Before you introduce a wheelchair or other mobility device to your home, it is important to make sure that your home is able to accommodate a wheelchair. Below, we offer some helpful advice.
4 Ways to Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible
You don’t have to completely renovate your home to make it more wheelchair-friendly. The following are some tips to make your home safer as you prepare to adjust to your new mobility challenges.
#1 – Rearrange furniture.
Less clutter is better- especially when it comes to wheelchair safety. Perhaps, this means moving a table from a corner, or removing excessive clutter from a crowded space. You want to give yourself (or the person using a scooter/wheelchair) plenty of room to navigate around corners and within rooms.
#2 – Take advantage of entry ramps.
Most homes have a few steps or more leading up to the main entrance. Installing a permanent or temporary wheelchair ramp can give a wheelchair user increased opportunity for independence. Consider the type of physical limitations that the person has and whether or not that person lives in your home or is a regular visitor to your home. Knowing these two factors will help determine whether you install a permanent ramp or a temporary structure as well as where you will install the ramp.
For instance, installing a ramp on the side of the home may help to keep the ramp out of sight while still giving the wheelchair user full accessibility. If you do install a ramp, be sure to hire a reputable company and only use materials that are warrantied and that follow current safety guidelines.
#3 – Create smooth transitions between rooms.
Remove all loose rugs and carpets, and check transitions between rooms for ease of movement and safety. Study the furniture placement, and use a chair to test the width of different pathways in the home.
#4 – Make your bathroom wheelchair accessible.
Again, you don’t necessarily have to renovate your entire bathroom. Instead, consider the form and function of the bathroom, compared to the mobility of the wheelchair user. Can he/she get out of their wheelchair on their own for short periods, or are they completely dependent on their wheelchair and/or a helper?
If so, things like a roll-in shower (versus a jacuzzi tub) may be a better option. There are also handicap-accessible, walk-in tubs. If the person is elderly and has mobility issues, you may want to consider the height of the toilet as well as grip bars for the tub/shower so that the person has something to hang on to.
Finally, you will want to consider the width of the doorway to the bathroom. Can the person wheel his/her wheelchair into the bathroom comfortably?
Contact Van Products Today
You don’t have to tear your house down to the studs to make it more accommodating for someone who has a physical disability. Rather, by making a few small changes and having the right kinds of mobility accessories, you can create an environment that is both wheelchair friendly and safe.
For additional information about making your home accessible to wheelchairs, or to ask other questions, contact Van Products today, and speak to one of our mobility specialists. We’re here to help!