Suddenly being confined to a wheelchair or walker after an accident or due to age-related limitations can be overwhelming. Possibly the most important adjustment will be the ability to move around in the home. There is no need to buy a new home that is disabled friendly. Making alterations to the existing home is the much cheaper and it means less upheaval in the life of the disabled person and their family members.
If the renovation costs seem prohibitive initially, you can start by identifying essential spaces the wheelchair bound person will need to use, such as the bathroom, and bedroom and possibly the kitchen. Here are five areas that will most likely require adjustment for the sake of the disabled person.
- The entrance – the ability to enter and leave the home is of the utmost importance for maintaining independence. Each entryway will require a wheelchair ramp if it is higher than ground level. Widening each entranceway may also be required; consider the addition of a sliding glass door and an Autoslide automatic door opening system.
- Floors – some floors are more suitable for wheelchair traffic than others. A floor that provides adequate friction will keep the user safe. You will also need flooring that is durable. Good choices include ceramic tiles, laminates, and hardwood.
- The bathroom – the risk of slips and falls makes this a prime area of concern for the safety of persons with disabilities. Handrails will make it easier to move in and out of the wheelchair. Special enclosures are available which makes it possible to sit while having showers.
- Interior doors – the widening of interior doors allows easier movement throughout the house. Special care is necessary when dealing with doorways in load bearing walls, so only a professional remodeling company should handle this type of work. Consider adding pocket doors and an Autoslide automatic door opening system to make it even easier for your loved one to roam throughout the home.
- Kitchens –lower counters and the right size stove will be needed to enable safe food preparation. Adjustments may also be necessary for shelves and cabinets so that everything will be within easy reach.
- Stairs – some people who are physically challenged do not want to be confined to the lower section of the house. Installing a stair lift enables easy access to the upper level. These devices are available for different stair designs, both indoors and outdoors and the installation does not take long.
When remodeling a home for a person with disabilities, don’t forget other changes such as easy to use phones and automatic door openers like the ones available by Autoslide Automatic Door Systems. The extent of the changes will depend on the individual’s disability and the budget. Talk to a remodeling expert in these types of renovations so you can plan accordingly.