If you or the senior you love with uses a wheelchair, you’ll need to make sure your space is livable and accessible to the wheelchair-user. Here’s a brief guide on how to make your home more wheelchair accessible.
Find a solution for stairs
Stairs may be difficult or even impossible for some wheelchair-users, so if your living space has stairs in it, you need to find a solution. You can install a stair lift—some allow the wheelchair-user to simply roll onto the lift and raise or lower themselves, and other kinds require the person to get out of their chair and sit on a lifting chair, which will then raise or lower them. You can also replace stairs with a ramp if the stairs are at an agreeable angle; this often works for outdoor stairs to a porch or deck.
Fix the doors and windows
A small way to make a home more wheelchair-friendly is to update features many people forget about. Make sure light switches are within reach, or create another way to illuminate the room without the need to reach up to a light fixture such as a tall lamp. You should also replace door handles with automatic doors, which you can easily install on all inside and outside doors so that the wheelchair user can open doors with ease. You can also motorize window treatments so that the wheelchair user can raise and lower their window coverings without aid. Motorized window treatments have a slew of other home benefits, too.
Make the bathroom usable
Invest in a lower toilet that’s easier to access, and remove barriers by adding an easy-to-enter tub or shower. You should also make sure the sink in the bathroom is reachable from the wheelchair and that the mirror or vanity is lower than the standard height. Many home bathrooms feature rugs and other floor décor, but in a wheelchair-friendly home, it’s best to forego these types of decorations.
These and other updates will make a home much safer for those using a wheelchair. For more help staying in your home, consider home care for help with daily activities and companionship.