Simple Steps to Make Your House Disability Friendly

Simple Steps to Make Your House Disability Friendly
  • (view) Type: Elderly Parent
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    As you can imagine, a standard home with flights of stairs, narrow corridors and small bathrooms can hardly be considered accessible to friends and family who are on wheelchair, use walkers or suffer from a different mobility impairment.


Fortunately, there are several measures you can take in order to make your house disability friendly – here are 5 key steps to revamping your home and making it truly accessible to everybody.

Where to start

In order to make your home visitable by guests with motor disabilities, you first need to focus on the entrance to your property. At least one should be with no steps that present the greatest problem to a person on a wheelchair.

Consider entry and bathroom doors – all of those and any doors that fall in between should have at least 32” for easy passage. To accommodate your disabled guests, you’ll also need a half bath or preferably a full bath on the ground floor of your house.

Small changes

Even if they seem insignificant, those small changes instantly improve the quality of life of any disabled person who visits your house. Consider using portable wheelchair ramps as a temporary solution – they will work great where considerable modifications aren’t possible.

Something very simple and often forgotten are your cupboards and drawers – especially if you’ve got a disabled person staying at your house for a longer time. By organizing them and putting similar items together in convenient locations, you’ll make cleaning, cooking and relaxing much simpler and more enjoyable.

Removing obstructions

This is an important point. Start by thoroughly checking each and every room – are there any potential hazards or access obstructions? If so, try to remove them or apply small modifications to the placement of your furniture.

Make sure to remove loose carpets and rugs. All floor tiles, carpets and lino should be securely fastened and feature no rough or loose edges. It’s a good idea to remove furniture that isn’t necessary – adding space will make a room much more accessible.

Important modifications

All the key modifications should be made with a specific person in mind. Install grab bars and safety rails to provide safe and accessible surroundings – those will work for elderly people as well. Handrails and grab bars are the least costly and most effective home modifications.

An important modification is adding a wheelchair ramp. Aluminum or concrete wheelchair ramps are your best options – especially concrete, which will last your years and require no maintenance.

Bathroom remodeling

Bathtubs can be hazardous for a person on a wheelchair – make sure to install grab bars and provide tub transfer seats to allow people have a shower or bath without lowering themselves to the tub floor.

Sometimes a shower can be a great alternative to a tub – there are many prefabricated shower units and some of them feature seats. Roll-in showers are more difficult to install and use.

Toilet seat height is an individual matter, but standard residential units of 17” are usually too low. Consider replacing them with the 19” ADA toilet or installing a raised seat. Usually toilets are right next to bathtubs – placing a wall to floor grab bar is a practical option here.

Install a sink that allows wheelchair access – remove the vanity cabinet from below it. A wall mounted lavatory is a great idea. As for faucets – replace them with single lever control, which is much easier to use.

Making your home accessible to everybody is beneficial not only to people with limited mobility – parents will find it easier to bring in baby strollers, aging family members will be more comfortable and your property will simply gain on value.

Information credited to  For Sale For Lease



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