How To Ensure Your Home Is Wheelchair Accessible
For most properties, ensuring comfortable wheelchair accessibility will require a degree of renovation and customization — therefore it’s vital that you take the time to check that your property has the right measures put in place to make it accessible to people, no matter what their mobility needs.
It can be hard to figure out where to start, and what needs to be done. That’s why we’ve compiled this short guide telling you what you need to know in order to ensure that your home is wheelchair accessible. We provide a variety of tools and equipment to help ensure that a home is as accessible as possible.
Doorways And Entrances
Beginning at the front of the house, you need to ensure that if steps are involved there is a ramp and a railing installed. If the steps aren’t steep, you can have a temporary ramp to hand that can be brought out when required. Throughout the home, you need to ensure that all doorways and entrances are wide enough that wheelchair users can fit comfortably through them.
Homeowners often overlook the importance of flooring when it comes to making their homes wheelchair accessible. We would recommend opting for hardwood flooring. Not only is hardwood flooring durable and smooth enough to offer easy traction, but it’s also a stylish option that can be used throughout the property.
The best options are the harder woods: maple, hickory, and cherry. It’s also important to ensure that any transitions between rooms are perfectly flat, as even slightly uneven transitions can be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate. In the bathroom and kitchen areas, ceramic tiles can be a suitable alternative — provided the tiles are at most 2 square inches in size.
The bathroom is one of the most difficult areas when it comes to making your home more accesible. The first thing you need to do is ensure that there is enough space for a wheelchair to move comfortably. This usually means around 55 inches of space in order to allow a wheelchair to turn a full 360 degrees. The installation of railings is also crucial — there should be sturdy railings next to both the toilet and bath.
Having an accessible kitchen is vital to helping wheelchair users live a full and comfortable life in their home — and just as in the bathroom, it begins with ensuring they have enough space to maneuver their wheelchair comfortably.
You also need to ensure that all work surfaces and appliances are low enough to the ground to be reached from the comfort of a wheelchair. Additionally, all the base storage units should be position on the ground to allow for easy accesibility
Nothing is more important than a good night’s sleep, and that means having a bedroom that is both comfortable and easy for wheelchair users to access. The most important starting point is the bed; there needs to be plenty of space on either side of the bed to allow a wheelchair user freedom to navigate around it, and it needs to be a suitable height with rails so that the user can support themselves and make it onto the bed comfortably.
When it comes to furniture, prioritize stable and robust furniture whilst also spacing things out to ensure easy access and movement. If possible, installing an ensuite would make your home that much more accessible and comfortable.
The garden can be one of the most affirming and relaxing areas of any home, whether that’s watching plants you’ve nurtured spring into bloom, or simply enjoying an evening on the patio as the sun goes down. Which is is why making sure that it’s as wheelchair accessible as the rest of your home is tremendously important.
In order to move around the garden, a wheelchair user will require wide paths constructed from even surfaces such as concrete, tarmac, or flagstones. Avoid wood, as the slippery surface it creates can pose a hazard if it’s been raining. Alternatively, for a smaller solution, roll out tracking could be used. If your garden contains slopes or levels, then ramps and handrails will be necessary. In order to make the most of your garden, consider raised plant beds or tall containers to bring the soil to a more accessible level. This will remove the need for digging and allow wheelchair users greater freedom of access.
No matter what your mobility or lifestyle needs, having the option to buy from a company that you can trust is crucial. Here at Island Mediquip, nothing is more important to us than the safety and comfort of our customers. To find out more about what we offer, contact us today or view the products page on our website for more information.