Tips for a more wheelchair-friendly living space

It’s critical to your family’s success that they have what they need. That’s obvious, both from a pragmatic standpoint and to feed their emotion in a positive manner and create happiness – up and down Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

This means that, either for those choosing to age in place in their home and for those either temporarily or for the long term differently abled, the equipment to move about the house is just one manifestation of that need.

Many homes, especially those not particularly designed for these situations, are not especially wheelchair-friendly. Here are some tips on how to change that:

  • Get ramps. This is probably the easiest and most obvious suggestion on this list. These will help you navigate steps, curbs, or anything not on the exact same elevation. There are permanent as well as temporary ramps, depending on the nature and duration of your needs.
  • Install a lift. Some areas of the house will not accommodate a ramp – for example, more than a few stairs in the same place. Wheelchair lifts can help people easily maneuver between stories of their house.
  • Lower countertops. It’s often difficult for those in wheelchairs to reach on top of counters. The height necessary for the counter depends on the height of the chair and the torso of its user, bur figure somewhere in the vicinity of three feet.
  • Install accessible appliances. Many appliances are too high off the ground (see the previous point) or their doors are too heavy to easily operate. Front-loading washers and dryers are a good example of an accommodation here.
  • Put in a shower bench. Most of the time, wheelchairs can’t or shouldn’t go in the shower, so finding another way to get in bathing time is paramount.
  • Widen doorways. Standardized doorways often aren’t designed for the width needed to pass a wheelchair through a door comfortably. Simply removing trim may work in some situations. In others, you’ll likely need to swap out a new door frame. This, again, depends on the width of the chair.

Tri-State Mobility has the equipment you need to make many of these modifications, and the expertise to help you arrange them, too. Let us help you stay in your home!