6 Ways To Make Your Home More Accessible

There are a number of reasons you might need to make your home more accessible.  You could have elderly parents coming to live with you, or a member of your family may find themselves the victims of accident or illness. Maybe you have friends and family with accessibility needs and want to make your house a more welcoming place for them. 

Whatever the reason, here are a few things to consider when making changes to your home.  

Replace low steps with ramps

If you have steps leading up to your front door, or down into your garden then you’re going to need to replace these with wheelchair ramps

There are a number of options from completely digging up and relaying a new surface, to having a portable ramp that you can lay down over the steps when needed.  

If you have a two-story home, then you’re probably going to need a stairlift unless you can provide bedroom/bathing facilities on the ground floor.

Rethink your bathroom

Bathrooms usually aren’t particularly helpful for those people with limited mobility.  Counters and sinks are too high and bathtubs are inaccessible.  Ass to that slippery tiles and you’ve got an accident waiting to happen.  

Luckily, there is a lot you can do, from installing a step-in bathtub to a wet room shower that can accommodate a wheelchair without any need to step up into a separate shower tray.  

Handrails will also reduce the risks of falling and injuries. 

You can also install a safety frame around your toilet to help people use the bathroom independently. 

Change your doorknobs

Doorknobs may look pretty but they are a nightmare for older people or people with mobility problems.  In fact, in some places, doorknobs are banned in public buildings for this very reason. 

Replace doorknobs with a standard, push down handles, and consider placing them lower on the door so that they can be reached more easily from a seated position.  

Install safer flooring 

Certain surfaces can be slip hazards. This included tiles, lino, and wooden floors.  If it’s not feasible to change your flooring, make sure you install barrier mats in all of the places likely to get wet such as entrances, bathrooms, and kitchens.  Just be sure that the corners of the mats are secured to the floor so that they themselves don’t cause a hazard. 

Install handrails

A few handrails can make a world of difference.  In addition to the bathroom, think about installing them throughout the house like next to the person’s bed or chair and along any long hallways. 

Rearrange your cupboards

Place the most used item in bottom cupboards or drawers so that they are easily reached.  This might take a bit of trial and error before you get the right items in the right place but in time, you’ll get it just right. 

Making even simple changes to your home can make the world of difference for yourself, your family, or an elderly relative you’re trying to support through declining mobility.  Whatever the reason, it’s important to help them retain as much independence as they can for as long as possible.