Around one in four adults in the US are living with a disability. Some have a cognitive disability, others have a hearing disability, but the most common is mobility.
And it’s not unlikely that either you or a loved one will develop (or already have) a mobility disability.
If that’s the case, your home should be 100% disability accessible. Most homes in the U.S. aren’t, but home is where you and your loved ones should feel most comfortable and independent. Making home modifications can be expensive, but they are worth it.
Not sure what home improvement steps you might need to make? This guide details all the essential considerations.
Clear the Clutter and Rearrange Items
One of the best things you can do to make your home more disability accessible is also the cheapest. To ensure the person in your household doesn’t trip, slip, or fall on anything, clear all the clutter from your floors.
Rearrange your cupboards so that the most used items are where the person with the disability can reach them. Place lesser-needed objects in awkward and high cupboards.
It’s also a good idea to rearrange your furniture so that the doorways are more accessible. You might need to swap some items of furniture to create more room, too.
Always make sure you have bright, long-life light bulbs and replace any blown light bulbs as soon as possible.
Consider an Open Plan Layout
Do you have the cash and the stomach to undergo some serious home renovations? If so, consider switching to an open plan layout where possible.
The fewer doors, walls, steps, and changes in flooring the better. Speaking of flooring, wood and linoleum are more disability-friendly. Rugs and carpets are killers for wheelchair and zimmer-frame users.
Place Handrails in Essential Places
Is your loved one prone to falling or do they have poor balance? If so, consider investing in handrails from places like medical supply 4Healthcare or Essential Aids.
Placing the handrails in locations like these inside and outside your home:
- Walls next to your front door and back door
- Next to the toilet and bathtub
- Nearby any steps or changes in floor height
- By the bed and chairs without an armrest
If a handrail isn’t enough of a modification to your bath, you might need to invest in a walk-in shower.
Lower or Raise Certain Fixtures
Consider lowering your closet rods so your loved ones that use wheelchairs can reach them. You might also consider lowering cooking hobs and microwaves, too.
And you could raise other parts of your home so they are easier for your loved one with a physical disability to use. They might find a toilet riser and fixed chair cushions more comfortable.
Making Your Home Disability Accessible Begins (By Removing) a Single Step
Disability is a spectrum. A home modification that helps one person may not help another. Use this guide and your diagnosis to make the changes you need so your home is 100% disability accessible and you have more independence.
Need to make more home interior adjustments and want to figure out your savings to pay for the changes? Browse our website for tons of helpful finance and lifestyle articles!