Many people have some form of physical incapacitation and hence require specific infrastructure and resources to move around. Old age comes with disability and mobility issues. Apart from old age, physical incapacitation arises from diseases and injuries.
Handicapped people need places and spaces that are handicap-friendly to allow them more autonomy and freedom. From this emanates the need to make homes fit for all people, whether handicapped or not.
Here are numerous ways on how to make your home handicap accessible:
1. Widen Doorways
Most doors nowadays are made to be narrow and can only be used by one person or two at ago. It is mainly as a means of saving space or a form of aesthetics. However, narrow doors are not handicap-friendly and obstruct the locomotion of physically disabled individuals. A good number of wheelchairs are too wide to go through narrow doorways.
Although foldable electric wheelchairs are ideal for indoor use and can be used in confined places, other types of wheelchairs can only be used in spacious areas. One of the ways of making a home handicap accessible is by widening doorways so that wheelchairs and walkers can maneuver through them.
2. Installing a Ramp
Most homes have a stairway leading to the main door of the house. Nevertheless, a disabled person cannot navigate through the stairs and requires special infrastructure. A ramp can be built leading to the main door to help disabled persons and other individuals with mobility difficulties climb up a building. A ramp makes an entry accessible to all people both with and without disabilities. It is essential to ensure that a ramp has handrails and curbs to prevent falls.
3. Building Grab Bars
Although many infrastructures have been put in place to help handicapped people maneuver around, bathrooms have been left out. Disabled people require special infrastructure in the toilet to help them use the facilities appropriately.
One means of making a bathroom handicap accessible is to build bars that aid in stability. The bars are built around the shower and toilet for support purposes. Also, you can install a toilet raiser to help people who have difficulties bending over or standing.
4. Using Correct Flooring Choices
Most floors in our homes are covered with carpets to improve their appearance as well as make the rooms warmer. However, rugs and carpets not only cause trips for people but also make it difficult for a person in a wheelchair or a walker to move around.
A person seeking to make their home handicap accessible can consider other floor options such as ceramic tiles and hardwood flooring. This will enable handicapped people to navigate through your home with ease and also reduce the risk of tripping for your loved ones.
5. Rearranging the Kitchen
A person looking to make their home handicap-friendly can make some changes in the kitchen. As opposed to having very high shelves for storage, you can invest in low cabinets that are easily accessible. Kitchen appliances should be moved near the sink and essential items moved to lower cabinets. This way, someone on a wheelchair can easily access everyday items as well as kitchen appliances without much struggle.
6. Revamping the Living Area
In the living area, furniture placement should be well considered to accommodate disabled people. A path should be left between pieces of furniture to allow a person in a wheelchair or walker to move around comfortably.
In addition, you have to ascertain that your furniture is comfortable for handicapped people. For instance, some disabled people require raised furniture to seat comfortably. Hence, you should have furniture coasters to raise your seats if need be.
7. Making the Yard Handicap-Accessible
Like all humans, disabled people enjoy the morning sun and the evening breeze at the yard. However, getting to the yard may be strenuous for a handicapped person if the path leading to it is handicap-unfriendly. Adding paths that allow wheelchair traffic is an excellent way of making your home handicapped-friendly. Also, it is essential to ensure that the surface has traction for walkers.
A significant proportion of the world population has physical disabilities due to diseases, injuries, and age. Therefore, it is essential to make homes handicap accessible to cater to the needs of people with disabilities and mobility problems.
Among the ways of making your home handicap-friendly are widening doorways, installing ramps, getting rid of doorsteps, making the yard handicap-accessible, building grab bars, and using correct flooring choices. Make your home comfortable for people living with disabilities and give them a happier life around it.
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