Accommodating scooters and other medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers may require structural improvements to your home. While making major structural changes can be cost prohibitive, there are some things you can do to make your home more comfortable and safe.
Accommodating Scooters and Wheelchairs by Modifying Door Width
In many homes, the biggest concern for people in wheelchairs is the width of the doorways. Most housing codes specify that interior doorways should be at least 32″ in width, but less width is required for closets and bathrooms. Since 32″ is the minimum space required for a wheelchair to pass, some doorways will probably need to be widened for easy passage – a costly endeavor.
When just a couple inches can make a difference, replacing standard hinges with offset door hinges that will swing the door out of the way is an easy fix. Costing as little as $20 for a two-hinge door, you may get the clearance you need.
Making Doors Less Intrusive
The doors themselves can be hard to manage and can take up needed room. You might remove the door and replace it with a curtain, especially on closet doors; but this this is only practical for someone who lives alone as it gives little sound protection and privacy.
A better solution? Pocket doors that slide into the wall alleviate the door problem and offer an accessible solution when fitted with easy-to-open pulls. For retrofitting an existing door, pocket doors may pose a challenge when there is insulation, electrical wiring, and duct work in the wall. A modern take on a sliding door is a barn door that slides on a track and is positioned to lie parallel to the wall. This is a hot new decorating trend that offers many choices of wood and hardware to blend with any home.
Maneuvering with Ease
In addition to door width, the other concern for those in a scooter or wheelchair is the ability to make a 180° turn into a room. Once in certain rooms, a wheelchair needs 60″ of turning space, while the smallest of scooters needs about 30″. The space requirements for maneuverability have changed along with the technology of mobility devices, but a contractor with experience in ADA remodeling can help you make modifications for comfortable turning in your equipment.
Find a Good ADA Contractor
If accommodating scooters and wheelchairs is an issue in your home, discuss your situation with an ADA contractor before you assume that moving is your only alternative. Western Stairlifts not only sells accessibility equipment, but has years of experience making home modifications for accommodating scooters, wheelchairs and other medical equipment.