The average Australian household is becoming smaller and older as more seniors choose to live independently as they age. This means that the need for wheelchair accessible homes is only growing.
Converting your home to be wheelchair accessible can be a daunting task. However, it usually only takes a few minor renovations to convert a house into a wheelchair friendly home that will enhance the quality of life for your loved ones with disabilities and mobility issues.
1) Add Entrance Ramp
It goes without saying that the first step to making your home wheelchair accessible is ensuring that anyone with a disability can actually enter your home. Many homes will require little alteration to the front entrance as they are built with step-free access.
For doors with a small lip, a threshold ramp is an easy, inexpensive way to make your front entrance accessible from as little as $40.
For houses with stairs at the entrance you will need to install a more permanent solution such as a ramp with railings on either side or a stair lift, depending on the number of steps.
2) Widen Doorways
The next step is the ensure that all door frames in your home are wide enough for a wheelchair to comfortably fit through. This means that doorways should be a minimum of 820mm wide to allow a standard wheelchair of approximately 635mm the easily fit through. In many cases, simply removing the door frame or using offset hinges to help the door swing clear of the doorway is an expensive way to add enough extra space for a wheelchair.
3) Install A Lift
If you have a multi level home then installing a home lift is a must. Not only are stairways difficult and dangerous to use with any sort of mobility issues, they are impossible to navigate with a wheelchair. A home lift is the obvious solution as it allows people of all abilities to safely and efficiently access all floors of the home.
Additionally, home lifts are highly customisable and come in a range of different load capacities and sizes to suit your needs. If you’re looking for a quality home lift installation to make your home wheelchair accessible contact Axis Lifts today on 1300 002 947.
4) Add Bathroom Safety Features
To make your bathroom wheelchair friendly you need to allow enough free space for a wheelchair to comfortably turn around (at least 1500mm) as well as at least 1200mm in front of the toilet. Additionally, ensure that the bathroom floor is slip proof and install sturdy rails should around the toilet, bathroom, and shower for holding.
5) Rearrange Furniture
One often overlooked part of making a home wheelchair accessible is the furniture arrangement. It’s important to allow at least 820mm between furniture pieces to allow anyone in a wheelchair to easily navigate through the house.
6) Choose Sturdy Flooring
You will also need to ensure that your home has sturdy flooring that will not wear quickly under the stress of a wheelchair. Common flooring options for wheelchair equipped homes include hardwood, tiles, and laminate flooring.