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Property and holiday accommodation with wheelchair access

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nickmarr's blog

Sure, you may be filling fit now, and so you don’t really need to scour Montreal real estate listings for homes with specifically disable-friendly features. But things change all the time. What if you have a guest over who uses a wheelchair? Your parents may come live with you and they may need special features in your home.

And remember, you’ll grow old too. If you’re planning to live in your new home or decades then you may as well think for the long term. You may end up with children and their small sizes as they grow up need to be accommodated as well.

What you really need is a versatile design for your home that caters to the needs of everyone. Whether a person is completely average or they’re short, arthritic, or disabled, it doesn’t matter; the way your house is designed should make them feel comfortable.

Fortunately, there are simple ways for you to make your home a lot more accessible than ever before. Either you can look for these particular features in the new home you’re buying, or set aside some money to make your renovations.

1.    The parking space should be ample. This makes it easier for wheelchairs to manoeuvre. But it’s also helpful if you’re handling you’re baby in a pram or dealing with large shopping bags. With enough space around your car when you park, you can also offer support for elder relatives to get in and out of the car.

2.   Have a gentle slope from the car to the front door.This means you avoid having steps leading up to your front door. This may seem like it’s designed mainly for those using a wheelchair, but that’s not really accurate. It’s actually useful for everyone.
If you have a baby in a carriage, then the slop makes it easier to roll out the pram than dealing with steps. The same is true for children as they get older and they’re rolling their trikes and bikes into the house. You can also find it easier bring in and take out furniture. If you come home feeling a bit tipsy, then you’re also less like to fall down.

3.   There should a window alongside the main door. Many homes have peepholes as security measures so they don’t have to fully open the front door to see who’s knocking on their door. But the height of these peepholes is often too high for kids, short adults, and wheelchair users. A window on the side lets the people see who’s outside more easily.

4.   Replace the doorknobs with lever handles. Knob handles are more difficult to handle, especially if you have arthritis. If you’re perfectly healthy, you’ll have trouble with a knob when you’re carrying a baby or lots of shopping bags. With lever handles, you have a much easier time when you have dexterity issues. You can even use your elbow to open the door if your hands are full.

5.    Install light switches on door entrances and by the bed. Having 2 light switches for the same light just makes sense when you think about it. You want a light switch by the door so you don’t walk in the dark to enter a room. However, if you’re going to sleep then you should be able to turn off the lights without getting up. This is a big problem for the elderly and for those with mobility issues and it’s even annoying if you’re perfectly fit. Who wants to get out of bed when they’re ready to fall asleep?

These are just simple suggestions that can really make your home much more welcoming for everyone!