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Make your home wheelchair accessible

Updated on July 31, 2014

Creating your home into a wheelchair friendly environment can be difficult but there are many ways of getting around this as long as it is taken one step at a time. Many people in the world use a wheelchair in their day-to-day life and in the outside world it can be difficult enough to get around and it is not want you need in your home. Your home should be accessible and a comforting place in which you are able to get around without any worry. The key is to provide a safe home that promotes independent living.

Top Tip: Even though some aspects of transforming you home may be expensive, with a little help you can create your own accessible house that will suit your ideal needs. A home should be somewhere you can relax and with some of theses easy tips it will make your home feel even more comfortable.

Entrance

The entrance to your home should be one of the first adjustments that you do as this is vital for getting in and out of your home. Having access to your home is easily achieved. Ramps are the answer, they can be bought in various types of material and also can have handrails and non-slip surfaces provided for extra safety in the winter.

Stairs

Ideally bungalows would be ideal for wheelchair users as it is more accessible for them. However, there are ranges of stairway lifts that are available, which immediately takes away the worry of the stairs. Stair lifts are electronic seats that are attached to the stairs, this then lifts them up each step. The majority of these stair lifts have chairs that swivel when they reach either the top or bottom of the stairs. This is useful it makes it easier for the person using it and also it is a lot safer.

Doorways

Unexpectedly, doorways are the most common problem when it comes to wheelchair access. Many doorways are too narrow which means the wheelchair will not fit through. One option is to replace the door frame which can cost money. However, there is a cheaper way, taking the door frame off yourself will save money and also reversing how to the door opens will instantly create more space. Door handles will also have to be lowered, this is just a case of unscrewing them and placing them where desired.

Bathroom

Bathrooms can be difficult for somebody who is living on their own, however, creating a wet room is often the best option as it doesn’t require too much alteration to the access to your bathroom. This wet room can be teamed with various handrails to make it easier to manoeuvre. Toilet seats will often need to be lowered for easier access from a wheelchair. Sinks should also be lowered for easier access, this will involve removing vanity cabinets underneath for the best access to be achieved. Hoists can help with lifting if required.

Flooring

Flooring can often be a large problem, the best thing to do if you can is to not only remove carpets but also remove rugs from around the house as it can become highly inconvenient. The best solution for flooring in your house would be wooden or laminate flooingr as it is easy to manoeuvre on it and the wheels will not get stuck. Make sure that the transitions in you floor are evened out as this will cause trouble in the wheelchair trying to go over them each day.

Windows

Having natural daylight and air flowing through your home is important. There are many companies that can provide installation of disabled access windows. This is convenient as you will be able to reach the latch from your seat and won’t have to struggle with any type of complicated mechanism.

Cupboards

Lowering your cupboards in your kitchen and bedroom can be very expensive so if you can’t afford to do that, get a friend or family member to help you organise your room and put all your clothes that you need in lower cupboards so its easier to reach and you wont have to strain yourself.

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