According to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (2018 statistics), about one in four adults (61 million Americans) have a disability that impacts major life activities. Mobility issues can change the way people function in their day-to-day life, even in familiar spaces like their home. In fact, the home can become a challenging space for older adults, wheelchair users and people with disabilities. Stairs, bathrooms, door knobs and certain surfaces may suddenly become risky and difficult to adapt to. It is important to make your home accessible. NY dealers offer a range of products such as elevators, wheelchair lifts, stair lifts and ramps for people with mobility issues. Choosing an appropriate option will allow you to stay in the home you love.
Here are some ways to make your existing home wheelchair accessible –
- Consider an elevator – Installing a residential elevator can resolve the accessibility concerns faced by wheelchair users who live in multilevel homes. A home elevator will allow them to move easily to all levels their home on their own.
- Widen doorways – Doorways are the most neglected part of the home and are usually constructed to be narrow. Widening doorways allows people using wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and crutches to easily access different rooms or areas in the home. The Americans with Disabilities Act has legal requirements and standards as to how an accessible doorway should be designed. To accommodate a wheelchair, a doorframe needs to be at least 32 inches wide. All doors should be made to be easy to open, including doorknobs (that are easy on the hands and wrists). If doors are tight, install swing-away door hinges to add an extra couple of inches. In addition, the doorway should have ample maneuvering space and not use an auto-closing door, so that people will have sufficient amount of time to go through it without having to worry about being hit in the back.
- Install platform lifts – Accessing stairways and raised platforms can be challenging for wheelchair users. Platform lifts are a good option in such situations. They are, designed to raise a wheelchair along with the user to different floor levels that they cannot reach easily. Reliable NY dealers of accessibility equipment offer both inclined and vertical platform lifts in New York.
- Building ramps – Given that your home entry needs to be wheelchair-accessible, it is important to install a wheelchair ramp. Ramps are available in various models. While selecting ramps, make sure to consider your personal and physical needs.
- Automatic lighting – Moving around safely is much easier when there is proper lighting. Installing automatic lights would be helpful for wheelchair users who have trouble reaching light switches. Automatic lights will turn on as soon as a wheelchair bound person crosses the threshold.
- Flooring – Laminate, vinyl, wood, or smooth tiles are recommended for homes with a resident who uses a wheelchair. Never use plush carpets as they are very difficult to push a wheelchair or walker over.
- Bathrooms – Bathroom modifications are essential for avoiding injuries while providing independence and privacy for those in wheelchairs. Slick tiles in bathrooms become extremely hazardous when wet and soapy and can increase the chances of slips and falls. Installing shower pans or walk-in tubs will minimize such risks. Handlebars inside the tub can help people maneuver themselves inside. Wall-mounted or pedestal sinks without cabinets provide space underneath for wheelchair users.
Other ways to make your home wheelchair accessible include –
- Adjustable height profiling bed and air mattress for pressure relief
- Ensuring that the corridors and pathways are not obstructed by objects
- Fixing knobs or grasp handles on all doors and drawers
- Height adjustable or lowered worktops, cooker and sink in the kitchen
- Keeping low cabinets in the kitchen
- Phone/alert system near toilet and shower
- Putting in visual fire alarms
- Vertical platform lifts for higher outdoor stairs
Making simple modifications can make your home safer for you and your loved ones.