Accessibility in homes is often overlooked until it becomes absolutely necessary when an occupant becomes disabled. If you’ve recently found yourself in a similar situation where you or a loved one now has the need for a more accessible home, you’re probably looking for cost-effective ways to make your property more friendly to those with mobility issues. Unfortunately, life can become difficult when you’re unable to access the basic conveniences of your home. With that said, here are a few steps you can take to adapt your house into an accessible home.

1. Install a Wheelchair Lift

Installing a lift is a worthwhile investment because it provides what is by far the safest and most convenient way for a wheelchair user to enter and exit the home or access an upper level. There are many lift solutions that you can examine to determine which one would be the best for your specific difficulties and home design. 

2. Add Paved Walkways and Paths to the Yard

Walkways and paths give you the ability travel around the grounds and make easy entry to your home from vehicles or roads. This is a particularly important step to take if the area leading up to your front door is relatively difficult to pass over in wheelchair. You may also want to build some scenic paths throughout the property and have some landscaping added to provide peaceful and serene place for a relaxing wheelchair stroll. 

3. Make Important Items Reachable from Waist Height

Make a list of every important item or fixture that is on the inside and outside of the home, then look for ways to bring those objects down to a reachable level for someone in a wheelchair. This would include lowering the peephole on the door, building low-level shelves and cabinets, and lowering any light switches or other home features that are out of reach from a sitting height. 

4. Opt for Ramps Instead of Stairs

Stairs are the enemy of accessibility because only certain people can climb steps comfortably or at all. If you’re currently having a custom home built, opting for ramps can be even more affordable than having a hard stoop built. Of course, you should also have rails installed and make sure the ramp is set at a very minimal incline to make it easier for wheelchair users to push themselves up it. 

Accessibility Can Be a Life-Changer 

Simply taking the four steps above can make a huge difference in improving the quality of a disabled person’s life. If yourself or a loved one is having to make adjustments to suit your new lifestyle, adding these modifications to your home should be at the top of your list. On the other hand, failing to make these adjustments will lead to becoming dependent on the assistance of other people in your home, which can be difficult for your caregiver and also affect your freedom and happiness.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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