Around the world, 75 million people use some kind of mobility device daily.
They are a blessing to those with mobility issues. Unfortunately, there’s still little consideration for accessibility given to those who depend on their electric handicap scooter, wheelchair, or mobility device.
While many users cannot instantly change and improve their surroundings outside their homes, there are ways they can create more freedom of movement within their homes. Your home in Greensboro, NC should be a safe and open space for anyone with a disability.
Below are five creative ways you can create more space and ability for movement in the home.
Install Grab Bars Around Your Greensboro Home
Grab bars increase stability, especially in areas where extra support is needed. Great areas for grab bars include near the toilet, shower, sink, and any steps within your home.
Individuals who can transfer themselves to and from the toilet can hang onto the bars during the transition. This extra stability provides a great sense of comfort in navigating the home. It’s essential for those who may not have someone always around to help them.
Chat with your local hardware store about what you need to install grab bars around your home. They’ll point you to all the right tools and materials. If you’re unable to install them yourself, ask about referrals to someone who can.
Open Up Rooms and Hallways
Wheelchair users know the pain of navigating tight spaces and all the frustration it causes. Increase mobility in your Greensboro home by opening up the rooms and hallways.
Start by clearing or moving any furniture that could block a necessary pathway. Even if it’s shifting over the coffee table over a few feet or relocating an accent chair, create wide pathways.
You’ll also want to clean up any general clutter or piles created on the floor. As easy as it is to toss your dirty laundry on the floor, it can block someone from freely moving within the space.
Move any furniture too close to a corner. Too tight of corners can easily prohibit someone from turning their wheelchair, no matter what type of wheelchair they have.
Install Ramps Wherever Possible
One of the best ways to increase accessibility is by installing wheelchair ramps wherever possible inside and outside the home.
Install a ramp from the outside pathway going into the front door. You’ll also want a ramp for the garage door and back door. Provide several options for wheelchair users.
Putting in ramps can be a large investment and plenty of work, but it’s a worthwhile investment. Prioritize locations for ramps and start with one for now as you save up for more.
Ask family members or neighbors to help with installing the ramps. Employees at hardware stores can also help with advice on tools and materials.
Buy Reaching Tools
What do you do if your favorite cereal is on the top shelf, but no one’s around to grab it for you? You can use a reaching tool to grab it.
Buy reaching tools to keep in different areas of the home. You’ll definitely want to keep some within the kitchen area, in the pantry, by any bathroom shelves, and outside in the garage.
You can buy reaching tools online or at stores such as Walmart or Lowe’s. There are plenty of options to fit your needs. Some people even keep one with them at all times.
They sure do make grocery shopping easier as well.
Install Chair Lifts
Depending on the area of the home and the physical needs present, there are different chair lifts to choose from.
For those with stairs within their home, a lift by the stairs is useful. If you have stairs, but cannot currently afford a lift, make sure you’re able to independently take care of all basic necessities on the lower level.
Have a lift installed inside your vehicle for quick and easy transportation. Make sure you have a vehicle large enough for a quality lift.
If getting in and out of bed is difficult, install a lift beside the bed. Lifts are beneficial, even if you have a caretaker. It takes a lot of the load off your caretaker and protects their back.
Grants for Home Accessibility Improvements in Greensboro and Beyond
Increasing the accessibility of your home doesn’t come at a low price. Luckily, there are disability grants available to homeowners.
First, check with your state about any grants they offer. Contact your local or state housing finance agency or reach out to your local health department. They’ll be able to lead you in the right direction.
In addition to state grants, there are private grants available. Make sure to carefully read over specific requirements for these grants because they’re not all the same.
Private grants to check out include grants from Rebuilding Together and the Travis Roy Foundation Grant.
It also never hurts to reach out to local religious or philanthropic organizations for assistance. While they might not be able to give you a large grant, they may have volunteers who are ready to help install ramps and lifts within your home.
Have Discussions with Friends and Family Members
Unfortunately, many non-disabled individuals aren’t considerate of the needs of those who use a wheelchair. Have discussions with friends and family members about how they can help increase accessibility for your visits.
If you’re non-disabled, do your part to spread awareness about accessibility. Ask different businesses if they have plans to increase mobility within their spaces and encourage restaurants to create pathways for wheelchair users.
Finding Ways to Increase Freedom of Movement in Your Greensboro, NC Home
For those who use a wheelchair, having an accessible home is imperative. There are many ways to improve the freedom of movement within a home.
Install grab bars near areas where extra support is needed. Build ramps to help individuals easily enter the home and put in a lift wherever it’s needed.
Are you in need of a new wheelchair or mobility device in the Greensboro area? Check out our products, and contact us for an in-home assessment.