Did you know that approximately 1 in 4 Americans live with a disability that affects their day-to-day life?
If you or a loved one have a handicap that makes everyday tasks more difficult, there are many ways you can make your home handicap accessible.
Whether someone requires a little help in the kitchen or bathroom, or requires wheelchair access around the home, a few adaptations can make a handicapped person’s life much easier.
Our helpful guide shows you how to make your home more handicap accessible – read on to find out more.
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Even a couple of steps leading to the front or back door can pose a big problem for wheelchair users. It can also be difficult for those who use a crutch or walker to climb steps.
You can make your house more wheelchair accessible by installing a ramp. You could buy a prefabricated ramp, or construct one from wood or metal. For safety reasons, entryway ramps should rise at a 2:12 ratio. That means one foot in length for every 2 inches of vertical rise.
The cost to build a ramp will depend on the size, finish, and materials you choose. Consider adding a handrail on your ramps, too.
Widen Doorways and Halls
Inside the home, narrow doorways and hallways can also be difficult to navigate. To accommodate an average wheelchair, doors, and hallways should be at least 36″ wide.
Widening doors will require the work of a skilled carpenter or builder. This can work out to be expensive. If cost is an issue, consider offsetting door-hinges for extra clearance. Special hinges can give you a couple of extra inches if your doorways are just slightly too small.
Hallways need a 5-foot turning radius to allow easy maneuverability for wheelchairs. Widening existing hallways is a major operation that could call for a whole-house renovation.
Make the Bathroom Safer
Bathrooms can be dangerous places for handicapped people, with many accidents happening due to slippery floors each year. With a few additions, you can mitigate this risk.
Grab bars are a great home improvement for safer bathrooms. They offer increased stability when using the toilet or shower and increased independence when using the bathroom privately.
A zero-entry shower with a non-slip mat and chair makes showering safer, easier, and more comfortable for handicapped people. As bathroom floors can often become slippery, you should use non-slip mats or floor coverings in areas where standing is necessary.
Making Your Home Handicap Accessible
So, that’s the 101 on how to make your home more handicap accessible for yourself or a loved one.
With the help of a few home improvements, handicapped people can see their quality of life vastly improved overnight. So, help a handicapped regain independence and comfort today.
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