Only just recently, the thought of making my home more accessible to wheelchair users and people with disabilities hadn’t really entered my mind and I thought it was fine just the way it is. In the last year or so, I’ve had a relative who has needed a wheelchair for a few months (they are on crutches now) and I found very quickly that the house wasn’t as set up for disabilities as I first thought! I had to make a few subtle and not so subtle changes to the house and I thought I’d write this article to give anyone else who might have been in my position some advice on what they can do to make their house more disability friendly. Let's take a look.
Whole New Kitchen
When you have a disability, cooking and dining can sometimes be a daunting task. Until recently, the number of available products to assist you with these tasks have been somewhat limited. Within the past years, innovations in dining and kitchens aids have improved by leaps and bounds, allowing for disabled individuals to have an enjoyable and safe dining or cooking experience. Now you can buy whole Kitchens that have been modified for easy wheelchair access to the ovens, sink, washers and cupboards many companies sell entire Kitchens with 100% built in accessibility. Getting a new Kitchen and home improvements can increase the value of your property. You might want to shop around for a great mortgage pre remortgage to get a great deal we recommend Donkey Finance to compare mortgage deals.
If you’re in the building stage of your house and you know you’re going to need to have it wheelchair accessible, this is much easier to do as you can plan to have the doors a certain width. However, if you require it to be wheelchair accessible and it wasn’t planned in the original build, it s a bit more of a difficult task. Removing unnecessary furniture around the house is very important so there is more room for the wheelchair to manoeuvre. Another thing that is often overlooked are ramps to help the wheelchair user over steps and bumps so maybe look into putting a few of those in if needed.
Banisters and Rails
If you have stairs in your home, it might be a good to look into a stair master of some kind that enables disabled people to go up stairs without having to walk. Combine this with rails and banisters around the home to get more leverage to pull themselves up and you have a much better and safer environment for a person with a disability. Putting rails in and around the bathroom in particular is very useful and very important.
Easy to Reach
Start thinking about what is needed in everyday life and then consider having it lowered so that a wheelchair user or a person with a disability can reach it. This includes food, kitchen appliances, bathroom fittings and other aspects of the house that are used daily. Depending on what needs lowering, it could turn out to be quite an expensive change, however if you need the house to be disability friendly for the long term this is certainly one of the best routes to go down.
These are three of the main ways to change your home to make it more disability friendly. Although I ended up doing quite a lot more than that in the long run, they were all smaller jobs and these three are the main aspects to your home you should look to change first!