Physically disabled people often experience many challenges in their day-to-day lives, especially when accessing buildings. They find it difficult to move around even in their own homes which can make them feel excluded and overlooked. Therefore, if you can make their lives easier by tweaking some things in the house to fit their condition, you should. Here are some ways you can make your home accessible to physically disabled people.
- Install Handrails
Making your home accessible to handicapped people doesn’t have to be pricey or complicated. Installing something as simple as handrails could save a physically disabled person a lot of strain. It can also prevent unwanted falls as it helps them maintain balance. Try to install handrails in areas where they need extra support such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and living rooms.
- Widen Doorways
Regardless of the disability, physically disabled people automatically need more room to navigate around the house. Therefore, your normal-sized doorways may be cumbersome for them to fit through. Consider widening your doorways especially if you’re living with a disabled person. This allows them to fit easily through the doorways and reduces their chances of bumping into walls. It might be a pricey renovation but you’ll make their lives significantly easier.
- Install Ramps
This is one of the most basic things you can do to make your home accessible to physically disabled people. Ramps help people with disabilities, especially those using walkers or wheelchairs, enter the house easily. It might be expensive to install ramps inside your home when it’s already built. However, you can put ramps at the entrance and other places where there are small staircases. You could also consider investing in removable ramps if that is a better option.
- Install A Shower Bench
This is super inexpensive but can go a long way in making a physically disabled person more independent. Shower benches are helpful for those who find standing for long periods difficult such as elderly or paralyzed people. It also minimizes the risk of falling in the bathroom. There are seats specially made for disabled people. However, you can install any type of shower bench as long as it’s durable and sturdy.
- Add Sufficient Lighting
It’s hard enough for able-bodied people to walk around a poorly lit house without bumping into something. Therefore, it must be super challenging for physically disabled people. Lighting up your house gives them the confidence to move around the house without the risk of injury. Try to add more lights in dark areas such as hallways, outdoor pathways, and near staircases in order to increase their visibility.
- Remove Base Cabinet Doors
Some physically disabled people can perform house chores such as cooking and cleaning if the area is accessible to them. To make it easy for them to access the kitchen and prepare food or clean the dishes, you can remove or rework the base cabinet doors. This allows them to roll their wheelchair closer to the counter or sink. You can also install a pull-out counter if the one in the kitchen is too high for them.
- Minimize Furniture
Reducing the number of furniture in your home ensures that there are fewer obstacles for physically disabled people. Try to remove side tables and other small furniture that can cause tripping hazards. Keep walkways as clear as possible to make it easier for them to manoeuvre around. You can also safe-proof your furniture to ensure that they don’t cause any serious injuries in case someone bumps into them.
Find more tips in this article – Disabled Friendly Homes: 10 Tips to Make Your Home Accessible for All