Easy Home Modifications for Better Accessibility

Hey there! If you or a loved one are dealing with mobility issues, making some smart modifications to your home can really boost independence and comfort. Let’s walk through some practical and relatively easy changes that can make a big difference in day-to-day living.

Ramp It Up
First off, if stairs at the entrance are a challenge, consider installing a ramp. Ramps provide a smooth transition for wheelchairs, scooters, and anyone who finds stairs daunting. They come in various materials like wood, aluminium, or even portable options. Just make sure the slope is gentle enough to navigate easily—think about the standard slope recommendations, which is a 1:12 ratio for ramps.

Open Door Policy
Narrow doorways can be a real hassle when you’re using mobility aids. Widening doorways is a fantastic way to enhance accessibility. For a less invasive fix, you can also look into offset hinges that allow doors to open further, giving you those extra precious inches of space.

Slip Not
Floors can be treacherous when they’re slippery. Swap out slick tiles or polished hardwood for options with more grip, like textured vinyl or low-pile carpet. Also, securing rugs with non-slip pads or double-sided tape can prevent trips and slips.

Grab On
Install grab bars in key areas like the bathroom—next to the toilet and in the shower or tub. These sturdy helpers are invaluable for stability and support while manoeuvring in tight spaces. Make sure they’re mounted securely to withstand a good amount of weight.

Sitting Pretty
Consider a shower seat and a hand-held showerhead. These additions make bathing a breeze and reduce the risk of falls in the wet environment of a bathroom. Being able to sit safely while showering is a game changer!

Light It Up
Good lighting is crucial, especially on walkways, stairs, and in hallways. Make sure these areas are well-lit to prevent accidents. Motion-sensor lights are great because you won’t have to fumble for switches.

Low Reach
Rearrange your kitchen and storage areas so that frequently used items are within easy reach. This means no more climbing on stools or bending down low—two activities that can be risky if you’re struggling with balance or mobility.

Smart Tech
Incorporate some smart home technology to manage things like lights, thermostats, and even window blinds remotely. This tech can significantly reduce the need to move around just to perform simple tasks.

Clear the Path
Keep your floors clear of clutter and ensure that pathways are wide enough to accommodate mobility aids without any obstacles. A clear path is not just safe, it’s also more visually calming.

Personal Alert System
For added peace of mind, consider a personal alert system. These wearable devices allow you to call for help if you have a fall or other emergencies, ensuring that you’re never alone in a time of need.

Threshold Trouble
Those little rises between rooms or at door entrances? They can be a real nuisance for wheels. Look into smoothing out those thresholds or installing small ramps to make room transitions seamless. This small change can prevent stumbles and make navigation smoother for wheelchairs and walkers.

Adjustable Heights
Adapt your furniture to suit your needs. Adjustable height tables and desks are a boon, allowing you to comfortably access them from any seat or position. Consider also the height of your bed and chairs, making sure they make sitting down and standing up as easy as possible.

Leverage Levers
Twisting doorknobs can be tough on the wrists, especially for anyone with arthritis or limited hand strength. Switching out knobs for lever handles can make opening doors a breeze. This goes for faucets too—lever handles are much easier to operate than knobs.

Remote Control
Invest in remote controls for items like fans, lights, and even window shades. This technology minimizes the need to make small, repeated movements that can add up to a lot of effort by the end of the day.

Voice Activation
Going a step beyond simple remote controls, voice-activated systems can control lighting, TV, music, and more. If you’re tech-savvy or open to learning, this can be a fun and incredibly helpful way to keep your independence at home.

Safety First
Consider installing a security system that includes cameras you can monitor from your phone or computer. It’s not just about preventing intruders; it’s also about checking who’s at the door without having to move more than you’re comfortable with.

Colour Contrast
Use colour to your advantage by painting edges of steps or door frames in a contrasting colour to make them more visible. This can help prevent bumps and makes navigating your space safer.

Bathroom Basics
Upgrade your toilet to a comfort-height model, which is a little taller than standard toilets and easier to use for people with mobility challenges. Also, consider touchless flush systems to make life easier.

Flexible Furniture
Look for furniture that is both functional and flexible. Ottomans with storage inside, or couches and chairs with lift assist can offer multiple functions while keeping style and comfort in mind.

Community Connection
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of a good support network. Whether it’s neighbours, local businesses, or an online community, having people who understand and can offer assistance or advice makes all the difference.

By continuing to adjust and enhance your living space, you create a home that not only meets your needs but also adapts to your lifestyle. Remember, small changes can have big impacts, creating a safer and more comfortable environment for everyone in the home. Here’s to your health, happiness, and a wonderfully accessible home!

Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor

I was an aeronautical engineer for thirty five years now I'm a keen amateur photographer and enjoying my retirement.

Mobility Scooters Shop