Do you have family members with disabilities living in the same household as you? As much as we would like to be there physically for them all the time, we can’t due to either our busy schedules or appointments. If we can allow them to lead as normal a lifestyle as possible, we can put our minds at ease when we’re out. Let us share some things you can do to improve your family’s lifestyles as a whole!
Replace stairs with ramps
Family members who are wheelchair-bound will have difficulties getting from area to area if there are stairs present as they will require physical assistance. Stairs are a hazard not only to wheelchair-bound individuals, but to anyone with mobility difficulties as well. To make their lives easier and more convenient, you can consider replacing stairs with ramps to allow easier accessibility. There are also collapsible ramps with storage to make up for the space lost.
Install stair lifters
If you are unable to replace your stairs with ramps, why not install stair lifters instead? There are permanent stair lifts as well as portable ones if your guest is only staying at your home temporarily. Just because you live in a house with multiple levels, doesn’t mean your loved one(s) can’t live there comfortably and safely.
Photo credit: https://www.braunability.com/us/en/blog/accessible-living/stair-lift-cost.html
Install handrails in key areas
Bathrooms can be extremely dangerous to anyone with a disability due to the wet and soapy floors. With handrails, people with disabilities do not need to balance when they get on and off the toilet bowl, making it safer for them to use the bathroom. This also applies to other areas where they will often need to get up and down. For example, the side of beds and chairs. This increases their comfortability and quality of life.
Photo credit: https://promenaid.com/blog/interior-handrails/
For those who have difficulty using strength in their hands, door knobs will be tougher to use. You can always replace door knobs with push/pull bars or automatic doors.
Photo credit: https://www.factoryfast.com.au/products/round-300mm-push-pull-stainless-steel-door-handle-entrance-entry-shower-glass
When considering the placement of furniture, always put yourself in the perspective of a person with a disability. If the pathway is too narrow or there are sharp turns, it might be hard for someone on a wheelchair to conveniently navigate their way around. If there are shelves that are too high up, they might not be able to reach as well.
Surfaces like tiles, hardwood floors and thick rugs may make it difficult for anyone on a wheelchair, using a cane or crutch to get around. Smooth and even carpeting are a good choice for flooring as there’s friction. It will be good to put rubber mats on areas that are in constant contact with water.