Whether you’re on the verge of retirement or still enjoying your youth, you might find yourself suddenly facing a wheelchair scenario in your home. An unexpected health emergency can happen at any time and leave you or a loved one temporarily or permanently unable to walk. A visiting family member or friend might also suddenly need to use a wheelchair. Given these possibilities, it’s important to make certain that your home is wheelchair accessible.
Here are three areas that you should definitely update during your next remodel:
Home Entry And Exit
A short incline ramp leading to your front or back door can make it much easier for you or a loved one to access and exit your home as needed. A ramp can also make it easier for emergency services personnel to wheel you or a loved one out of your home on a wheeled stretcher during a major health crisis. To prevent wheel slide-offs and make walking easier for someone transitioning from a wheelchair after an acute health event, make certain that the ramp is outfitted with rails and thin, non-slip permanent mats or runners.
Mobility In The Kitchen
When someone must use a wheelchair, they often experience problems with moving around a kitchen and accessing storage and appliances that are at counter and upper wall level. To make your kitchen wheelchair-friendly, open up the space so that all foot traffic areas are wide enough for a wheelchair. Additionally, install cabinets and storage that offer features that allow you to make future wheelchair adjustments. For example, you might install an island that has a hidden folding tabletop that when unfolded allows someone in a wheelchair to use it as a work space.
Bathroom Ease Of Use
Many homes have small bathrooms with cabinet-style sinks and full bathtubs that are almost impossible to use with a wheelchair. Create more wheelchair space by moving a bathroom to a larger room, taking out a wall or installing a low pedestal sink. It’s wise to contact bathroom upgrade specialists like the team at Four Seasons Home Products to help you design a wheelchair-accessible bathroom. They can recommend and install a seat-style low-threshold shower or walk-in tub to make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to access and use a shower.
There are many other ways that you can make your home more wheelchair accessible. These areas are typically the ones that initially cause the most problems when someone must transition to interacting with a wheelchair.