The most challenging space for a disabled person is his own home. Disabilities impact the day-to-day life of a disabled individual even in familiar spaces such as his own home. Stairs, bathrooms and certain surfaces all of a sudden become hazardous and difficult to adapt to. But, with the help of certain technologies, several solutions have come into existence to mitigate the obstacles and make the home feel like nothing different. Moreover, updating the home with such solutions can diminish safety risks, and creates comfort.
Staircases are hazardous for all, not just for the disabled ones but the elderly too. Installing a wheelchair ramp is the most effective way to avoid elevation issues while entering or leaving one’s home in a wheelchair, making your home entry wheelchair accessible.
When selecting one, factor in what your personal and physical needs are as well as what kind of ramp will serve you best.
- Wooden ramps can be used for permanent installation because they require footings and are customizable to fit the appearance of one’s home. But they may require maintenance at regular intervals which includes waterproofing, staining and replacements, and also need some non-slippery material on the ramp flooring.
- Aluminum ramps are more affordable as compared to wooden ramps. Unlike wooden ramps, they come with slip-resistance surfaces. They are easy to install and put into use.
- Threshold ramps are very cost effective, and generally a better solution where the threshold or the door frame is raised above the walking surface. They are very easy to install and are durable and strong. There are a variety of threshold ramps available which are designed for both temporary and permanent uses. They include:
- Adjustable and modular threshold ramps
- Rubber threshold ramps
- Self-supporting threshold ramps
- Aluminum threshold ramps
- Bariatric threshold ramps
One of the most crucial parts of making your home wheelchair-friendly is bathroom modifications and redesigns for enhanced mobility. An accessible shower and toilet can help in making every trip to the bathroom stress-free.
- There should be enough space for the wheelchair to be able to turn 360 degrees.
- A shower seat can be installed so that it becomes comfortable to sit and have a bath.
- Grab bars are very necessary so as to grab it for balance while putting oneself onto the toilet or shower seat.
- It is very important to ensure that the floor is slip-proof to avoid any accidents that can take place on a wet floor.
- A toilet raiser can be helpful to improve access if the toilet seat is too low for comfortable transfers on and off.
- Low wash basins can be comfortable to be used by the person on the wheelchair.
- Rails around the bath and the shower are necessary for the disabled ones to hold them for their balance.
Making bedrooms wheelchair accessible is easier as compared to the other spaces.
- The bed size should be big enough for sleeping comfortably and the bedroom should have maximum width for comfortable movement of the wheelchair.
- A nightstand may be required to keep the necessary things next to the bed if they are needed in the middle of the night.
- Drawers can be extended while keeping the availability of the floor in mind.
Accessible doorways are the most important things to be considered while designing.
- The width of the door should be kept in such a range in order to have enough space for the wheelchair to come and go through.
- Doorknobs can be used to make the doors for easy opening and closing.
- Auto-closing doors should not be used because it can be difficult for the disabled ones to go through it quickly and may hit their back.
By implementing these changes one can make his/her home easily accessible for the disabled ones and the senior citizens and ensure their safety and maintain an excellent level of comfort.