Wanting your home to be welcoming to everyone who visits is a noble intention. Renovating your home so that ageing parents, those with disabilities or a child on crutches can access all rooms will also add value to your home. Equally, if you are someone who needs greater accessibility due to your or your family’s needs, some changes are essential. Here we explore ways to give access to all areas of your homes.
Dealing with stairs
One of the biggest differences you can make to accessibility is installing. Easy access to the bedrooms can give independence to people who would otherwise struggle with stairs. Whether it is a full passenger lift or an escalator up a small flight, by offering mechanised support, you are significantly increasing the accessibility of your home.
You can deal with steps with a ramp. Installing a ramp doesn’t have to be a huge DIY job and can be done quite simply. However, if you are creating a ramp over several steps, you may want to bring in a professional to do the job safely.
Widening the doors
It might be that you do not want to make huge structural changes to your home and make small differences. Widening doors is a relatively straightforward renovation with the addition of offset hinges. It means removing the frame and rehanging the door, but it will add the few inches required by someone in a wheelchair.
Add grab bars
A grab bar in the bathroom, especially around the bath and shower, makes a significant difference to the accessibility of your home. On a superficial level, it can give someone added stability if they are unsteady on their feet. However, it might be that these bars are the means that someone can independently lift themselves onto a toilet.
You can make your shower even more accessible by installing a seat. Standing in the shower for some is difficult, even when not in a wheelchair. Therefore, a simple, hinged seat can make a significant difference.
Rearrange your furniture
One of the easiest ways of making your home accessible is by rearranging your furniture. Adding a space at the table for someone in a wheelchair, for instance, or making areas as open as possible, with limited choke points.
Rugs are also a barrier to accessibility. Consequently, lifting these rugs allows movement of any device with wheels and removes the trip hazard for people with poor mobility.
Install a dual-depth sink
It is not that your home should be redesigned to the advantage of those with the accessibility issue. Instead, it is about making your home available to those who are non-disabled and those who are considered disabled. Therefore, having a sink that is the height of someone standing and another at the height of someone sitting feels fair. These ADA-compliant sinks are best if a raised shelf is added and the cabinet door is removed so the chair can get underneath.
Change door handles
If you have doorknobs, you may want to consider changing these. Some people struggle to twist and grasp the doorknob and so wouldn’t be able to open the door. Therefore, changing to levers will make your home accessible. The same is true with taps. Changing to levers allows someone with a weak grip to control the water supply.
The height of switches is often an accessibility issue for people. Ensuring the plug sockets are higher and the light switches are lower. It is also worth knowing that traditional light switches are very small for people with weaker dexterity. Therefore, changing to rocker switches allow people to turn them on and off with their knuckles, fist, or elbows.
There are many reasons to consider renovating your home to make it more accessible. It might be that there is no reason for these changes right now, but you need to prepare for the future. Making these changes early could make it possible for you to stay in your home longer.
Yet, making your home welcoming to all visitors means making changes to accessibility. On a basic level, it means rearranging furniture, and a full commitment might mean installing a lift. Remember, the more your home is accessible to all, the more buyers you have in the future.