According to the 2010 census, there were over 56 million people with some kind of physical disability in the United States. Since then, the numbers have not changed that much. Depending on the disability in question, you need to make your home as comfortable as possible.
It is the place you spend most of your time, where you should feel as safe and as pleasant as possible. Whether you require help in the bathroom and kitchen or need more space to maneuver your wheelchair around the house, there are various ways to make your home more handicap-accessible, and, as a result, more comfortable to live in.
Widen your doorways
Most wheelchairs and walkers as well are quite wide, and they are difficult to maneuver through the existing doorways. Since widening doorways can be an expensive procedure, there is a different way to fix this issue.
By using some offset hinges, you can help swing the door clear of the opening. This way, you will cheaply add a few more inches of space.
For people using wheelchairs, having a ramp to the doorway is a must. They do not only help those in wheelchairs but anyone who has some kind of mobility difficulty. Having a ramp also offers you a bit of freedom and independence, as you will not need the help of anyone else to get inside the house.
This will surely make you feel better as well. Still, before you decide to build the ramp, you will need to check with the local building codes and the permit that is required.
Install a toilet riser and grab bars
Even if you already have handicapped toilets in your home, a toilet riser can make things easier for you, especially if you have issues standing up and sitting down or bending over. These items are quite inexpensive and can be purchased from drug stores or home improvement stores. Grab bars are extremely helpful for people who have stability issues, especially in the toilet and shower areas. A standard 1-1/2-inch diameter bar should work well for most individuals’ grip.
Since they have high sides, bathtubs can be hard to get in for people who have mobility issues. You should remove the existing bathtub and replace it with a step-in shower.
You should also add a shower bench, as it will provide the user with more support and stability. Moreover, it is much safer.
Change the flooring
For those in wheelchairs, thick carpeting and rugs can make it difficult to move from one place to another. Also, they are real tripping hazards for people using walkers. Instead, consider ceramic tile, vinyl, or hardwood flooring.
Wheelchair lifts and home elevators
If you are confined to a wheelchair, it does not mean that you should have limitations in your home, especially if you have two stories. Surely, you can settle on the ground floor to make things easier, but you should be able to enjoy your entire home.
However, you have the possibility to install a home elevator. Of course, this is an expensive thing and the structure of your house might not allow it. If that should be the case, a wheelchair lift is an option you might want to consider.
New kitchen arrangements
A kitchen is a place where some people spend a lot of time. Therefore, if you suffer from any disability, especially a mobility one, you should definitely make some changes.
It is recommended to arrange the appliances near the counters and the sink so that your tasks can become less difficult. The items that you use the most should be placed in the lower cabinets so that you can access them quickly and with ease.
Appropriate knob handles
Individuals who have issues with dexterity or with hand coordination problems find it extremely difficult to turn a doorknob. If that’s the case, you should have all the round doorknobs or faucet handles replaced with lever handles.
If you are dealing with any kind of disability, it does not mean that you cannot handle yourself, or be free and independent. If you make the right adjustments in your home, you can do just fine with the least amount of help from other people.