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How to Make Your Home More Accessible For a Disabled Relative

If you have a disabled relative, you know how important it is to create a welcoming and accessible environment in your home. Whether it’s a temporary injury or a long-term disability, making your home more accessible can greatly improve your loved one’s quality of life. These modifications and adjustments will not only enhance their daily living but also ensure their safety and comfort.

elderly woman in bedroom in wheelchair

Ramp Up Accessibility

Installing ramps is a fundamental step in making your home accessible. If your loved one uses a wheelchair or has mobility issues, consider adding ramps at entrances and exits. These ramps should be sturdy, slip-resistant, and compliant with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines. Ensure proper handrails are in place for added support. And to ensure going from one level to another, Stiltz HomeLifts is the perfect option to install a lift in the house. By doing so, you’ll enable your relative to move in and out of your home independently and safely.

Widen Doorways and Hallways

Narrow doorways and hallways can be a significant obstacle for those with mobility aids. To address this issue, widen the doorways and hallways in your home. This simple renovation can make a world of difference, allowing wheelchairs and walkers to pass through comfortably. It’s a practical adjustment that enhances accessibility throughout your entire house.

Create an Accessible Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most crucial areas to focus on. Install grab bars in the shower and near the toilet to provide stability and support. Consider a walk-in or roll-in shower with a bench and handheld showerhead. A raised toilet seat can also be a helpful addition. Additionally, ensure the sink is at a suitable height to accommodate wheelchair users. These modifications will enhance your loved one’s independence in personal hygiene.

  • Non-Slip Flooring: Replace slippery tiles with non-slip flooring in the bathroom. This ensures that your disabled relative can move around safely, even when the floor is wet.
  • Accessible Shelving and Storage: Install accessible shelving and storage units within reach. This way, your loved one can easily access toiletries, towels, and other essentials without assistance.
  • Adjustable Mirrors: Consider installing adjustable mirrors at varying heights to accommodate users of different heights and mobility levels. This ensures everyone can comfortably use the mirror for grooming and personal care.
  • Emergency Call System: Install an emergency call system, such as a pull cord or a waterproof button, within easy reach in case your relative needs assistance in the bathroom. This provides peace of mind for both you and your loved one, knowing help is just a button press away.

Adapt the Kitchen

The kitchen is another essential space to consider. Lower countertops and sinks to a wheelchair-accessible height, and create open spaces beneath the sink and stove for easy access. Install lever-style handles on cabinets and drawers, making it easier for your disabled relative to reach items. Organize the kitchen to ensure commonly used items are within reach, eliminating the need for stretching or bending.

  • Accessible Appliances: Invest in kitchen appliances designed with accessibility in mind. Look for side-opening ovens, cooktops with front controls, and refrigerator and freezer drawers at a convenient height. These adaptations make cooking and meal preparation more manageable for your disabled relative.
  • Pull-Out Shelves: Consider installing pull-out shelves or drawers in lower cabinets. These shelves maximize storage space and make it easier for your loved one to access pots, pans, and other kitchen essentials without straining.
  • Dishwasher Accessibility: If your kitchen includes a dishwasher, ensure that it has an accessible design. A dishwasher with a drawer-style or front-facing control panel is easier to load and unload for individuals with limited mobility.

Bedroom Accessibility

In the bedroom, make sure the bed is at an appropriate height for easy transfers. Install handrails or bedrails for added safety. Ensure there’s ample space around the bed for wheelchair maneuverability. Consider installing closet organizers and shelving at accessible heights, simplifying your relative’s ability to get dressed and access their belongings.

Smart Home Technology

Incorporating smart home technology can greatly enhance accessibility. Install voice-activated assistants, smart locks, and adjustable lighting systems that can be controlled remotely. These systems empower your disabled relative to manage various aspects of their living environment independently.

elderly woman holding hands with daughter

Creating a more accessible home for a disabled relative is a meaningful endeavor that can significantly improve their quality of life. By ramping up accessibility, widening doorways, adapting the bathroom and kitchen, optimizing the bedroom, and integrating smart home technology, you can make your home a more welcoming and comfortable place for your loved one. These modifications not only enhance their independence but also foster a sense of inclusion and belonging within the family. So, take these steps today to ensure your home is a truly accessible haven for your disabled relative


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