Whether you are customizing your existing home or searching for a property that meets your wheelchair accessibility needs, here are our top 4 things to look for
If you use a wheelchair, a walker or cane to get around, we’re pretty sure that you’ve bumped into quite a few standard width door frames, tripped over poorly thought-out steps or, even, dropped things due to counter tops that are just too high for you to reach easily. The fact is that most homes aren’t built with handicapped mobility in mind.
The great news is that there are plenty of homes out there that have already been customized to make the lives of people with mobility issues easier. More people are waking up to the fact that their home needs to be able to grow with them. If you want to remain in your own home or buy a new one, it’s so easy to make yours both accessible and safe or find a ready-made accessible property!
Go open plan
When people have mobility issues, an open plan home is ideal as you reduce the number of doorways and create a wide-open space that allows you to maneuver your wheelchair with ease, without hurting yourself or your furniture. If you are searching for a new home, look for open plan layouts with fewer walls and doorways that make living and entertaining a breeze.
Look for obstructions
There’s nothing worse than damaging furniture, walls or doorways simply because you are living in a home that hasn’t been made wheelchair accessible. So, start looking for obstructions that make using a wheelchair or walker dangerous. Are the doorways too narrow? Are the rooms too small to house furniture and your wheelchair safely? Do steps pose a danger or prevent you from entering the property?
Assess bathroom safety
Your bathroom should be a place where you can escape from it all and relax into a bubble bath or steaming shower. For people with mobility issues, bathrooms need a lot of thought though. Can you turn 360 degrees in your bathroom? If not, it would be a good idea to look elsewhere. You need your independence, so make sure you can use your bathroom independently and safely. Other things to look for include lowered counter tops, grab rails and a walk-in tub.
Ensure counter tops are reachable
We’ve already touched on this, but it’s so important that it deserves its own shout-out. Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most heavily used areas in any home and counter tops need to be reachable. If you are in a wheelchair, but the counter tops in your home are standard height, that creates a danger that you’ll want to avoid. Plus, being wheelchair-bound should never take away the joy of cooking.
If you’d like more information about how you can make your home accessible and safe, get in touch with the Western Stairlifts Team or drop by our showroom in Midvale.