The topic of wheelchair accessibility in a residential home can be a tricky one, particularly when the home you are looking to make such alterations to is on the smaller side. The fact of the matter is that in order to have certain pieces of equipment that are necessary for wheelchair accessibility, you need to have a bit of space to work with. That being said, there are certain things that you can have installed that can help the majority of standard residential properties to be more wheelchair accessible.
If you are looking to make alterations to your home to make it more wheelchair-friendly, here are three things that you will need to have installed:
1. A Lift
First and foremost, you will need to evaluate the stairs in your home and have a wheelchair lift installed. There are a variety of wheelchair elevators that have been designed specifically for residential use and are more compact than the ones you might see in commercial spaces.
The specific type of platform lift that you have installed will depend greatly on the amount of space that you can dedicate to a lift in your home as well as the layout of your stairs. You might be able to go with a smaller vertical lift if your stairs aren’t on too steep of an incline. The wall that you use for such a lift will also need to be able to bear the load of the lift. Otherwise, your choices might be limited to a horizontal platform lift.
Once you have the main stairs in your home fitted with the right wheelchair lift, you will need to evaluate any entrances to your home that have a small set of steps leading up to the door. If you have an entryway that is already accessible to a wheelchair, then you are good to go. If not, though, you should look to have a ramp installed.
The same will go for any areas inside your home that have a set of one, two, or three steps. A ramp can easily make these accessible for a wheelchair without the need for more machinery.
The other areas in your home that will need addressing in order to make them more wheelchair accessible are the bathrooms. Individuals who require a wheelchair have different needs when it comes to the layout and accessibility of a bathroom. For example, the sink will need to be situated lower so as to be accessed by someone sitting down. The shower or bathtub unit that you have in your bathroom might also need to be changed out for one that can be entered and exited easily by someone with a disability.
You will need to have grab bars installed in key places in the bathroom such as in the shower or next to the toilet. There are some cases where it also might be necessary to have an alarm installed that someone can pull in case of an emergency.