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Making your home more accessible is a great way to ensure all your guests feel welcomed. Even if you don’t think any of your friends or family have a physical disability, reducing barriers can still benefit people in your life. For example, stairs can be extremely challenging for someone pushing a stroller. If someone is recovering from an injury, they may benefit from simple modifications to your bathroom. The seniors in your life can also benefit from a more accessible home.
Taking accessibility into consideration is something everyone can do. Here are a few things you can do to make your home more accessible.
Narrow doorways can be a barrier to people using wheelchairs, strollers, walkers or crutches. Widening the doorway can be extremely expensive. An easier option is replacing your existing door hinges with offset hinges. They allow the door to swing out of the doorway completely, which gives a few extra inches of room. You can get them for about $20 online and they’re easy to install.
Make your bathroom more accessible
Able-bodied people usually don’t have to think twice when using the bathroom at a friend’s house. However, if you have a disability, it can be a cause of stress. There are a few simple modifications you can make to your bathroom to make it more accessible:
- Add grab bars. Grab bars can be installed near the toilet and shower. They prevent falls and can assist mobility for those who need it.
- Install a toilet riser. Toilet risers are an affordable way to make using the bathroom easier for people who have trouble standing up or sitting down.
- Install automatic lights. Some light switches are too high for people in wheelchairs. Automatic lighting can make it easier for everyone!
- Consider a step-in shower. If someone in your home has mobility issues or uses a wheelchair, you might want to install a step-in shower. Bathtubs are hard or impossible for some people to access.
Make it easier to move
Furniture placement can help your guests with a physical disability get around your home. Leave enough room between furniture pieces such as the sofa and coffee table for people to easily pass through. Try to eliminate clutter so there’s a clear path for people with mobility issues. If you know someone with a wheel chair will be in your home, make sure there’s enough room for them to turn around.
Make your entrance accessible
Having an accessible entrance is important if someone with mobility issues is coming to your home. Many homes have stairs that can act as barriers. Identify the entrance to your home that has the least amount of stairs, such as a side or back door. A portable ramp is a great solution that will allow most people to access your home. If someone who lives in your home uses a wheelchair or other mobility device, you might want to consider installing a ramp or lift.
Make your home accessible to as many people as possible!
Taking the time to look around your home and see where you can make it more accessible will ensure all your guests feel welcome. To learn more about what you can do to make the world more accessible, here are a few resources: