How to Make Your Home More Accessible

When designing or purchasing your dream home, you might not take into consideration the accessibility of your space. If no one in your immediate family has a physical disability, having an accessible home might not be high on your list of priorities – however, if you have an aging relative, suffer an injury, or undergo a procedure from RCMC Medical Center, you might need to make some home renovations. If this is the situation you are in currently, here are a few additions you can make to your home in order to make your space accessible to people ranging in age and ability.

Widen Doorways

One aspect of a home that is often overlooked when remodeling for accessibility is doorways. Both the main entrance of your home as well as the entrance to all rooms should be wide enough for wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility aids to get through with ease.

Wheelchair Ramp 

Building a ramp outside of your home can be helpful to those who use wheelchairs, as well as anyone who has difficulty climbing steps for any reason. This is a relatively easy addition to any home, but beware that you will need a permit from your city to build a ramp.

Walk-in Showers

Bathtubs and showers that are not accessible are one of the biggest physical hazards for people with disabilities in any home. If your bathroom contains a bathtub or thin shower stall, consider installing a larger, walk-in shower – add a seat if you or a loved one has difficulty standing.

Remove Carpet

Mobility aids like wheelchairs and walkers cannot easily move across carpet. Hardwood is the best option for flooring in this case, but tile or other slick flooring works too.

Safety Handles

Adding a few grips or safety handles to areas of your home where people will frequently be walking or standing is a great way to avoid accidents – especially in areas like the bathroom.

Move Furniture Placement

Be sure that furniture in your home is placed in a way that allows for loved ones with mobility aids to get through. Shift around any furniture that could be an obstacle, and be sure that there is plenty of free space in common spaces or high traffic areas such as the living room or dining room.