At some point, many of us will experience the need for more accessibility in our homes. There may be differing levels of needs based on whether you are using crutches, braces, a walker, a mobility scooter or a wheelchair, but home accessibility adjustments will still be necessary to make navigating the home safe and easy. Here are some home accessibility options of varying costs that will get your home ready for any mobility device:
Exterior Door Accessibility
Let’s start with how you enter your house. Does your mobility device allow you to enter safely, without assistance? If not, you may need to consider a portable ramp if your situation is temporary. If your situation is more permanent, then you’ll need either a modular ramp or a platform lift, depending on the setup of your front door.
Interior Doorway Accessibility
Once you’re in your house, are the interior doors wide enough for your mobility device? If you are using a wheelchair, you will need at least 32” to clear the space safely. If you don’t have 32” of width, all is not lost. You have options in swing-away door hinges, removing the door entirely or removing the woodwork around the door and replacing with a wider door.
Many of us consider the bathroom as one of the most important rooms in the house. This is also the room you will need the MOST maneuverability in. After you get through the door using the tips above, how are you going to use the shower, toilet and sink? If using a wheelchair, you will need a 60” diameter circle to reach bathroom fixtures. You may want to replace your tub or shower with a roll-in shower and remove your base cabinets to provide knee space under the sink. If your bathroom is entirely too small, you may want to consider relocating the bathroom to the corner of a bedroom or borrowing space from a connected room to make the bathroom bigger.
In the kitchen, counter top height and sink access can be a problem. If your needs are permanent, we recommend removing base cabinets and installing lower counter tops for food preparation areas. When you are removing your sink cabinet for easier access, you’ll want to insulate pipes to avoid burns as well as replace any hot and cold faucets with a single-lever faucet with an extension arm for easy access.
If you need additional help deciding what to do with your entrances and exits, let EZ-ACCESS help! Join us next week when we address funding options for accessibility modifications!