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Is Your Home Liberating Or Limiting Your Freedom?

The vast majority of homes is not designed to accommodate people with disabilities and is especially unfriendly for individuals in wheelchairs. In fact, all it takes to realize the limited accessibility of houses nowadays is a quick look at the front door, which more often than not exclusively incorporates stairs.

However, there are numerous ways you can change this. Remember the entryway with stairs we mentioned earlier? Well, the perfect solution to making it wheelchair friendly is to install a portable ramp, an investment that will not cost you more than $300. Let's check out the other solutions and ideas for making your home more wheelchair accessible.

The dining room

Because a person in a wheelchair needs approximately a 5-foot radius in order to turn, we recommend you place the dining table in an area that is large enough to permit easy access. The same goes with the other furniture that is typically found in a dining room. In addition to ensuring sufficient space, you can also increase the home's safety and comfort levels for people with limited mobility by doing the following:

  • Installing handrails on both sides of the steps
  • Use brighter lighting bulbs in all room of the house to increase visibility
  • Remove area rugs. In case this is not an option, then we advise you to secure them with double-side tape
  • Illuminated rocker-style light switches
  • Easy-to-grab handles for all drawers, doors and cabinets
  • In case you removed the carpet from the stairs, then make sure to install reflective, non-slip tape
  • Lever handles for the doors of the rooms in the house
  • Place a comfortable chair or bench near the entrance of the home for resting purposes or setting down baggage
  • Install adjustable rods and shelves
  • Consider mounting nightlights in the rooms where that typically see activity during nighttime

The bedroom

Making the bedroom wheelchair friendly should start with the installation of a pull down closet rod. If you consider that this is a suitable solution for you, then we recommend you install transparent shelves at a height where you can easily reach them. In addition, it is necessary to mention that the pull down closet rod also allows you to install a carousel-system where you can keep hanging clothes (dresses, costumes, etc).

If you like reading or working in bed, then an idea is to acquire a lap stand with bands, as they permit you to change the pages of a book or document with one hand. Speaking of that, you can simplify the task of making the bed a great deal if you replace the regular bed sheets with a quilt that includes a blanket cover. And, if you are experiencing pain or difficulties while turning in bed, wearing satin pajamas and having satin bed sheets is known to confer relief.

In the eventuality that you are not very keep on searching for common utensils (scissors, pencils, staples, paper, keys so on and so forth), then a solution is to store them in handy locations. In general, each item should be stored based on the location where it is most frequently used.  

The kitchen

You can make the kitchen more accessible by installing wall-mounted racks or pegs between the counters and cabinets. These racks will surely come in handy for the time when you need to reach for the kitchen utensils, cookware or other accessories.

It is necessary to mention the fact that some people with limited mobility may have a diminished capacity of feeling burns. Consequentially, make sure that the cookware includes handles that don't conduct heat or acquire insulated rubber gloves or oven mittens. Besides placing the commonly used kitchen items in easy-to-reach locations, you should also consider keeping a fire extinguisher handy.

The bathroom

Because most bathrooms don't work well with wheelchairs, we recommend the following adaptations:

  • Raised toilet seat, which you can have it delivered right at your doorstep if you order the product from a specialized company
  • A regular sink can become a wheelchair accessible sink if you remove the cabinets from underneath it and lower the countertop
  • A transfer shower bench or seat
  • Roll-in showers without lips
  • Bathtub grab bars

Hello, my name is Chad Faith and one of my passions is to write about devices and equipment, such as wheelchair lifts, that make things easier for people with limited mobility, paraplegics or seniors.

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