Neither homeowners nor architects typically pay much attention to handicap accessibility in the design of a home unless and until there is a specific need for it. However, this is slowly starting to change. Construction companies are starting to realize that people who need accommodations for accessibility are willing to pay for them, and homeowners are becoming aware that even if they do not need accessibility now, they might eventually.
If you have a non-accessible home and you are interested in making upgrades, here are some essentials by the area of the home where they will do the most good.
The most important upgrades to make in the bathroom include a wheelchair accessible sink and toilet. Many people also find it helpful to remove the bathtub and install a curbless shower in its place. This is more accessible for people in wheelchairs or those who use other mobility aids, such as a cane or a walker.
- Exterior Entryways
Even a couple of steps to your outside door can prove an insurmountable barrier to someone in a wheelchair. You can overcome this obstacle with a ramp. The ramp may be a permanent installation or, if you have only occasional need of it, you can get a ramp that is removable and foldable to deploy as necessary.
- Interior Entryways
A simple but effective way to make the interior of your home more accessible is to replace all the doorknobs with door handles that open by pulling down on them. Pocket doors or sliding doors are also much easier for people in a wheelchair to open. These can be installed on the interior and exterior.
Many homes have multiple levels. If it is necessary or desired for the disabled person to have access to all levels of the home, a stairlift is a way to travel safely to other areas of the home. The lift bypasses the stairs altogether with a chair that travels along a motorized track.