Did you know that there are over 3.3 million Americans who use wheelchairs?
Even though wheelchair use is common, many people are surprised to learn about how inaccessible the world is for this group. From avoiding certain public places to struggling to socialize at friends’ houses and so much more, life tends to be quite harder for wheelchair users.
If you’re considering renting out your property or you’d like to make your own home wheelchair-friendly, then you might be wondering what you need to do. Keep reading so you can know the top five steps to make your home more wheelchair accessible.
1. Install Wheelchair Access Ramps
All wheelchair-accessible homes have ramps instead of stairs. It’s important to choose ramps with good grip so the surfaces don’t get slippery and the incline should be gradual.
You should learn about the different types of wheelchair ramps so you can find the right options for your unique home layout.
2. Upgrade to a Wheelchair Accessible Shower
A key feature of a wheelchair-accessible bathroom is a shower that allows people to roll in without any trouble. Lots of walk-in showers have an elevated lip that makes it impossible to remain in the wheelchair.
There are also wheelchair-accessible tubs that you should consider buying. These are designed to let people in wheelchairs get inside while staying in their wheelchairs.
3. Create Wider Doorways
A lesser-known way to increase wheelchair accessibility is to create wider doorways so that people don’t have to struggle to squeeze through entryways.
To ensure that everyone in a wheelchair can move throughout your home, you should have openings that are at least 32 inches wide. Anything smaller will make life much more difficult for people in wheelchairs.
4. Lower Your Countertops
Another wonderful way you can boost wheelchair access in your home is to only use countertops that have lower surfaces. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to cook or get ready in the morning when everything you need is in an uncomfortably high position.
The ideal height for countertops is about 34 inches. This will allow everyone to go about their day with ease.
5. Pay Attention to Furniture Placement
It’s also wise to get into the mindset of someone who uses a wheelchair so you can arrange your furniture in a helpful way. Avoid placing furniture near doorways or creating cramped spaces that will make people feel like they’re in a terrible obstacle course.
You should also keep common items on lower shelves so no one has to struggle to reach anything they need.
Are You Ready to Design a Wheelchair Accessible Home?
Even if you don’t use a wheelchair, it’s kind to make your home wheelchair accessible for any loved ones or new guests who may visit. As more people learn about the struggles of wheelchair accessibility in our society, things will get better for everyone.
Are you interested in reading more home and garden articles that can elevate your living space? Check out our other blog posts.