Ensuring that your home is accessible means that loved ones with impaired movements or disabilities can navigate more freely. Whether your improvements are for a temporary injury or ongoing illness, inclusive designs in the home offer a simple solution to accessibility.
Below you will find inclusive design principles to follow when it comes to making your home disability-friendly.
Start With The Outside
This is a great place to start as it means you can welcome guests or family members with access to the home at no difficulty to them. You will need to create ample space in order to allow access for wheelchairs and cars, and adding a ramp with a gentle gradient is ideal.
When it comes to installing a ramp, ensure there are handrails for ease of use (especially in cold weather conditions.
Making Doorways Accessible
Once any ramps, railings or stairlifts have been installed, you will need to ensure that your door frames are wide enough to let wheelchairs or scooters through. Standard wheelchairs are 25 inches wide, so for comfortable access your doors should be roughly 35 inches wide. If your doorways are too narrow, you may need to cost up the price of a renovation.
Removing doorsteps and uneven flooring is also a great idea for wheelchair users, as they can become obstructions.
Choosing The Right Flooring
Just as uneven flooring can cause issues for wheelchair users, having incorrect flooring can also cause problems to arise. Some of the best options for flooring in an accessible home include:
- Hardwood flooring: a great option for durable and classy flooring
- Vinyl flooring: Also durable, vinyl flooring is water resistant and easy to install
- Ceramic tiles: These are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms and are easy to clean
How To Make Your Bathroom Accessible
Not every bathroom can be made accessible, so it might be worth consulting with a builder who can help you further. If you think you can create a more accessible bathroom, consider the following:
- Making space for turning so that a wheelchair can spin 360 degrees
- Railings around the toilet, bath and showe rto ensure safe movements around the bathroom
- Lowering the wash basin to ensure it can be used by those in wheelchairs
Making Your Kitchen Accessible
One of the most important rooms in the house is the kitchen, so making sure it’s accessible is important. This will include enough space to ensure ease of turning, lower work surfaces and sockets within arms reach.
It’s also a great idea to shop for kitchen utensils that can help with cooking, such as electronic tin openers and easy cutlery.