For those with mobility issues, making your home more wheelchair accessible is an important step towards independence and comfort. While this may seem like a daunting task, there are many recommended modifications that you can make in your home to create a safer and more accessible living space. Luckily, there are many modifications that can be made to make your home more wheelchair accessible, so that you can improve your overall independence and mobility at home. Keep reading to learn more.
Widen Doorways and Hallways
One of the first modifications that should be made to make your home more wheelchair accessible is to widen doorways and hallways. Standard doorways and hallways can be too narrow for a wheelchair to pass through comfortably. By widening these spaces, you can improve accessibility and increase maneuverability throughout your home. Plus, you’ll reduce the risk of banging your wheelchair against walls and doorways, which can protect your home—and your knuckles!—from damage.
Installing ramps is another important modification that can be made to make the exterior of your home more wheelchair accessible. Ramps can provide a safe and accessible alternative to stairs, allowing those with mobility issues to enter and exit their homes independently. Ramps can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, and concrete, and can be designed to fit the unique needs of your home. It’s important to note that ramps are best suited to replacing small flights of stairs; generally, this means steps up to your front porch or back patio, rather than a full flight of stairs inside of your home.
Install Grab Bars and Handrails
Grab bars and handrails can be installed throughout your home to provide additional support and stability for those with mobility issues. These safety features can be installed in areas such as bathrooms, hallways, and stairways to prevent falls and improve accessibility. While this modification doesn’t necessarily make it easier for your wheelchair to move about your home, it does provide important support for transitioning in and out of your wheelchair, particular in the bathroom or when using a stairlift.
Lower Countertops and Sinks
Lowering countertops and sinks can make it easier for those in wheelchairs to complete everyday tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Most countertops in both the kitchen and the bathroom are not designed to allow access from a seated position. This makes it extremely difficult for you to tend to your basic needs like preparing your own meals or even washing the dishes. By lowering these surfaces, they can be easily accessed from a seated position, improving comfort and independence.
Install a Stairlift or Elevator
For those with multi-level homes, installing a stairlift or elevator can greatly improve accessibility. These devices can provide a safe and comfortable alternative to those longer flights of stairs, allowing those with mobility issues to move freely between floors. Note that if you use a wheelchair, a stairlift will require you to have separate wheelchairs for each floor of your home, since they can’t be placed on the stairlift themselves. If you want to move your wheelchair between floors with you, a residential elevator is a better choice.
Modify Bathroom Features
Bathrooms can present unique challenges for those with mobility issues. To make your bathroom more wheelchair accessible, consider installing a roll-in shower or walk-in tub. These modifications can make it easier for those in wheelchairs to bathe safely and comfortably.
Additionally, consider installing a raised toilet seat and handrails to make it easier to use the restroom. These modifications can greatly improve accessibility and prevent falls in the bathroom.
Consider Wheelchair-Friendly Flooring
Flooring can also be a factor in creating a more wheelchair-friendly home. Carpet can be difficult to navigate in a wheelchair, while hard flooring such as tile or hardwood can be slippery and unsafe. Consider installing non-slip, low-pile carpet or vinyl flooring to create a safer and more comfortable living space.
At Elixair Medical, we understand the importance of accessibility and mobility for those with disabilities. We offer a wide range of wheelchairs and mobility aids, as well as accessibility improvements like ramps, stair lifts, and bathroom modifications. Contact us today to find the right wheelchair and accessibility improvements for your mobility needs, or stop by one of our locations to see what we have in stock. Our helpful and experienced staff is available to assist you in finding the devices and supports you need to improve your mobility and comfort at home.