5 Ways to Make Your Home Accessible
If you or someone in your family needs extra help with mobility, you may want to consider some home improvements to help make your home a more comfortable and safe place to live. While there are many ways to do so, here are five tips on how to make your home more accessible:
Add ramps for easier access
If you have steps leading up to any of your home’s entryways you can install a ramp for easier access. There are many options for doing this in a cost-effective way. Ramps can be made from many materials and in any shape—they're not limited to straight or curved surfaces. You'll just need to ensure that the ramp is built at least 36 inches wide, about the width of two people walking side by side without bumping into each other. For accessible ramps, you'll also want to add handrails on both sides.
Ramps are easy to build even with little construction experience. You can also speak with a local contractor who might be able to help you. In some cases, building codes require permits before constructing a new "accessory structure" like a ramp on your property. Check with your neighborhood inspector or building department before starting any work!
Make your doors and walkways wide enough to accommodate scooters and wheelchairs
Ideally, every door and walkway would be wide enough for wheelchairs. However, this isn't always possible—mainly because there are existing obstacles (like trim or molding) that prevent the width from increasing.
If there isn't enough space around your door frame for a wheelchair to pass through easily, consider removing the door and replacing it with a pocket door or French door instead (you can do this even if only one side opens). This will increase the width of your doorway and make getting through much easier!
You may also find yourself in situations where there's not enough room around your stairwells or hallways because they're too narrow, for example, between two walls that are only inches apart. In these cases, some simple drywall trimming on both sides of the opening will give you more clearance so that larger items like wheelchairs can pass through comfortably!
Add railings and bars to help with mobility and stability
Railings and bars can help you get around the house safely and efficiently. First, ensure the railings and bars are placed in the right places, such as near staircases or bathtubs. For someone with a walker, the railings usually should be at hip height to make it easier to hold on while moving around your home.
You also need to ensure that these railings are installed correctly—for example, if you use wooden handrails, they must fit securely into their brackets so that no one falls because their support has come loose during use.
Make bedrooms and bathrooms fully accessible
If you have a currently inaccessible bathroom, it's time to make some changes.
- Grab bars and handrails can be added to bathrooms and bedrooms to make it easier to get up, down, and around the room.
- A step-in shower can make all the difference in making your bathroom more accessible. It also allows individuals who use wheelchairs or walkers an easy way into their shower area, so they don't need help from others when getting into the shower.
- Consider installing raised toilet seats for better comfort. The removable seat allows you to sit comfortably while bathing, shaving, etc., without relying on someone else for help during these routine tasks. If you or your loved one has trouble getting around, this change could affect how easily they go about their day.
In the bedroom, make sure that closets and shelves are organized for easy access and at heights that are in easy reach. A bedroom is often a place that attracts clutter, so check for sources of chaos to keep the room easily accessible.
Remove clutter and tripping hazards
Removing sources of clutter will make it easier for everyone to navigate and get around the house. Yes, keeping control of clutter is always challenging, but if you set up guidelines and reminders, it can become easier as you go. If you have any electric cables running through rooms such as in the kitchen, consider organizing them with cable trunking so they've hidden away but still accessible when needed. [Source: Family Handyman]
In addition, you'll want to review all the flooring in the different rooms of your living space. Carpets and area rugs can be tricky, and you'll want to look for flooring spaces that might be slippery in certain situations.
Install lighting and appliances that can be accessible by voice
Voice control is a great way to make your home accessible. Voice assistants can be used to control lighting, heating and cooling, appliances, smart doorbells, and more. If you have an android device or an iPhone, download the app and create a profile that will allow you to connect all of your home devices that use voice control.
At StrongGo, we believe in an accessible and greener world. We are devoted to the ongoing research, development and manufacturing of products that have been formulated to possess outstanding physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. Speak with an expert today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.