Loss of mobility may happen in an instant in the event of an accident or it may come on gradually as part of an illness or the aging process. Creating a safe home environment for someone with mobility problems is outlined on the ADA.gov website. They cover everything from new home builds to alterations for existing homes. Primary issues include path of travel, functionality, and overall safety of the occupant. Here are five very important details to keep in mind while planning an ADA remodeling project and the integration of smart home automation.
- Automate as Much as Possible – Home automation has come a long way in recent years. Smart homes are becoming much more of a reality than a science fiction idea that we hope to achieve. We now have the ability to install automatic sliding doors, automatic door locks, automatic bathroom doors, and many other home automation features that aid in making the home safe, convenient, and functional for people with disabilities or mobility issues.
- Simplify Everything – People with mobility issues often get discouraged or depressed because things that were once so simple have become more difficult. Create ways to simplify the daily life of your loved one by removing the difficult tub-shower combo and creating a curbless shower solution, install decorative grab bars in convenient locations, and look for other ways to make a simple yet elegant lifestyle from a difficult situation.
- Keep Everything in Reach – Remodel specific areas of the home to keep everything within reach from a wheelchair or walker. Lower clothes hanging rods in the closets or implement a closet system with plenty of drawers for clothing storage. Lower the kitchen countertops or build a kitchen island that meets all of the needs of the person with mobility issues. Also, using sliding doors verses swing doors in the kitchen and bathroom will increase accessibility to these areas.
- Know the Code – Keep the entire build or redesign up to code to ensure that proper safety regulations are followed throughout the home. Work with a general contractor with experience building to ADA compliance standards if you’re unfamiliar with local code requirements.
- Smart Appliances – The appliances we use in our homes makes a big difference in how we live our lives. Older wringer washers were the way to wash laundry 50 years ago, and they were a big upgrade from hand washing using a scrubbing board. Today’s washers have automatic settings that keep track of the water temperature, rinse all of the soap out of our clothes, and spin them until they’re almost dry. We also have dishwashers that will thoroughly wash, sanitize, and dry our dishes while the refrigerator helps keep track of our grocery list.
The Autoslide automatic door system is one of the newer smart home accessibility options that adds functionality and convenience to your home. There are a broad selection of automatic door and window systems that include options such as pet doors and automatic locks that ensure the security of the door system. Visit autoslideofamerica.com for more information on automatic door and window solutions for the home. To speak with a home automation expert, call Autoslide at 813-885-DOOR to discuss your home accessibility options and to find a dealer near you.