Many people need handicap-accessible homes for themselves or their loved ones, whether that’s an aging parent or a child with a disability. You might need to change your current home to accommodate someone after an illness or accident, or a person with a disability might be moving into a new home and need modifications to live independently.
Explore the ways to make your home handicap accessible.
Before you begin renovating your house or apartment, it can be helpful to have an occupational therapist assess your home and make specific recommendations. These professionals have a checklist that covers all the rooms of a home and the criteria each room should meet. From there, the clinician will make suggestions for modifications.
Eliminate Entryway Steps
The biggest hurdle for people with disabilities is often getting inside the home. If your front door has steps or stairs, you’ll have to outfit the entryway with a ramp.
For homes that are more than one story, you’ll need to ensure the person with the disability can access a bathroom. If not, you’ll have a few options for solving that. You could install a lift to carry them up the stairs, you could add a bathroom to the main floor, or you could simply move into a one-story home. The best option for you will depend on your budget and how temporary or permanent the mobility issue will be.
Regardless of the location of the bathroom, you’ll need to retrofit the room with grab bars and roll-in shower tubs.
Wider Doorways and Hallways
You might also need to widen interior doorways and hallways to make room for a wheelchair, walker, or other transportation aides. Also, you’ll have to check for uneven flooring or area rugs that could snag onto wheelchairs or braces.
You’ll need to upgrade poor lighting and remove other obstacles that could impede movement. If you need financial assistance to implement any of the ways to make your home handicap accessible, grants are available. You can search online for grants geared toward specific groups, like veterans or single parents, or see if your community offers any stipends.