Making your home more accessible makes life much easier for wheelchair users. Being in a wheelchair was considered debilitating for a long time, simply because places and things weren’t well-adapted to accommodate mobility aids. Nowadays accessibility is a priority in most shops and buildings; but homes might not all be wheelchair-ready. If your home isn’t wheelchair-friendly, that doesn’t mean that you should have to life 100% dependent on other people. There are adaptations that can be made.
Many devices and home improvements have developed over the years to make independent living possible for those who use a wheelchair. This includes everything from motorized wheelchairs to smart-home technology that can be controlled by voice command.
Because of the overwhelming amount of technology on the scene today, a lot of people get confused. New tech can be hard to learn to use, and there’s so much choice in devices that many don’t know where to begin.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert to take the first steps. Let’s go over the essentials for accessible living.
Lifts and Slings
Did you think patient lifts were just limited to hospitals? They can be specially installed in your home. These are perfect for getting from your wheelchair to your bed. These slings can be controlled from a remote. That way you don’t need to worry about being able to lift yourself into the sling.
If you have a bathtub or shower, you can install a lift to help you get into the tub. The lift will attach to the tub so that you don’t have to worry about it slipping when you sit your full weight on the sling.
There are special lifts for swimming pools if you have one on your property. You don’t need to give up enjoying your pool when you find yourself needing more help. The lifts are electric powered and have remotes attached to them.
Ramps and Grab Bars
No matter how small the incline or level difference, getting a ramp installed in your home will make all the difference. Ramps can help you get from your kitchen to your living room if the level is different. The best place for a ramp is getting into your home – obviously, if you have front steps and now use a wheelchair, installing a ramp is the first port of call.
Grab bars can be added to any part of your house. They are best suited for bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways. If there’s any place where you find yourself getting winded, maybe it’s time to add a grab bar.
Door Knobs and Closet Racks
Door knobs are made for people standing up to use. They are usually placed awkwardly if you are using a wheelchair. No one likes having to reach up to turn a door knob in their own home. Getting your handles adjusted is a simple task that your local contractor can accomplish.
Closet racks are something that many people don’t think about. They’re super high. This makes sense for some people, but not for everyone. From a wheelchair, high closet racks are impossible to reach. Most closet racks are made to be easily removable. Again, it’s not a difficult task for a contractor to amend.
The changes mentioned in this article involve physical devices for specific tasks. There are other aspects to accessible housing. These are not covered in depth here but include things like smart homes, home security systems, and voice command appliances. These require more specific research in order for you to make the decision that would work best for you.
These are the basics of creating an accessible home. With these changes made, you should find getting around and enjoying your home much easier for yourself or visitors who use a wheelchair.