There are nearly 3,000,000 wheelchair users in the United States alone, occupying a wide variety of professions and homes. It is often difficult to ensure access, especially in smaller homes. Home access is one of the primary concerns of those living with disabilities.
If you are interested in accessible homes for mobility scooters in the Roanoke area, we’re here to help. Here are some great ways to make your home more accessible. These methods are sure to help make your life more comfortable inside your own home.
Provide Ample Space
One of the most important and simple things you can do is to provide ample space. One excellent way to do this is to ensure wheelchair access width.
For example, those that don’t live with a wheelchair likely take the width of their corridors for granted. For someone that needs extra space, a small corridor can make travel difficult, or even impossible.
This is especially the case with turning room. If a hallway doesn’t have room to turn, someone in a wheelchair needs to travel the entire hallway before they can turn around. This is the case for many areas of the home, such as restrooms.
To stop this, ensure there’s ample space to travel in your Roanoke home. A five-foot width at minimum in most places is a good place to start. Larger chairs may require six feet of turn radius or more.
Ensure a Wheelchair Accessible Entrance
Another vital feature for home access is to ensure a wheelchair accessible entrance. This is an incredibly easy thing to install in most homes.
A ramp is all that most wheelchairs will need. Ensure that the ramp isn’t so steep that wheelchair travel becomes difficult or dangerous.
You also need to install a door that doesn’t have a curb or a lip to move over. This can make travel in a wheelchair much more difficult, especially for steep entrance. You don’t want wheelchair-bound guests to have to do a wheelie to get into your home.
On that same note, make sure that your door entrance is wide enough for chairs. At a bare minimum, you should ensure a three-foot-wide entrance. This will need to be increased for larger chairs as well.
Consider Doorless Showers
Just as it proves difficult for chairs to get over the threshold entering your home, the same is true for showers. Removing that the small barrier that those without wheelchairs don’t even think of is vital.
A doorless shower presents one less barrier for chairs to pass. Those that can stand without their chair will find increased accessibility from not needing to step over the barrier as well.
Additionally, you can install a chair or bench in your shower. It provides a place to sit for those that may have trouble standing. This addition makes showering much less strenuous on the whole for people with all sorts of impairments.
Safety Grab Bars
Safety grab bars are crucial for wheelchair accessible homes in the Roanoke area. This is especially the case for any incline. Make sure that you have safety grab bars at the ramp towards your door, for example.
Make sure that these also have wall reinforcement, or they run the risk of ending up ripped out of the wall with any force put on them. It’s also important to test these grab bars to make sure that they’re at the appropriate height.
There are a few key locations to place these bars as well. For example, making sure they’re near a handicapped toilet for transfer from chair to toilet is vital. Staying in the restroom, placing them where they can ease entry to a shower is another important place.
The kitchen, hallways, and any inclines need to have these grab bars. They not only help with safety but with travel and stability as well. Consider touring your home to take stock of all the areas a safety grab bar could increase wheelchair accessibility.
It’s crucial to make sure that you’re installing them properly. An improperly installed safety bar is more dangerous than no safety bar at all. Installing them at the wrong height or with no stability runs the risk of them presenting a hazard to those who need them.
Another excellent way to increase home access is to make as much of the home on one floor as possible. Single-story homes found in Roanoke are much easier to access for most wheelchair-bound individuals.
If your home has multiple stories, you need to install some way for those that can’t transfer out of their chair to ascend and descend. This could be a motorized stair lift that brings the individual from one end to the other.
If you don’t have ways for a wheelchair to travel up and downstairs, your home simply isn’t accessible. This entire issue is avoided with homes that are only on one story. Consider downsizing your home to make it more wheelchair accessible.
Lower Vital Countertops
One thing that those without mobility challenges may take for granted is the height of countertops. Kitchen counters being too high is an enormous inconvenience for wheelchair-bound individuals. This is the case for many of the most needed countertops, like restrooms.
Lower these countertops to help provide better wheelchair accessibility. By ensuring that everyone can use them, your home access is improved drastically. It’s also a good idea to lower many shelves, especially for storage, such as pantries and closets.
Providing Access in Your Roanoke Home
Providing home access may seem daunting at first. Still, nothing is more daunting for someone with mobility challenges than an inaccessible home. Consider applying these tips and many more to make your Roanoke home much more accessible for wheelchairs.
If you have further questions or concerns about wheelchair accessible homes, feel free to contact us for more information. You can also browse our site for more information on wheelchair repair and living with mobility challenges.