Whether you or someone in your family currently needs a more accessible home, chances are that eventually, one may need some kind of accommodations, either temporary or permanent. Age, a broken leg, or an illness may mean that maneuvering around the house is not as easy as it once was. There are many different ways to make your home more accessible.
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Deal with Stairs
One of the biggest barriers to accessibility in a home is stairs. If you live on two or more floors, you might assume that as you get older, you’ll need to move to a one-story house. However, if you get an estimate for a home elevator cost, you may be surprised to find that it is not as costly as you might have assumed. A home elevator can offer a number of other benefits, as well as making it easier to move between floors. If you have a pet or small children, it can be easier and safer to take them up and down stairs using an elevator instead of the stairs. It can also be useful if you need to move heavy items upstairs or downstairs. For stairs outside of the house, such as those leading up to a porch, you can have a ramp installed.
The home should be easy to get around. That means clear pathways between and around furniture. If you or someone in the house uses a wheelchair or a walker, you may need to widen doorways to make it easier to get through them. Something that many people don’t commonly think of is that doorknobs can be particularly difficult for anyone who has trouble with their grip. Automatic doors that you can open by pushing a button or levers in place of knobs to open a door are both options. Voice-activated devices and personal home assistants can make it easier to do everything from turning lights on and off to adjusting temperature to finding a movie to watch or music to play and more. For ease of movement with wheelchairs and walkers, carpets should be removed. Throw rugs and other types of flooring that make slip-and-fall accidents more likely should be removed or replaced.
Revamp the Kitchen
The kitchen can cause a lot of problems for those who have mobility issues, and this in turn can affect a person’s ability to live independently since being able to prepare food is such an important aspect of that. Lowered countertops can make it easier to chop food and prepare meals. Pots, pans, and dishes should also be at a lower height that is easier to reach. Touch faucets can make it easier to use the sink.
Falls can easily happen in bathrooms, but bars around the toilet and in the bath or shower area can reduce stress in your daily life because they help prevent them. A seat in the shower is another option, and if the shower is a walk-in, it may be possible to simply roll a shower chair in. Mats that grip help keep floors safer.