Creating a safe, accessible home remodel for the disabled can be a grueling process, but well worth the effort.
Your loved one will feel more at ease and enjoy the independence of your home. And you will feel more comfortable knowing that you have done what you could to prevent an accident.
As technology advances, the ability for people with disabilities to live independently has increased by leaps and bounds.
Residential additions and remodeling can also be made to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility aids. For example, a taller front door and a wider front door are simple additions that reduce the strenuous effort and lifting involved in entering the home.
Entryways can also include simple modifications such as a permanent ramp or a two-step entrance to a flat surface area.
With a proper home remodel for the disabled, you can make your loved one’s life much easier.
Here are 25 more tips and ideas to do just that!
Replace or remove difficult-to-open cabinets and drawers and place knick-knacks on lower shelves.
Remove the difficulty of accessing items in the kitchen by putting frequently used items in a lower cabinet within easy reach.
Replace appliances with low shelves, like a refrigerator with a shelf at the knees level (with a convenient pull-out tray for individual items).
Make sure you have sturdy kitchen chairs with arms. This will prevent your loved one from sliding down the chair and falling.
Add special equipment such as raised cutting boards and special utensils to keep food at level for easy eating.
Consider installing a kitchen counter or island that is low to the ground to make maneuvering a wheelchair easier and safer.
Install a kitchen table that lifts up or adjusts to fit your loved one’s needs.
Remodel the bathroom for safety, make it easy to walk in and out. Install grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom and shower areas.
In addition, limit the amount of space occupied by the shower or tub by building a roll-in shower, and a walk-in bathtub, and adding an accessible toilet to make it suitable for the wheelchair. Install a hand-held shower head to prevent having to transfer to a chair.
If you have a large master bathroom with a tub and shower, or even a double sink vanity, remove the tub/shower and add a shower bench to make it easier for the wheelchair user to transfer safely and completely.
Installing a handrail on one side of the bed will provide a safe and convenient way to get in and out of bed, especially for those with limited upper body strength.
Dressers and drawers should be placed at lower levels or removed to allow for easy access.
THE LIVING ROOM
The living room should also have a wide doorway leading to the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the home to provide easy access.
Furniture should be flexible to allow for repositioning as your loved one moves around. Remove or move larger furniture items to give your loved one the space to move and ample room to maneuver the wheelchair.
Add a small table to your living room for your disabled loved one to use as a workspace, or to place a small lap desk if he or she is still doing paperwork.
Use the safety straps on your recliner to help your loved one get in and out of the chair. This can make it easier to rise and sit, and will keep your loved one from falling while they are seated.
Use wider doors, such as a double-wide, to allow for easier access by a wheelchair.
Replace heavy doors with lightweight sliding doors or add a sliding door.
Building a wheelchair ramp is a great way to improve the quality of life for someone.
Homes with wheelchair ramps can be more comfortable and safe for mobility-challenged people. Many mobility-challenged people find that a wheelchair ramp is worth the extra cost and effort.
The plans for a ramp can be modified to your specifications, to include any handrails you may need or other modifications that can help avoid accidents.
Thoroughly remove or re-surface carpets, as they can snag or be caught in the wheels of a wheelchair and cause a fall. Replace throw rugs or area rugs with hardwood or vinyl.
Replace any worn throw blankets, as they can easily snag.
Remove any loose cords, as they can become caught in the wheels.
Replace loose handrails on stairs with handrails that are secure to the wall.
Make sure your home has enough lighting.
Covering sharp edges with bumpers or protective pads will keep your loved one from getting cut and from falling out of bed.
Move light switches, electrical outlets, and thermostats to accessible locations for easier access. Outlets should be provided within reach of a wheelchair.
If you are close to your loved one and would like to help them create a safe and accessible home, you can do so by hiring a contractor like our company, MasterCraft Home Improvement, which is experienced in remodeling homes for people with disabilities.
We will work closely with you and the professionals you hire to make sure that your home is fully accessible and safe.