Ways To Make Your Home Wheelchair Accessible

Preparing your home for wheelchair accessibility involves more than simply building a ramp to the front door.  If someone in your family is injured, or a sickness befalls them leaving behind a disability, you will need to know how to properly prepare for their arrival back home.  

Life changes when you’re living from a wheelchair, and your needs are augmented as well.  If you, or someone you love, has recently begun living life in a wheelchair, it can be difficult to adjust your perspective.  

Here are a few key ways to make your home more welcoming and accessible to someone in a wheelchair.  

Start your augmentations outside

If you or a family member are going to be living in the home, the outside matters just as much as the inside.  You don’t want to be trapped in the house, because the yard is a wreck.

Make clear pathways for a wheelchair, and setup planters.  Placing elevated planters helps make gardening possible, and it’s a lot easier to smell the flowers.  

Clear a path inside your home

On the inside of your home, you’ll need room for a wheelchair to move freely through doorways, hallways, and tight turns.  The Americans With Disabilities Act requires public places to have at least three feet of horizontal clearance to be considered wheelchair accessible.  

It’s a good idea to ditch the area rugs if your floors are covered in them, and make sure that there are no sketchy flooring transitions to cause mobility issues.  A wheelchair accessible home is not full of clutter. If you’re somewhat of a pack rat, it’s time to thin out your hoard.

Lower closet shelves and rods

You want your family member (or yourself) to be able to have as much independence as possible, and dressing oneself is a huge part of feeling self-sufficient.  Go purchase some adjustable rods, and reset your closet rods to be about 54 inches off the ground.

Add stability bars in the bathroom

Going to the restroom is a private moment, and you want your family member to be as self-sufficient as possible in the bathroom.  Adding stability handrails and bars in strategic places around the bathroom will help your loved one get in and out of their wheelchair to bath or use the restroom.  

Make your doors easier to operate

It’s not very difficult to open a round knob door, but it could be a little easier.  If you’re in a wheelchair, it’s likely that you may have one or both hands occupied as you change rooms.  

Adding latch or handle hardware to your doors makes them easier to open.  You can easily use your elbow to press the handle down, and voila, you’re free to enter.