Ideally, a good home should be able to meet the varying needs of different people both in its design and construction. From the architecture to its furnishing, a house with a universal design ensures that there is enough space for those with limited mobility to move about.
It also ensures that accessories like switches are placed where they are accessible to those bound to a wheelchair. Overall, it reduces the number of obstacles and hazards that make day-to-day tasks challenging for the handicapped.
If you’re looking to transform your home and make it more handicap accessible for you or your loved ones, here are eight ways to go about it.
Grab bars provide stability in key locations such as the shower and around a toilet. Before installation, it’s important to test them first in a bathroom designed for the handicapped. This ensures that they are secured to a wall the right way and are positioned at the right height. A safety grab bar that is installed improperly could be more dangerous than there being no grab bar at all.
Update Your Bathroom
The bathroom can present several obstacles and hazards for those with limited mobility. For example, countertops and tubs can be very dangerous during a fall. Slick tiles are also known to be hazardous when they are wet and soapy. Tubs with tall slides do not make things any easier.
It’s possible to update your bathroom and toilet in such a way that it becomes a friendly space for the handicapped. This includes installing step-in tubs, slip-resistant surfaces, and handrails that provide balance and support when sitting or getting up from a toilet.
If you’re a tall person, you probably need high countertops to access your everyday items and perform activities such as cooking. In order to make your home more handicap accessible, lowering some of the most-needed countertops can go a long way in helping those with limited mobility around you. This includes those that store essential items or those used for cooking and other important activities.
Installing press lever handles, push/pull bars, and automatic doors in place of doorknobs can help improve accessibility to your home. Those with limited mobility will not have to worry about reaching out for doorknobs or having the right amount of grip. It also works to eliminate injury or fatigue that may be brought about by having to strain when opening doors.
To make your home more handicap friendly, it’s important to arrange your furniture in a way that allows people on wheelchairs and scooters to move around. As a rule of thumb, eliminate any sharp turns and narrow passageways.
Having chairs that are comfortable and bookshelves that are accessible also makes the space more accessible. It may mean having to move items to lower shelves so that they can be reachable to those using mobility aids.
For persons that need help getting out of their wheelchair or scooter, it may be important to have handrails installed at strategic points. Like grab bars, they provide stability and reduce the chances of someone falling due to poor balance.
When well-placed, they make a huge difference and provide independence to those with mobility issues. They also give you some peace of mind knowing that the person you’re living with is safe at all times.
Ensuring your home is accessible to the handicapped is a considerable act that provides those with limited mobility the same opportunities as the well-abled. It not only improves their quality of life, but ensures that they are least troubled. If you have a loved one with mobility issues in your home, consider making all the spaces handicap friendly to make their life easier and better.
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Spock Lin or Wendy Luo
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