There are many reasons that a regular household may find itself in need of wheelchair-friendliness. One of these is if a family member were to suffer from a long-term disability, of which around 12% of the adults in America do every single year. Whatever the reason may be, read on to see five tips that can help you make your home wheelchair-friendly.
1. Light The Hallways
Good lighting can go a long way to improve the safety of your home and make it more wheelchair-friendly. This is because it will expose any obstacles on the floor that may pose a hazard to wheelchair users. Anyone with limited mobility will find it safe and easy to make their way around a house that has, for instance, dimmable lights along the floor of every hallway. Simple snake lights or even artificial lighting fixtures can provide this lighting, so either get an electrician to do the necessary wiring for you or simply install self-sufficient light sources at strategic points around your house.
2. Widen the Doorways
Wheelchairs take up significantly more space when it comes to entryways, so consider widening the doors around your home to allow people on wheelchairs to make their way through them. Alongside this, replace any stairs with ramps. These will make it easier for everyone, and not just those in wheelchairs, to make their way around your home. This will be a worthwhile upgrade to make as it will allow people with limited mobility to retain their independence around the house.
3. Eliminate Slipping Hazards
The floors in your home may be a slipping hazard themselves, so consider removing tiles, which are a major slipping hazard, and replacing them with a more non-slip option like even and smooth carpeting. Hardwood floors, whose ROI according to Professional Builder falls between 70% and 80%, are also a good option to pick. This means that if you spend $20,000 and get 2,000 square feet at $10 per square foot, you can expect to get between $14,000 and $16,000 in your home’s sale price. For a home upgrade that will also improve the wheelchair-friendliness of your home, these are amazing returns.
4. Get the Right Furniture
Good furniture is another important consideration to make when you’re making your home more wheelchair-friendly. Shop for stable and sturdy pieces that can be used as support. Avoid fragile pieces that have sharp edges as these pose a serious hazard to people in wheelchairs or those using any walking aid, including canes and walking sticks. Tables should be a reasonable height as well, which is higher than the height of a regular coffee table. While soft cushions on sofas and chairs may feel comfortable, they can be difficult for someone with mobility issues to get up from without assistance.
5. Install an Elevator or Stair Lift
Finally, if your home is big enough, you could install an elevator in it. Note that each day, the average person takes four trips in an elevator. This will be a stress-free way to help people in wheelchairs move between different floors in your home. If this is not an option, install a stair lift instead. It will serve a similar purpose but may call for some additional things such as a wheelchair or walking aid on each floor where the stairway ends at.
These five tips should help you make your home a lot more friendly for people in wheelchairs or those with any impediment to their mobility. Make use of them to create an accommodating environment in your home and you will give everyone an easy and happy time while they’re in your house.