No matter if it’s for yourself or a loved one, making your home handicap accessible is very much possible, even with a small budget. However, if you have never had to deal with this type of situation, it can understandably be a daunting task to take on, especially within a new home. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled six simple tips for making your house handicapped accessible.
1. Replace Your Stairs with Ramps
Anyone with mobility issues can tell you that stairs are one of the most difficult things to traverse. So, why would you want to have them in your home? Thus the first tip on this list is to convert your stairs into ramps. Exterior stairs can be easily converted into ramps by calling in a carpenter or simply purchasing pre-made ramps. Of course, the most difficult to change are those that are built into the home, such as stairs leading to a second floor. In this case, a chairlift for the stairs will be much more appropriate.
2. Convert Your Tub Into a Shower
If you or a loved one has mobility issues, they may also have trouble with a tub. Because they are so popular, most new homes will have tub/shower combos. In this case, the best thing for someone with any form of disability is to have the tub be converted into a shower. This allows most people to easily transport themselves from a wheelchair to a shower chair without too much trouble. In addition, it can greatly reduce slips and falls.
3. Include Handrails within and Outside the Home
Commercial buildings are forced by law to have handrails in specific locations because they greatly reduce stress on those who may not be able to walk for long distances or who may simply need some extra help balancing. Fortunately, this same thing can be applied to your home. Applying handrails to areas such as your ramps, bathrooms, and kitchen can help immensely.
4. Build Storage at Reachable Distances
Most people who are handicapped want to live an independent life, but they may still need some help transforming their homes into a much more handicapped-friendly environment. One of the best ways to accomplish that is to make storage areas at a reachable distance. A prime example of this includes kitchen storage, where regular cabinets may be a little too high for someone in a wheelchair or who has mobility issues.
5. Replace Doorknobs with Levers or Swinging Doors
One of the hardest things for someone with a disability is to open doors properly. Thus the reason why you may want to replace your doorknobs with levers or even convert them into swinging doors. In emergencies such as a home fire, this can make all the difference.
6. Remove Carpets
Carpets and other rough flooring material can make it extremely difficult for someone who uses a walker or a wheelchair to move around. In fact, they are one of the leading causes of falls amongst seniors. Thus it is highly recommended that you remove any type of carpet or other rough flooring and instead install either wood or vinyl flooring.
Taking the time to make changes to the home of a loved one which is handicap can make all the difference in the world in terms of comfort and safety. The tips listed above are a great starting point, but we still strongly encourage you to conduct further research on other forms of improvements.