are many materials to choose between. Wooden ramps exist, but they are not impervious to weather, and wet wood can be a slippery surface for wheelchairs. Applying grit strips to wooden ramps makes them a more reliable option. Ramps made out of concrete and aluminum are ideal, as they are more durable and less slippery than untreated wood.
There are also a number of ramp shapes available. Some ramps are straight lines, while others can be constructed to wrap around the house. Ramps should be tailored to the layout of the home and the needs of the handicapped individual.
There are some inexpensive ways to make homes handicap accessible, but remodeling a home can often be a financial burden. People who need assistance paying for home repairs should check out these resources.