November 11, 2016 | 6:00 am | By Pants Up Easy
Your home is the one place that you can adapt specifically to your needs. This is especially important if you, or a loved one, are a wheelchair user because getting around is generally more difficult. For most wheelchair users, it is possible to adapt several areas of the home to be wheelchair friendly so they can safely and independently complete all the tasks of daily living.
If you have steps that lead up to your house you will need to install ramps to make your house wheelchair user friendly. An important thing to keep in mind before installing a ramp is that your area may have regulations about the ramps. For example, you may be required to install rails at a certain height. In addition, you need to make sure that the ramp is not built so steep that it is difficult for wheelchair users to maneuver.
Narrow doorways can be a big problem for wheelchair users. You may need to enlarge the doorways in your home in order to make it more wheelchair user friendly. Older homes are more likely to have narrow doorways especially in areas such as the bathroom. If you have doorways that are too narrow the process of enlarging them will involve removing the frame, cutting out a larger opening, and putting in a larger frame and door. Because this is such an involved process, you will likely need to hire the help of a contractor.
Throw rugs can be problematic for wheelchair users because they can easily get rolled up or caught beneath a wheelchair. Thick carpet can also make it difficult to get around in a wheelchair. Hard floors or very short carpeting are better choices for a wheelchair friendly home.
There are several types of adaptive equipment that are important in a home that is wheelchair user friendly. You can design a kitchen with equipment that allows a wheelchair user to do all kitchen related tasks independently. In the bathroom, some of the equipment you will need is a shower chair and a handheld shower head to make showering independently a possibility. Pant Up Easy is a piece of equipment that can be installed behind the toilet to allow a wheelchair use to pull up their pants independently.
Grab bars can increase the functionality and safety of your home for wheelchair users. The bathroom is a common area for grab bars because of the increased risk of falls. You can have them installed beside the toilet and in the shower to help with toileting and bathing. In addition, grab bars can be useful in other areas of the house where extra stability is needed.
You should be able to move around comfortably and safely in your own home. If you are a wheelchair user that means your home needs to be designed to meet your specific needs. All of the changes mentioned above will go a long way toward making your home more wheelchair friendly.