If you use a power wheelchair or have a disability, it’s important to make your home fully accessible. The extent of renovations needed depends on the state of your home. For example, the rooms and doorways need to have ample space for maneuvering an electric wheelchair. Plus, it’s beneficial for counter tops, appliances and cabinets to be within easy reach for a user sitting in a standard height wheelchair. Here are some ways you can make your home wheelchair accessible for you and your loved one.
Rubber threshold ramps are easy to install, slip resistant and affordable, providing a safe way for electric wheelchairs to cross thresholds and small steps.
Your wheelchair must easily fit through every doorway in your home. If a doorway is too narrow, a minor renovation may be needed. Sometimes, just removing the door frame can solve the problem.
Removing doorsteps allow for a motorized wheelchair to get through a doorway with no problem. Also, it’s best to remove any uneven flooring in your house.
If you or your loved one rely on a peephole to see who is at the door, it’s best to install a peephole at eye-level of a person in a power wheelchair.
It’s much easier to drive a power wheelchair or navigate with a walker across hard flooring. Rugs and thick carpeting make things harder for people with disabilities and a potential tripping hazard for everyone.
Hardwood flooring is nice to look at and extremely durable, a great choice for a wheelchair accessible home. Laminate is also durable, and scratches can be removed easily. Ceramic tiles are good for accessible kitchens and bathrooms because they are water resistant.
Make sure there is enough space in your bathroom for you to complete a 360 degree turn with your electric wheelchair.
Fit hand rails surrounding the toilet seat to make transfers from your wheelchair to the toilet easier and safer
An accessible sink allows a power wheelchair user to reach the faucet. A customized sink can be installed according to the height of the individual using a wheelchair.
Make sure the kitchen is spacious enough for a full 360-turn of a wheelchair.
Make sure that all counter tops, as well as the kitchen sink, are easy to reach from a standard wheelchair height, or the counters can be customized to the individual wheelchair user.
Choose appliances, such as the stove, dishwasher, washing machine or microwave that open to the side or in the front for easier access and place them within easy reach.
Cabinets installed from the floor up are much more accessible for motorized wheelchair users.
For other ways to make your home life easier, check out these accessibility hacks that can truly benefit you if you use a manual or power wheelchair in your daily life. Read Accessible Living Tips for People with Disabilities.